News In Brief

The US

On the eve of the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, the House planned to take up an antiterrorism bill overwhelmingly passed by the Senate. President Clinton most likely would sign it, a White House official said. The bill would limit federal appeals by death-row inmates and expand the death penalty to cover certain international terrorism cases. The Senate rejected Democrats' attempts to expand federal law-enforcement powers, including broader wiretap authority. And residents of Oklahoma City braced for the anniversary. (Story, Page 1.)

A health-reform bill jointly sponsored by Republican Nancy Kassebaum and Democrat Edward Kennedy and endorsed by Clinton was expected to be taken up by the Senate. The plan would bar health plans from limiting or denying coverage for more than 12 months based on a pre-existing medical condition. Sens. Bob Dole and William Roth reportedly are planning an amendment to add controversial tax-free medical savings accounts and other provisions to the bill. Kassebaum says such inclusions would derail the bill.

Republicans and Democrats compromised on the Whitewater hearings, allowing them to resume Wednesday and continue until June 14. The decision came after Republicans threatened to shift the hearings, which have been in limbo since February, to the Senate Banking Committee.

Federal agents met face-to-face with five members of the freemen antigovernment group inside the group's barricaded compound in Jordan, Mont. A Michigan militia leader was barred from a second attempt to enter the compound.

The House approved a bill that would free highways, airports, and other transportation projects from general spending restrictions. Proponents said the bill could mean more than $1 billion in additional highway spending. Critics said the funding will divert money from health, education, and other programs.

A federal grand jury concluded a secret session in Great Falls, Mont., without indicting Theodore Kaczynski, the suspected Unabomber. The panel is not scheduled to meet again until mid-May. (Opinion, Page 19.)

Secretary of State Christopher's plans to meet with China's foreign minister today in The Hague could change as a result of Israeli bombings in the Mideast. (See World in Brief.) The two men planned to discuss Beijing's sale of nuclear technology to Pakistan. Preliminary approval of a $160 million loan guarantee for the sale of three Boeing airliners to China should not be taken as a signal the White House has decided against imposing trade sanctions on Beijing, the State Department said.

A review board recommended that 10 agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms be disciplined for their behavior at "Good Ol' Boy Roundups." Suggested punishment included verbal cautions, four-day suspensions, and sensitivity training.

The Navy suffered its fourth F-14 jet fighter crash of the year. Both crew members parachuted to safety before the plane crashed near Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia.

Overall rates of violent crime changed little between 1993 and 1994, but the number of sexual assaults dropped 33 percent. Property crimes continued a 15-year decline. Dole accused the White House of sugarcoating the statistics to hide "a major increase in violent crime."

Apple Computer Inc. reported its worst quarterly performance - a $740 million loss - and said it will lay off 1,500 more employees over the next year. International Business Machines Corp. reported its profits fell 40 percent in the first quarter of 1996.

Some 25 breakdowns in safety procedures endangered workers last year at the Hanford Nuclear reservation in Richland, Wash., the government reported.

The World

Israeli shellfire killed at least 68 Lebanese seeking refuge with UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. Two peacekeepers were killed. UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali said he was "shocked and horrified" by the attack. The UN Security Council met to discuss the conflict. US envoy Dennis Ross was sent to the Middle East to try and mediate a cease-fire. US Secretary of State Christopher is likely to follow. Earlier, Israel bombed an apartment building killing 11 people, including seven children. (Story, Page 1.) Separately, Israeli Prime Minister Peres and Palestinian President Arafat met to revive the peace process. Israel's blockade of the West Bank and Arafat's promise to revoke clauses in the Palestinian charter that call for Israel's destruction are on the agenda.

Suspected militant Muslim gunmen in Cairo opened fire on a group of Greek tourists, kill-ing 18 and wounding 14 others. The three gunmen and a driver escaped in a van. No one has claimed responsibility.

