News In Brief

THE US

GOP governors asked President Clinton to agree immediately to sign a waiver necessary to implement Wisconsin's radical welfare-reform plan and similar waivers pending in 18 other states. Wisconsin's plan replaces Aid to Families with Dependent Children with training and work programs, puts welfare recipients in private or community service jobs, and limits benefits to five years. Clinton endorsed Wisconsin's plan over the weekend.

The Federal Reserve, meeting in Washington, wasn't expected to tinker with interest rates. With growth picking up and inflation mostly contained, there's little reason for a change, analysts said. Meanwhile, the Dow cracked the 5,700 barrier for the first time Monday to close at a record 5,748.82.

The US has strongly protested China's efforts to buy SS-18 missile technology from Russia and the Ukraine that could increase Beijing's ability to threaten US cities with nuclear attack, Defense Secretary William Perry said in an interview with The Washington Times. Transferring Russia's most lethal ICBM components or technology to China would violate US-Russian strategic arms treaties as well as the 31-nation Missile Technology Control Regimes.

Five divers in special heavy-duty suits entered the murky Everglades pit created by the ValuJet plane that crash May 11. The divers hope a ground-penetrating radar system used to find dinosaur bones and Egyptian tombs will guide them to the cockpit voice recorder. Searchers have recovered only about 10 percent of the DC-9.

The House Judiciary Committee planned to hold hearings on a rash of church burnings in the South. The National Council of Churches has criticized federal and local authorities for lax investigations about what it says are racist torchings. In the past two years, at least 11 torchings have occurred on or near Martin Luther King Day.

CompuServe Inc. planned to announce it's rebuilding its on-line service to meet the standards of the World Wide Web, The New York Times reported. Prodigy Services Co., the Microsoft Network, and AT&T's Interchange Online Network already have moved in that direction. America Online has yet to announce any such moves.

Talks were to resume in Washington on monitoring a cease-fire between Israel and the Iran-backed Hizbullah guerrillas. Efforts to approve a nearly final accord between Israel and its Arab neighbors failed, despite US calls for a quick agreement following a flare-up in south Lebanon.

The government ended a 13-month congressional moratorium and granted protection to California's red-legged frog. The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the frog "threatened," which gives it protection under the Endangered Species Act and makes it easier to control economic impact. Congress opened the way last month by lifting a ban imposed in 1995 against any further listing of endangered species.

Security was tightened at several federal buildings in Texas and four surrounding states after a bomb exploded outside an FBI building in Laredo, Texas. Federal officials said there's no proof the FBI was the target of the blast. Its offices are on the opposite side from the explosion, and the building contains several other businesses. But investigators were pursuing leads, including a phone call from a man who claimed responsibility and said other blasts would occur at federal buildings.

Ramzi Yousef, accused of plotting to bomb 11 US airliners in one day, allegedly hatched the plan after giving up on efforts to kill Clinton, according to former CIA chief of counter terrorism operations Vincent Cannistraro. Yousef changed his plans after concluding security was too tight to assassinate Clinton during his 1994 visit to the Philippines, Cannistraro said. Jury selection is still underway in Yousef's trial.

Private companies hired by public schools haven't done much to raise students' test scores, according to the General Accounting Office. But the study did find that students received more one-on-one instruction and greater access to computers. The GAO looked at schools in Baltimore; Minneapolis; Hartford, Conn.; and Dade County, Fla.

THE WORLD

The International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague will hold hearings to make public evidence against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic in June. The hearings will be held under the "Rule 61" procedure, with the aim of obtaining an international arrest warrant, and will not be a formal trial. Also, Bosnian Serb authorities are considering holding a referendum in support of Karadzic.

China welcomed President Clinton's decision to renew its Most Favored Nation status but urged Washington to halt the annual review process. Beijing said the review "is not conducive to the establishment of long-term, stable, and normal economic and trade relations." Clinton's decision comes just days after the US threatened to slap $3 billion in sanctions on China for rampant copyright piracy.

