News In Brief

By , Suman Bandrapalli, and Sally Steindorf

THE US

Bob Dole was set to give his acceptance speech after GOP delegates formally chose him to face off against President Clinton in November. New polls show Dole has cut Clinton's lead in half, pulling within 10 points of the president. Also, Jack Kemp was selected as Dole's running mate by voice acclamation

The Army got the go-ahead to burn chemical weapons at an incinerator south of Salt Lake City. A federal judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction sought by environmental groups that claim the burning could harm the public. The judge cited Army research, which suggests it is safer to burn the chemicals than to store them in aging containers. The Utah site is the largest of eight stockpiles around the country. About half the nation's obsolete chemical weapons are scheduled to be burned.

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A Delta jet lost power in one of its three engines and had to make an emergency landing at New York's Kennedy Airport. A nearby resident said a "sizzling" piece of a plane's engine hit his house. Delta says the piece could not have come from its plane. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

A judge will allow key evidence to be used in the Oklahoma City bombing case. The judge ruled that investigators did nothing illegal when seizing physical evidence against codefendants Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. But the prosecution suffered a setback when the judge ruled that Nichols's statements can't be used against McVeigh. The decision could lead to separate trials for the two.

Two former Ku Klux Klansmen pleaded guilty to burning two black churches in South Carolina. Gary Cox and Timothy Welch admitted to burning the Mount Zion AME Church in Greeleyville and the Macedonia Baptist Church in Bloomville last June. They face up to 55 years in prison. It is not clear if there was a wider Klan conspiracy.

Honda could face US fines for not reporting potentially faulty seat belts to the government as required by law, USA Today reports. The Justice Department will be asked to seek civil penalties against Honda. The allegations arise from last year's recall of almost 9 million vehicles, sold by Honda and others, with belts made by a Japanese supplier.

Investigators are focusing on rows 17 to 28 of TWA Flight 800, a source said. "Some kind of event" apparently took place in those rows, destroying the plane minutes after it left Kennedy Airport in New York. Investigators speculate that a bomb may have been placed on a food cart or in carry-on luggage.

James McDougal, Clinton's convicted Whitewater partner, is cooperating with prosecutors, ABC's "Nightline" and the Los Angeles Times reported. McDougal began talking with independent counsel Kenneth Starr about three weeks ago. McDougal, along with his ex-wife Susan and former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, was convicted of conspiring to arrange fraudulent loans.

Firefighters from as far away as New England and Alaska are being called to help battle Western wildfires that have scorched more than 450,000 acres in the past week. One of the largest fires, in Warm Springs, Ore., tripled in size yesterday, destroying five homes.

CIA director John Deutch told friends he wants to step down from his post at the end of the year, The Washington Post reported. Deutch's friends say he may want a new job - as Defense Secretary William Perry's replacement. A CIA spokesman says there are no indications that Deutch wants to leave.

Churches risk losing their tax-exempt status if they hand out Christian Coalition voter guides, a lobbying group warned. The warning, from People for the American Way, comes after the Federal Election Commission filed suit against the Coalition, claiming its guides improperly promote Republicans. Coalition leader Ralph Reed says the warning won't stop churches from distributing the guides.

Industrial production was up just 0.1 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said. Some analysts see it as evidence the economy is slowing without any help from higher interest rates.

THE WORLD

Russian President Boris Yeltsin named a new Cabinet drawn mainly from members of his previous team. Alexander Livshits, Yeltsin's top economic aide, replaced the much-criticized Vladimir Panskov as finance minister. Vladimir Potanin was named first deputy prime minister in charge of the economy. Yeltsin retained his foreign, defense, and interior ministers and enlarged the powers of his security chief, Alexander Lebed, to deal with the Chechen conflict.

Disarmament negotiators in Geneva informally agreed there was "no consensus" on the text of a global nuclear test-ban treaty that was blocked by India. Indian Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda defended New Delhi's decision in an address marking the 50th anniversary of the end of British colonial rule. Western diplomats may defy the general UN practice of seeking consensus and put the text up for signing at the UN, analysts said.

