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News In Brief

(Page 2 of 2)



A suspicious truck was spotted near the US military housing complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, about two weeks before it was the target of a bomb attack, a senior US Air Force official said. A Saudi woman challenged the driver, and he drove off. Her husband reported the incident to police and provided the license plate number of the vehicle. It is not known if the incident is related to last week's bombing, in which a fuel truck was used.

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Iraq's plan to sell oil for desperately needed supplies for its people hit a snag when the US said it opposes Baghdad's distribution plan for the goods. The plan "contains several provisions that make it clear Iraq is not serious" about implementing the oil-for-food deal signed in May, a US spokesman said. The UN must approve distribution plans before Iraq can begin sales.

Russian President Yeltsin made his first public appearance in days in a taped TV segment, urging Russians to vote in tomorrow's presidential runoff elections. He cancelled several appearances, raising concerns about his health. The president's aide said he merely lost his voice from too much campaigning. Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov said he wants an official report on Yeltsin's condition.

Gen. Do Muoi was reappointed as secretary general of Vietnam's Communist Party. The party appointed a new committe within the Politburo, with more members from the Army and Interior Ministry, giving it a conservative bent.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis narrowly won an election to replace the ruling Socialist party's late founder, Andreas Papandreou. Simitis had threatened to resign as prime minister if not elected chairman, which would have split the party and created a political crisis.

Centrist Leonel Fernandez, of the Dominican Liberation Party, was elected president of the Dominican Republic, the Central Election Board announced. Fernandez narrowly defeated Dominican Revolutionary Party candidate Jose Francisco Pena Gomez by 51.25 percent to 48.75 percent in runoff elections.

Mongolia's opposition Democratic Union trounced the ex-communists, who had ruled for 75 years, in parliamentary elections. The opposition captured 48 of the 76 seats. Voter turnout was 87.3 percent.

A surprise attack by Tamil Tiger rebels killed 29 Sri Lankan soldiers and left at least 35 rebels dead in the biggest battle in more than three months, a military spokesman said. The rebels are fighting for a separate state. More than 42,000 people have died in the 13-year conflict.

Turkey's Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan condemned a suicide bombing by rebel Kurds that killed seven people.

Manuel Pinto da Costa came in first in Sao Tome and Principe's elections. But da Costa, former Marxist ruler of the African island nation, only received about 40 percent of the vote, not enough to give him an outright majority. He will likely face incumbent President Miguel Trovoada, who received 25 percent of the vote, in runoff elections later this month.

ETCETERAS

"If we give our kids potato chips and hot fudge sundaes every morning,

pretty soon they'll think that's what breakfast is."

-- Vice President Al Gore, on the need for quality children's TV programming, rather than violence and commercialism.

What is believed to be the first intact skull of an ornithomimid - a 75-million-year-old, ostrich-like dinosaur - was unearthed in western Canada. The discovery of the skull with a beak supports the theory that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs, researchers say. It was found in south-central Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park, site of millions of dinosaur and fossil discoveries since 1911.

Shakespeare's homeland awarded President Clinton a special prize for his "plain and effective" use of language. Britain's Plain English Campaign said Clinton received so many nominations after his visit to Northern Ireland last year, they created a new award category for him: Exceptional Plain English Communicator.

Pity the poor neighbors! A rooster named Fowl Mouth crowed 80 times in 30 minutes to win the annual Rogue River Rooster Crow in Oregon. His owner got $150 for the barnyard bird's vocal prowess. The record set in 1978 is 112 crows.

THE DAY'S LIST

Money Moguls

The world's 10 richest individuals, as compiled by Forbes magazine, listed in billions of dollars with source of wealth and nationality. The world's richest woman according to Forbes is Liliane Bettencourt, heir to the cosmetics empire L'Oreal, who is worth $5 billion.

1. William Gates III: $18; computer software; US

2. Warren Buffett: $15.3; stock market; US

3. Paul Sacher: $13.1; pharmaceuticals; Switzerland

4. Lee Shau Kee: $12.7; real estate; Hong Kong

5. Tsai Wan-lin: $12.2; insurance, financial services; Taiwan

6. Li Ka-shing: $10.6; diversified; Hong Kong

7. Yoshiaki Tsutsumi: $9.2; real estate, transportation; Japan

8. Paul Allen: $7.5; computer software; US

9. Kenneth Thomson: $7.4; media, retailing, real estate; Canada

10. Tan Yu: $7; real estate; Philippines

- Forbes/AP