Burma's military junta arrested 44 pro-democracy activists ahead of a crucial meeting planned by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Two activists' wives were also arrested. Suu Kyi said the three-day congress of the National League for Democracy will still go forward Sunday.

Israel arrested 19 suspected Islamic militants in the West Bank. The arrests come in the wake of the capture of No. 2 Hamas leader Hassan Salameh.

Rebellious Bangladeshi soldiers returned to their barracks after going on a rampage when President Abdur Rahman Biswas sacked Army chief Lt. Gen. Abu Nasim, state-run radio reported. Nasim was taken into government custody. The government says no action will be taken against the troops.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams accused Britain of spurning the "olive branch" of commitment to peace. The political wing of the IRA accepted US guidelines on non-violence written for participants in Northern Ireland peace talks June 10. But Britain said the commitment wasn't enough: Sinn Fein would be able to participate in talks only if the IRA declared a new cease-fire. Adams refused to say if the IRA will do so.

Food convoys resumed their journey to a UN refugee camp in eastern Zaire despite two violent attacks on aid workers in as many weeks. It is unclear if the violence is linked to unrest in the Masisi region, an aid spokesman said. Zairian Tutsis in Masisi say Hutus are trying to create a "Hutuland" by driving out other ethnic groups. More than 10,000 Tutsis have fled to Rwanda in the last few months after attacks by Rwandan Hutus.

More than 40 Hutu prisoners were killed in Rwanda when Hutu guerrillas attacked a jail, Rwanda's news agency reported. It was unclear why the Hutus would kill their fellow tribesmen.

The Central African Republic's attempts to resume truce talks with mutinous troops faltered after negotiations collapsed Monday. But widespread looting had apparently abated, and Bangui was quiet for the first time since the troops mutinied. At least five civilians and two mutineers have been killed.

Yemen and Eritrea signed an agreement in Paris to end a dispute over three Red Sea Islands that threatened major shipping routes. Under the agreement, the dispute will be settled by international arbitration.

Iraqis celebrated an oil-for-food deal with the UN that Baghdad calls "the first crack in the wall" for lifting sanctions against Iraq. Under the deal, Iraq will be able to sell $2 billion in oil over an initial six-month period to buy food and medicine.

A steamship sank in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, leaving as many as 600 passengers missing and feared dead.

ETCETERAS

''It took me 15 years to put my house together, and in less than two months I sold it all. At least, I didn't have to sell the house." -- Iraqi Hotham Saleh, who hoped the oil-for-food deal would come sooner. She sold her furniture to feed her children.

A 3 to 3.5 million-year-old jawbone discovered in Chad last year belongs to a previously unknown human ancestor, scientists announced in Paris. Australopithecus bahreghazali is shaking up long-held "certainties" about man's origins and raising doubts about the location of the earliest humans.

A monument to journalists who perished covering the news was to be dedicated in Arlington, Va. The 24-foot steel spiral has the names of 934 journalists engraved on its glass panels. First is James Lingan, part-owner of the Federal Republican in Baltimore, who was trampled in 1812 by a mob unhappy with the paper's content.

Efforts by the Clintons to order a pizza fizzled when the parlor "didn't believe it," Hillary Rodham Clinton said on the "Larry King Live Show." She was illustrating the difficulty of leading a normal life in the White House.

Michael Jordan, top scorer (30.4 average) for a record eighth year, led the Chicago Bulls to the best regular season record in NBA history. He was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the fourth time, receiving an unprecedented 96.5 percent of votes.

THE DAY'S LIST

Most Valuable Players

The National Association of Basketball's last 16 Most Valuable Players. The media has chosen the winners since 1981.

1981 Julius Erving

1982 Moses Malone

1983 Moses Malone

1984 Larry Bird

1985 Larry Bird

1986 Larry Bird

1987 Magic Johnson

1988 Michael Jordan

1989 Magic Johnson

1990 Magic Johnson

1991 Michael Jordan

1992 Michael Jordan

1993 Charles Barkley

1994 Hakeem Olajuwon

1995 David Robinson

1996 Michael Jordan

- Associated Press

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