President Clinton appealed to Japan's parliament to "forge a partnership for leadership" with the US to fight nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Clinton, the first US president to address the parliament in 13 years, called for Japan to step beyond its borders and play a greater role in global affairs. He traveled next to Russia for a four-day visit that includes a nuclear security summit.

Liberian rebel leader Roosevelt Johnson said he had no plans to leave the country, despite a Nigerian offer for asylum. Militia leader Charles Taylor has said he will not agree to a cease-fire until Johnson surrenders. (Story, Page 6.)

Libya says it will stop doing business with Western companies. The announcement came after the 10th anniversary of the US's bombing of Libya.

Italians vote in their third general election in four years Sunday. Analysts fear corruption has soured voters and may lead to a record abstentions and another hung parliament. (Story, Page 6.)

Persian Gulf countries have pledged $100 million to upgrade the military of Bosnia's Muslim-led government. Also, two peacekeepers were killed and two others wounded in a mine accident north of Bosnia. And the Clinton administration estimates that the Bosnian peace operation will now cost $2.8 billion - $500 million more than initially projected. (Related story, Page 18.)

Twenty-nine Muslim militants were killed in clashes with security forces across Algeria. The country has been torn by violence that has killed more than 40,000 people since 1992. Meanwhile, Algeria's state-run fuel monopoly said it will spend $17.8 billion by 2000 on developing new oil and gas fields.

The last UN peacekeepers left Rwanda, ending a mission that went horribly wrong with the genocide of a million Tutsis and Hutu moderates in 1994.

The global economy will grow 3.8 percent this year, up from 3.5 percent in 1995, the International Monetary Fund says. Energy use will increase by 50 to 100 percent by 2020 and greenhouse gas emissions by 45 to 90 percent, the World Bank said. Also, people in the world's poorest countries are living longer than they did 25 years ago. People are living to an average age of 63, up from 54 a decade ago.

Leaders from the Group of Seven industrialized nations, plus Russia and Ukraine, were to gather in Moscow for a summit on nuclear safety issues this weekend. Also, Russia said 53 servicemen were killed in a Chechen ambush Tuesday - more than doubling its previous count of 26.

Etceteras

Conservative talk-show host Bob Grant was fired from WABC radio in New York amid criticism of a remark he made after the death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in an airplane crash in Bosnia. For years Grant has provoked outrage with his derogatory comments about blacks.

Banks are establishing branches in supermarkets across the US. More than 3,100 such branches exist right now. In addition, earlier this month NationsBank and Winn-Dixie announced a four-year deal to put 240 branches in the Southern grocery chain's stores.

President Clinton on a visit to Japan gave Emperor Akihito an autographed baseball from Cal Ripken Jr., who set the US consecutive-games-played record. But, it was noted, Ripken is No. 2 to Japanese player Sachio Kinugasa, who holds the world's record. Mrs. Clinton's gift to Empress Michiko? A gold Tiffany brooch. (Story, Page 7.)

Old Pix Get Picked

Businessman M. Wesley Maran's collection of 279 signed portraits went on Christie's auction block in New York. Here's a sampling of what they fetched.

1861 photo of President Abraham Lincoln, the collection's oldest photograph. $39,100

Portrait in profile of composer Gustav Mahler. 25,300

1933 photo of bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, posing with her brother Jim, found in the trunk of their bullet-riddled car. 21,850

1921 picture of Sigmund Freud taken by his nephew, Max Halberstadt. 14,950

1878 photo of Karl Marx. 12,650

1906 photo of sharpshooter Annie Oakley, taking aim in a full-length dress, hat, and gloves. 11,500

1907 photo of World War I spy Mata Hari lying on a Persian rug. 4,370

Photo of Helen Keller, with greetings from herself and her dog. 2,185

Photo of Two Guns White Calf, the native American pictured on the Buffalo Nickel. $2,070

- Associated Press

" Can you imagine if I'd been a foreign dignitary's husband? An ambassador? A diplomat?"

- Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who said he was humiliated on a Capitol visit with his daughter when a Capitol Police aide refused to accept his identification card and told him to "go back to your country." The aide was suspended.

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