News In Brief

THE US

Palestinian President Arafat was warmly welcomed when he arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Clinton. Their talks will focus on the next steps in the Middle East peace process. He is expected to meet later in the day with Israeli Prime Minister Peres, give a speech at the National Press Club, meet with the World Bank's president, and attend a "town hall" session with Arab Americans.

Negotiations intensified and talk increased of a possible deal between the FBI and "freemen" antigovernment group holed up on a farm in Jordan, Mont. Right-wing leader and former Green Beret colonel James "Bo" Gritz returned to the compound for further talks. Emerging from an earlier meeting, he said the group believed some charges against them would be dropped if they gave up by day's end.

The House failed to override Clinton's veto of a foreign policy bill he said was harmful to US security interests and would have curtailed his authority. The bill would have cut $500 million from the State Department and related agencies over fiscal years 1996 and 1997.

Two Chicago universities rejected an antitechnology manuscript in 1978 from suspected Unabomber Ted Kaczynski just weeks before the first Unabomber explosion in one of the schools' parking lots, ABC's "World News Tonight" reported. A Northwestern University math professor said Kaczynski shook with anger and vowed to "get even" because of the rejections.

The Senate heard disturbing testimony from Federal Aviation Administration and airline industry officials about poorly trained airplane inspectors and a mismanaged computer system. One whistle-blower testified anonymously that some safety inspections were recorded that were not actually made. And a former inspector with an airline said he was ordered to hide violations from agency inspectors.

Iran was cited as No. 1 for terrorist acts around the world in the State Department's annual international terrorism report. The list, unchanged from a year ago, also includes Syria, Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan as sponsors of international terrorism.

New evidence assembled by Whitewater prosecutors raises questions about Hillary Rodham Clinton's sworn account of a meeting she had with former real estate partner James McDougal. Clinton said she met with McDougal in April 1985 to discuss an overdue bill from her law firm. But a former president of McDougal's bank testified the bill was paid in 1984, long before her meeting with McDougal.

Planned Parenthood said it will seek an injunction to bar a new Wisconsin abortion law from taking effect. The law is one of the strictest in the nation: It requires women to consult with a doctor 24 hours before an abortion, except in certain cases of rape and incest. It also spells out how doctors must discuss abortion with patients. Violators face fines up to $10,000.

The House voted 411 to 10 to sell 32 billion cubic feet of helium stored in an abandoned gas field in the Texas panhandle for three decades. The bill, which goes next to the Senate, calls for the US to sell the helium over 20 years and dismantle the operation. Proceeds will be used to pay off a $1.4 billion debt the helium program accumulated.

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.2 percent in March, marking its first consecutive monthly gains in 1-1/2 years.

Hundreds of firefighters in New Mexico torched brush ahead of an approaching wildfire to protect the Los Alamos Laboratory, where radioactive materials are stored. They also diverted flames from Frijoles Canyon and its ancient Indian ruins. Wildfires are also raging in California and Arizona.

Several Republican congressmen announced they want the sale or rental of sexually explicit materials banned on US military bases. It undermines military families and national defense, they said.

THE WORLD

Workers worldwide gathered for rallies, protests, and parades to commemorate May Day. About 15,000 activists of outlawed labor unions marched in Seoul. In Turkey, two protesters were killed in clashes with police. And in Russia, President Boris Yeltsin and Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov used the occasion to campaign for June elections.

Liberia suffered some of the worst fighting since urban war between rival warlords broke out April 6. Also, US Marines killed three Liberians who fired on the US Embassy.

Israel's right-wing parties called for a special parliamentary session to try to prevent the government from handing over the West Bank city of Hebron to Palestinian self-rule. In Hebron, Jewish settlers overturned stalls at a vegetable market to protest the stabbing of a Jewish rabbi by a Palestinian.

Weapons found on an Iranian ship intercepted in Belgium included a powerful mortar, backing Israeli claims that a terrorist cache had been intercepted. But Belgian officials refused to speculate on whether they were meant to be used against Israel.

