News In Brief

THE US

Pushing to clean its slate before the August recess, the Senate planned to take up a welfare reform bill today after an earlier House vote. President Clinton was expected to announce whether he plans to veto the bill. Congress also planned to votes by the end of the week on a terrorism-crackdown package and a bill that provides $12.6 billion for transportation programs. The House was to vote on a bill lifting import restrictions that led to dramatic reductions in dolphin deaths in recent years. Also, the Senate passed bills to fund energy, water, and nuclear weapons programs at $20.7 billion and the legislative branch at $2.17 billion.

The FBI searched the apartment of the security guard who was hailed as a hero for finding the bomb in Centennial Olympic Park. Richard Jewell became the "leading candidate" in the FBI investigation after a former employer told investigators Jewell had been overly enthusiastic about his police duties and liked the limelight. Also, Atlanta police made changes in their emergency-response system after it was discovered that the 911 command center didn't report the threat right away. A ten-minute delay was attributed to efforts to find the park's address.

In the 16th veto of his presidency, Clinton axed a bill that would have promoted nonunion work groups in US plants and offices. He said the bill would jeopardize traditional collective bargaining arrangements and encourage "company unions." Also, Labor Secretary Robert Reich said he would advise Clinton to veto the comp time bill. The bill would allow employers to offer 1.5 hours of compensatory time for every hour an employee works in excess of 40 hours per week.

Investigators in the crash of TWA Flight 800 said the plane's front landing gear showed damage from a powerful blast - indicating the plane may have been brought down by a bomb, The New York Times reported. But law enforcement officials said the finding did not prove the explosion was the result of a criminal act. Also, divers recovered the remains of 10 more passengers, bringing the count to 171.

Bob Dole is finalizing his economic plan, which is said to include a large tax cut for US families and ways to pay for the cut. Sources close to Dole told NPR that he rejected inflated economic growth projections in favor of practical steps to offset the tax cut. Dole aides said the unveiling of this economic plan later this month would be the biggest election event next to Dole choosing a running mate.

A Little Rock, Ark., jury was to resume deliberations after deadlocking in the trial of two bankers accused of using their bank illegally to support Clinton in his gubernatorial campaign. Unless the deadlock is broken, the case could end in a mistrial.

Some 40 percent of adults took part in adult instruction last year, up from 32 percent in 1991, according to the Education Department's annual report. Adults returned to school for work-related courses, personal development, and to study for a diploma, degree, or certificate. Also, college attendance is increasing.

Chippewa Indians in Highbridge, Wis., are holding 24-hour vigils on rail lines that cut through their reservations to protest sulfuric acid shipments. A derailment could poison their land and waterways, they say. Wisconsin Central Ltd. says the the track is the fastest way to move it to a Michigan mine.

Some 80 percent of Americans believe the government should have more power to investigate terrorists, a CBS News poll found. The number of US citizens attacking each other with bombs each year has nearly doubled this decade, from 1,699 bombings attempted or carried out nationwide in 1989 to 3,163 in 1994, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says.

France, Israel, China, Russia, Iran, and Cuba reportedly are are the countries most engaged in illegal industrial espionage in the US, the White House weekly said. But Japan's collection of openly available information about US companies is "mostly legal," it said, quoting the CIA.

THE WORLD

African leaders seeking to halt widespread ethnic violence in Burundi agreed to impose economic sanctions on the country after last week's Tutsi military coup. Leaders also called fortalks between all parties. New ruler Pierre Buyoya wasn't invited to attend the summit, but Burundi sent a three-man delegation.

Saudi Arabia and the US agreed to relocate US troops based in the country as soon as possible to improve security. US Defense Secretary William Perry and Saudi counterpart Prince Sultan agreed the two countries would split the $200 million moving bill. The decision to relocate 4,000 of the 5,000 troops stationed in Saudi Arabia comes after two terrorist attacks in the last year killed 24 US citizens.

