News In Brief

THE US

Deputy White House counsel Bruce Lindsey will be named an "unindicted coconspirator" in a Little Rock trial of two Arkansas bankers, a defense lawyer said. The tactic would allow prosecutors to use statements and testimony involving Lindsey during the trial. Lindsey is a friend and behind-the-scenes adviser to President Clinton. The bankers are charged with using bank funds to reimburse themselves and others who made political donations to Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign. They are also accused of concealing from the IRS large cash withdrawals by the campaign.

Former White House Travel Office director Billy Dale was among witnesses scheduled to testify before a Senate panel on 408 sensitive FBI files obtained by the White House. Earlier, Attorney General Janet Reno asked a three-judge court to turn the probe over to Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, citing conflict of interest. Also, the Clinton administration appointed a new security chief as former White House security worker Nancy Gemmell testified at House hearings that she never left behind an outdated list of old presidential employees for her successors. Her successor, Anthony Marceca, said he was working from an outdated Secret Service list to gather the files.

Investigators cited arson as the cause of a fire that heavily damaged the racially mixed Immanuel Free Methodist Church in Portland, Ore. - the most recent church blaze. Also, two black men were charged with arson in the burning of a North Carolina church.

ValuJet Airlines agreed to pay $2 million toward the cost of federal inspections that identified the company's lax maintenance before one of its planes crashed in the Everglades. A just-released Federal Aviation Administration document listed several incidents where its planes were serviced by unqualified mechanics, flown without federal inspections, and kept in use with faulty parts. In one case, a DC-9 made several flights with a windshield that was coming apart, it said.

The Senate voted to repeal a new law that bans abortions at US military hospitals overseas. A similar effort in the House failed last month. The Senate Agriculture Committee voted to propose cutting $23 billion from food-stamp spending and $3 billion from child nutrition over six years. The Senate also passed legislation authorizing payment of $40,000 each to South Vietnamese commandos or their survivors. The commandos were captured in North Vietnam during spy operations. The US declared them dead and paid small death benefits to each of their families.

The House voted not to exempt private property in northern California from land designated as a protected habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet seabird. It also passed a bill to punish foreign companies that invest in Iran and Libya under proposed US sanctions. The White House supports the bill, but the EU is strongly opposed.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's press secretary, Linda Caputo, resigned to join CBS Inc. as vice president of corporate communications. Neel Lattimore, a deputy press secretary to Mrs. Clinton, will take her place.

Westinghouse Electric Corp. announced a $3.9 billion deal to buy Infinity Broadcasting Corp., the company behind Howard Stern, merging the two biggest players in the radio station business. Westinghouse purchased CBS Inc. for $5.4 billion in 1995.

Surging oil prices and foreign cars helped push imports to a record high in April as the US trade deficit rose to $8.01 billion. The 1.7 percent jump in imports offset record exports of goods and services, which climbed 1 percent to $69.94 billion.

The Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off on a 2-1/2 week mission, despite concerns about bad weather. If astronauts can conserve enough energy on the scientific mission, it will be extended to 17 days, making it the longest shuttle mission ever.

Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson declared a state of emergency after days of heavy rains and flooding. State and local officials estimate the damage could hit $20 million. Pennsylvania and Maryland are also battling heavy rains.

THE WORLD

Russian President Yeltsin fired three top hard-line executives. The move came after two of Yeltsin's campaign workers were arrested and interrogated for 11 hours, reportedly on the orders of two of the fired officials. Liberals are calling the incident an attempted coup. Also, Security Council head Alexander Lebed says he'll block any attempts to delay the July presidential runoff.

UN Secretary General Boutros-Boutros-Ghali, in Bonn to meet with German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, urged the US to reconsider opposing his reelection bid. The US said it would use its Security Council veto to oppose his candidacy just hours after Boutros-Ghali announced he would seek a second term. Also, France implicitly endorsed Boutros-Ghali, saying he had performed well during his first term and reelection was traditional. Kinkel praised Boutros-Ghali, but stopped short of endorsing his candidacy.

