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News In Brief

By CompiledYvonne ZippSuman Bandrapalli, and Sally Steindorf / August 16, 1996


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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.

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.


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.