South African security guards used illegal electric cattle prods on a crowd in Tembisa's railroad station and sparked a stampede that killed at least 15 people and injured dozens. An angry mob responded with arson and stonings. The guards were apparently trying to prevent ticketless passengers from boarding the trains.

Ugandan rebels killed up to 60 civilians in the north for reportedly collaborating with the Army, newspapers said. It would be one of the most serious incident s since the Lord's Resistance Army began fighting 10 years ago. The rebels are trying to oust President Museveni.

Muchtar Pakpahan, head of Indonesia's largest labor union, has been detained, and his union said he is accused of orchestrating the weekend rioting in Jakarta. Riots erupted after police raided the headquarters of the opposition party and evicted supporters of Democratic Party leader Megawati Sukarnoputri. Megawati appears in court today to challenge the government for backing a rebel party congress that ousted her as party leader.

Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic urged the international community to put economic and political pressure on Croatia, saying it was the last chance to end a bitter dispute that threatens the fragile peace. Also, US Adm. Leighton Smith passed his NATO command to Adm. Joseph Lopez, six weeks before Bosnia's crucial elections.

Israel's previous government had reached an understanding with the Palestinians last year on the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, Yossi Beilin, top policy to former Prime Minister Peres said. In return, the Palestinians would have agreed to cede 10 percent of the West Bank and drop demands to establish a capital in east Jerusalem. Also, Israel said it would consider freeing Islamic militant Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin after recovering the remains of an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas seven years ago.

The Russian newspaper Pravda was shut down. The paper - for years the mouthpiece of the Communist Party - was taken over by Greek owners. The paper has been losing money and publication was suspended indefinitely. Pravda's editor says the owners were pressuring him to take a more centrist tone.

An inspection at a nuclear power station in Tehran went awry, injuring about 50 people, a newspaper reported. A worker unwittingly picked up a highly radioactive part that had gone missing during the inspection. The others were exposed to radiation when he came into contact with them.

Flooding in North Korea may have killed hundreds of people and left many more homeless, the UN World Food Program said. Also, aid workers said the floods have destroyed thousands of hectares of crops.

ETCETERAS

"It should be called flimflam flex time."

-- Rep. William Clay (D. of Mo.), on Republican legislation that would allow employees the option of exchanging overtime pay for paid leave. Democrats say it's an excuse to undermine the living standards of working families.

Aborigines are trying to claim reward money promised two of their ancestors 116 years ago for helping catch an outlaw. The group is suing Australia for $66 million - compound interest for $100 each they were supposed to have received.

Parishioners of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina, Wash. - one of the wealthiest towns in the US - were humbled after receiving a $42 donation from one of Israel's poorest villages. A church newsletter requesting funds for a new roof had been sent earlier with money to help a Bedouin tribe in the village of Laqiya.

Coast of Maine Organic Products Inc. solved a waste-disposal problem when it created gourmet compost. Penobscot Blend is made of leftovers from Atlantic sal-mon, mussels, and blueberry industries. Next flavor? Sea urchin and sea cucumber.

Weightlifter Andrei Chemerkin of Russia set a world record in the clean-and-jerk by lifting 573 lbs. The US synchronized swimming team scored three perfect 10s during the technical round. And US cycling champion Rebecca Twigg quit the team.

THE DAY'S LIST

The Redneck Olympics

The Summer Redneck Games opened last weekend when a runner named "Elbow" carried a propane torch onto a racetrack and lit the official barbecue grill. The Games, held at a motor speedway in Dublin, Ga., are a spoof on Southern stereotypes. Closing ceremonies take place Aug. 4.

Contests include:

Big hair (won by a man)

Bottle throw at the stop sign

Watermelon seed spitting

Hub cap hurling

Bobbing for pig's feet

Armpit serenade

Mud pit belly flop

Shopping cart race

Bowling tournament

Speedway race

-- Associated Press

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