India said it cannot support the global ban on nuclear testing in its current form. The draft contains "weak and woefully inadequate" commitments to disarmament and would still allow advanced countries to develop nuclear weapons technology, Ambassador Arundhati Ghose said at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. India's refusal could block adoption of the treaty by the June 28 deadline.

The militant group Hamas offered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a conditional cease-fire. They said they will stop attacks if Israel halts action against them, releases Hamas prisoners, and ends a four-month closure of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel's government did not immediately respond. Also, new Israeli Security Minister Avigdor Khalani said he supports easing the closure, but also favors erecting a fence between Israel and the West Bank.

Nicaraguan Contra rebels kidnapped 51 election officials near the Honduran border. The rebels are demanding that the police and Army withdraw from the area. The officials were drawing up voter registration polls for October's general elections.

Pro-British Ulster Unionists castigated the IRA for claiming responsibility for the weekend bombing in Manchester, England, that wounded 200 and blew holes in Northern Ireland's peace process. The Unionists said even if the IRA called a cease-fire, they would block its political wing, Sinn Fein, from peace talks.

Bangladesh's Awami League, led by Hasina Wajed, waited for the call to govern for the first time in 21 years after election results left it just short of a parliamentary majority. Wajed is likely to be named prime minister.

Arab leaders began gathering in Cairo for tomorrow's summit, which was called to form a united front against Israel's new hard-line leadership.

Indonesian soldiers used batons to break up a demonstration by about 5,000 opposition party supporters in Jakarta. At least 73 people were injured and 52 people were arrested, protest leaders and police said. The Army denied charges of brutality. The demonstrators were protesting a military-backed congress of dissidents seeking to oust party leader Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Rwanda's national assembly rejected a proposal to bring about 74,000 genocide suspects to trial. A key area of dispute appeared to be dividing responsibility for the 1994 genocide into four categories, with only genocide organizers receiving the death penalty. Under normal Rwandan law, all convicted murderers automatically face capital punishment. Legislators began revisions, while defendants, many of whom have not been charged, wait at least three more months for a trial in overcrowded prisons.

"We believe that this technology is the gift of God and should be available to all people."

- Shiite Muslim cleric Ali Korani, who is working to make 5,000 Islamic texts available to scholars on the Internet from his computer center in Qom, Iran.

ETCETERAS

French and Thai researchers announced they've discovered the granddaddy of all tyrannosaurs: Siamotyrannus isanensis is 20 million years older than the earliest known tyrannosaur and may prove the species evolved in Asia. The dinosaur is 21 feet long - half the size of its better-known descendent Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Why shouldn't Muslims eat pork? Scholars worldwide can search for the answer on the Internet, thanks to Ali Korani's computer center in Qom, Iran. The staff has hand-punched 2,000 Persian and Arabic books onto their computers. Their goal? A total of 5,000 Islamic texts on the Internet - making it possibly the biggest project of its kind.

Searching for a way broaden your chess game? Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer created "Fischerandom," a computerized shuffler that randomly distributes chess pieces before each game. The program creates 960 possible variations of starting positions and is the first modification to the game in 500 years, the Argentine Chess Club says.

Prospective bidders got to hear a previously unknown Mozart aria sung at Christie's in London. The two-page manuscript, valued at $45,000, was found in a US attic and goes on the block June 26. But how does the fragment sound? "It sounds like Mozart, triumphant and glorious," musical manuscript specialist Jonathan Stone says.

THE DAY'S LIST

Staggering Snowfalls

At least 293.6 trillion pounds of snow fell on the Northeast last winter, with New York state bearing the brunt, climatologists said. Some record-breaking snowfalls topped 100 inches:

1. Elkins, W. Va. 136.6 in.

2. Binghamton, N.Y. 134

3. Worcester, Mass. 132.9

4. Hartford, Conn. 115.2

5. Concord, N.H. 112.3

6. Charleston, W.Va. 110.2

7. Boston 107.6

8. Providence, R.I. 106.1

9. Cleveland 101.1

- Associated Press

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