News In Brief

THE US

Former mayor Andrew Young was to lead a memorial service for victims of the bombing that killed one person and injured 111 as Atlanta planned to reopen Centennial Olympic Park today. FBI investigators said they are pursuing promising leads and sifting through reams of information, including videotapes and photos. Several experts said the attack looked as if it came from a domestic group opposed to President Clinton's reelection. And an extreme right-wing Georgia militia group denied it was behind the attack.

Clinton planned to meet with congressional leaders on strengthening an antiterrorism bill signed into law last April. He wants wiretap authority for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating political violence. He also wants explosives to contain chemical markers to make terrorist bombs easier to trace. The first proposal was struck from the bill because civil libertarians and conservatives were opposed to wider state powers. The second was fought by the National Rifle Association. Clinton told a veterans convention in New Orleans he's encouraged by remarks by House Speaker Newt Gingrich encouraging legislative leaders to provide more tools for the FBI.

Clinton struck a deal with the TV industry requiring three hours of children's educational programming a week. Broadcasters would certify that a program is designed to be educational. The FCC, which would oversee enforcement of the rule, is expected to approve the deal.

The FBI scheduled a news conference to discuss the arrests of nine people in Washington State on explosives and firearms charges. The arrests involved people linked to antigovernment groups, and the FBI searched two houses in the Seattle area in connection with the investigation, a Seattle TV station reported.

The House and Senate were expected to complete action on a final welfare plan. Congress plans to vote on the bill later this week before sending it to the White House. Clinton hasn't said whether he plans to veto the latest plan.

The distributor of national programs such as "Sesame Street" and "Masterpiece Theater" to hundreds of public TV stations plans to increase its budget by $52 million next year. PBS hopes to expand this year's $172-million budget to $224 million for the fiscal year 1997 through funding partnerships with Reader's Digest and others, and ventures such as PBS stores.

Some 34 percent of Republican National Convention delegates want to remove the platform plank supporting a consti- tutional amendment to ban abortions, an Associated Press survey found. Another 41 percent want to retain the language, while 25 percent said they don't know or didn't answer the question. Also, after much debate, Pat Buchanan was asked by GOP leaders to participate in the convention.

Bob Dole reversed his position and criticized Clinton's decision to close Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House out of concern for terrorist attacks. "If people are determined ... they're going to get through somehow," he said during a news conference before leaving on a campaign trip to Montana and California. He was otherwise supportive of Clinton's response to recent bombings that have killed US citizens.

First Nationwide Holdings Inc., parent company of First Nationwide Bank, announced it has agreed to buy Cal Fed Bancorp Inc. for $1.2 billion in cash. The deal would create the fourth-largest thrift in the US and the third-largest in California, as ranked by assets at the end of 1995.

Tom Lasorda, the dean of active major league baseball managers, was expected to announce he will retire because of health concerns after nearly two decades of guiding the Los Angeles Dodgers. The active manager with the most wins, Lasorda ranks 12th on baseball's career list for games managed.

THE WORLD

China conducted what it said was its last nuclear test hours before final negotiations began on a global nuclear-test-ban treaty in Geneva. China promised to join the moratorium on all tests that begins today. Beijing had come under fire for being the only declared nuclear power still conducting tests and was sharply criticized by groups in Britain and Asia for conducting this explosion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to have a team ready for peace talks with the Palestinians within days, a senior Israeli official said. Also, Jewish settlers expected Netanyahu to lift the freeze on construction in the West Bank and Gaza - a move certain to anger Israel's Arab neighbors. Settlers said they expect to expand by 50,000 in the next two years. Israel's previous government froze construction of new settlements and limited expansion of existing ones while agreeing to limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza.

Iraq said about 3,000 Iranian troops crossed into its Kurdish-held northern region and killed a number of civilians. Kurdish groups say the Iranians were in pursuit of Iranian Kurdish rebels. Iran's latest shelling of northern Iraq has scared off thousands of Iranian Kurdish refugees, the UN refugee agency in Baghdad said. Also, Iraqi opposition leader Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim said Iraq had crushed a US-backed coup this month because of US intelligence blunders.

Sri Lankan Army troops traded mortar fire with Tamil Tiger rebels while warplanes bombed rebel positions around the town of Paranthan. At least 42 rebels and 17 soldiers have been killed in the Army's latest offensive to drive the rebels into the jungle. The rebels have been fighting for a separate state in the north and east since 1983.

Burundi's Army killed at least 30 Hutus in retaliation for a rebel attack on a coffee plantation, a military spokesman said. Hutu civilians said at least 50 and perhaps as many 150 people were killed in the attack. Also, the UN announced it would remain in Burundi and launch operations to relieve suffering in the war-torn country. About 150,000 people have died since 1993 in ethnic strife between Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi.

The UN World Food Aid Program said it was expanding its emergency food operation in North Korea to feed 1.5 million people. The announcement came as North Korea's rice crops were lashed by 20 inches of rain, causing flood warnings and threatening the country's recovery from last year's devastating flooding.

Escalating nationalist violence in Bosnia is a matter of increasing concern, the UN said. Two bombs destroyed Muslim vehicles in Croat-controlled Bosnia following tit-for-tat firebombings of Muslim and Croat religous and cultural sites. Also, a Bosnian Serb delegation to the UN War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague began pressing for an indictment of Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic for crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs.

Hurricane Cesar was downgraded to a tropical depression after sweeping through Nicara-gua but still caused considerable damage to neighboring Costa Rica. At least 10 people were killed in severe flooding that washed away homes and bridges.

Jakarta was still jittery after Indonesia's worst riots in 20 years. Businesses closed early amid bomb scares and rumors of further rioting.

ETCETERAS

"Oh, you're big. Oh, the medal is big. You have a big head, you must have a big heart."

-- Teenager Fallon Stubbs referring to US wrestler Matt Ghaffari, who came to visit her in the hospital after she was injured and her mother killed by the bomb in Centennial Olympic Park. Ghaffari let her wear the silver medal he won.

Former President Jimmy Carter has a new entry for his resume: honorary member of the Pennsylvania-based Ancient Gastronomic Order of Rattling Reptiles. The group, which advocates preservation of insects and natural resources, presented Carter with a plaque embossed with a pewter rattler.

Porcupines at a South Dakota campground, apparently on a search for salt, added brake fluid to their diets. The critters gnawed through the brake lines of more than a dozen cars despite rangers' salty offerings.

Ioannis Melissanidis's gold in the men's floor routine gave Greece its first gymnastics medal in 100 years. Americans Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes won beach volleyball, making Kiraly the first volleyball player to win three golds. Also, Atlanta's James Brown finished a concert interrupted by the bomb.

THE DAY'S LIST

A Taxing Vacation?

How big is the tax bite from vacationers' wallets? Here's how cities rate on state and local taxes on services for visitors, including lodging, restaurants, car rentals, and gas.

HIGHEST

1. Chicago

2. Seattle

3. Houston

4. New York

4. Dallas

6. Reno, Nev.

7. Washington

8. Austin, Texas

9. Minneapolis

10. Las Vegas, Nev.

LOWEST

1. Honolulu

2. Boston

3. Cincinnati

4. Atlanta

5. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

6. Detroit

7. Kansas City, Mo.

7. Portland, Ore.

9. Daytona, Fla.

10. Riverside, Calif.

-- Travel Industry Association

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