For the first time in four years, Bosnia's Sarajevo airport opened for commercial flights with the landing of an Air Bosnia plane from Istanbul. It's "the newest symbol of this city's reintegration with the world," said US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who presided over the ceremony. Earlier, Balkan leaders agreed to protect voters' rights in Bosnia's fall elections. And Croatia agreed to dismantle a Bosnian Croat mini-state and merge it with the Muslim-Croat federation.

Two Rwandans were indicted on charges of committing genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Col. Theoneste Bagosora and Andre Ntagerura, now detained in Cameroon, will be transferred to Arusha, Tanzania, where the tribunal is sitting. The indictments bring to 12 the number of former officials charged with the 1994 massacre of up to 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Nigeria's military leader Gen. Sani Abacha replaced all 30 state administrators in the biggest shakeup of state-level administration since he came to power in 1993.

Turkey's Islamic government said it will go ahead with a $23 billion gas deal with Iran, despite US pressure to scrap the deal. "There is no alternative solution," Turkish Energy Minister Recai Kutan said. Ankara has also asked the UN Security Council for permission to buy Iraqi oil and sell foodstuffs and medicine to Baghdad outside the May 20 oil-for-food deal.

Gambia's military ruler Yahya Jammeh lifted a two-year-old ban on party politics. The move paves the way for the parties to participate in presidential elections next month.

Israel's defense minister will meet soon with Palestinian leader Arafat to discuss Israel's long-delayed troop redeployment in the West Bank town of Hebron, Israel radio said. Also, the US wants Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to "clarify" a statement by the head of his Likud Party that Israel plans a big expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat says any such expansion would violate interim peace accords.

For the second day, South Korean riot police stormed a Seoul campus and rained tear gas on about 6,000 students rallying for reunification with North Korea. Such rallies are banned because they are considered pro-North Korea.

Burundi's new military leader Pierre Buyoya said his government would remain in power for three years. Buyoya, who was named president after a July 25 coup, has defied international pressure to return his country to constitutional rule.

ETCETRAS

"Others may offer you sound bites and showmanship, but Bob Dole offers you leadership." -- Arizona Sen. John McCain, in his speech nominating Dole as the Republican presidential candidate.

In Rome, even the garbage collectors have to look good: The president of the garbage collecting company has asked leading fashion houses to design stylish uniforms for trash collectors and street sweepers to replace their drab green overalls. So far, most of the designers have turned up their noses at the work.

Female musicians will soon join the ranks of the Vienna Philharmonic, one of Austria's last male strongholds. The reason? There aren't enough qualified men to keep the orchestra going. Women make up almost two-thirds of the country's music school students.

GIs will almost be gourmet diners with their new MRE's - Meals Ready to Eat - unveiled at an Atlanta food convention. Beef teriyaki and Jamaican pork chops are replacing chipped beef and powdered eggs. The new chow comes complete with a flameless chemical heater and tobasco sauce. The military is hoping the GIs won't think of the MRE's as Meals Rejected by Everyone.

THE DAY'S LIST

Songs That Rocked Around the World

The top 10 singles of all time, the performers who made them famous, and worldwide sales:

1. "White Christmas," Bing Crosby 30 million

2. "Rock Around the Clock," Bill Haley & His Comets 17

3. "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles 12

4. "It's Now or Never," Elvis Presley 10

4. "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston 10

6. "Hound Dog/ Don't Be Cruel," Elvis Presley 9

6. "Diana," Paul Anka 9

8. "Hey Jude," The Beatles 8

8. "I'm a Believer," The Monkees 8

10. "Can't Buy Me Love," The Beatles 7

10. "Do They Know It's Christmas," Band Aid 7

10. "We Are the World," USA for Africa 7

-- "The Top 10 of Everything," by Russell Ash, published by Dorling Kindersley

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