The US cited China as the main offender in software and other piracy and said it may impose sanctions against Beijing. Also the US said it will file complaints against India, Turkey, Portugal, and Pakistan with the World Trade Organization in Geneva for alleged failure to protect US copyrights and patents.

Brazilian policeman Marcus Emmanuel was convicted for his role in the 1993 Candelaria massacre of eight homeless children. He was sentenced to 309 years in prison, but under Brazilian law will serve about 30. Three other people are expected to go on trial in the case soon.

Russia refused to extradite former Azeri President Ayaz Mutalibov to face charges he plotted to overthrow the government, officials said. Russian police have arrested Mutalibov several times, but have so far resisted extradition attempts by Azerbaijan.

Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiev appeared on rebel television to dispel rumors of his death and vowed to "continue the struggle to the last soldier." Also, Chechen rebels set fire to three oil storage tanks in Grozny, ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps resigned, keeping her election promise to do so if the Goods and Services Tax were not scrapped. Copps was also expected to resign as heritage minister and Liberal member of parliament.

A Scottish judge said he may recommend stricter gun laws at the opening of an inquiry into the Dunblane massacre of 16 kindergarten children and their teacher. The government has rejected a complete ban on private gun ownership.

Trade envoys fixed Feb. 15 as the new deadline for a pact deregulating global telecommunications. The postponement came after the US rejected offers from other nations as insufficient. The pact should still meet its final deadline of Jan. 1, 1998.

South African negotiators met for a possible final session to complete work on the new constitution. The Constitutional Assembly must resolve key issues in the next few days or risk missing the May 10 deadline.

Mongolia is appealing for international aid to combat huge fires that have killed 15 people and injured 60.

Hong Kong's British colonial administration will not cooperate with the appointed legislature that China plans to install in place of the island's elected body, Hong Kong's Chief Secretary Anson Chan said. This sets the stage for renewed confrontation on the island's 1997 return to the mainland.

ETCETERAS

"Uncle Sam should not be subsidizing smut, and there's no other way to characterize this material."-- Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, proposing a ban on the sale of pornographic magazines on US military bases.

1995 was the hottest year on record, according to a UN report. The Antarctic ozone hole lasted longer than ever before, and there were more hurricanes over the Atlantic than in any year since 1933. The report by the World Meteorological Association appeared to confirm world scientists' concerns about global warming.

An unpublished manuscript by Louisa May Alcott, written when she was a teenager, was found in a Harvard University library by two Alcott scholars. It was discovered with a note from Alcott claiming authorship.

In Fort Lupton, Colo., an experiment in energy-saving has blossomed into a greenhouse that produces 250 tons of tomatoes a week. The 20-acre building, near Denver, gets its heat from a natural-gas-fired power plant.

A NASA spacecraft detected the fastest vibrations yet seen in the universe: X-rays that flicker at 1,130 times per second.

THE DAY'S LIST

Top 10 Movies in the US, By Per-screen Revenue, April 26-28

Per-screen revenue gauges movie popularity by community response to a film and word-of-mouth publicity. Movie titles are followed by per-screen revenue, the number of weeks in release, and the number of locations.

1. "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," $4,791; one week; 1,413 screens.

2. "Jane Eyre," $3,756; three weeks, 152 screens.

3. "Sunset Park," $3,743; one week; 1,257 screens.

4. "The Quest," $3,360; one week; 2,092 screens.

5. "Mulholland Falls," $2,650; one week; 1,625 screens.

6. "Primal Fear," $2,372; four weeks; 1,983 screens.

7. "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," $1,858; four weeks; 1,092 screens.

8. "Fargo," $1,765; eight weeks; 541 screens.

9. "James and the Giant Peach," $1,761; three weeks; 2,033 screens.

10. "The Birdcage," $1,719; eight weeks; 1,958 screens.

-- Exhibitor Relations (Los Angeles)/AP

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