News In Brief

THE US

Rescue teams found no survivors from a White House support plane that crashed into a mountainside in the Grand Tetons. The C-130, which was carrying a secret service agent and eight crew members, reported mechanical difficulties shortly after takeoff from Jackson Hole, Wyo. The plane carrying transport vehicles used during the Clintons' vacation was bound for President Clinton's birthday party in New York City. Clinton was to arrive in New York yesterday afternoon.

Billionaire businessman Ross Perot was to deliver an acceptance speech last night after winning the Reform Party nomination. He received 65.2 percent of the vote to former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm's 34.8 percent. Only 49,266 ballots were cast - less than 5 percent of the 1.1 million mailed to party members.

Bob Dole is neck-and-neck with Clinton in the latest Newsweek poll, which was conducted as the GOP convention came to a close. Only two percent points separate the candidates, with Clinton taking 44 percent and Dole 42 percent. Perot trailed way behind with 3 percent. Some 56 percent polled who watched Dole's nomination speech said they now have a more favorable view of him. And 32 percent said they were more likely to vote for Dole because of his choice of running mate: Jack Kemp.

Hackers altered the Justice Department's Internet web site to include swastikas, obscene pictures, and criticism of the Communication Decency Act - a law regulating the transmission of sexually explicit material. Justice officials were not sure what statutes were violated, but possibilities included destruction or defacing of government property, and trespassing.

Two former Klansmen were indicted on federal civil rights charges for allegedly plotting to burn Macedonia Baptist Church, a black church in Bloomville, S.C., last year. Earlier, two other former Klansmen pleaded guilty to burning both that church and another in Greeleyville.

Clinton called Dole's $550 billion tax-cut plan an "indiscriminate" and reckless proposal likely to harm the economy. In his weekly radio address, Clinton said Dole's plan would wreck chances for a balanced budget and impose unacceptable cuts for Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the environment. He also said it would raise interest rates and place the economy at risk. Dole accused Clinton of running a "campaign of fear" and said the president would counter his own tax-cut plan by proposing his own.

Union negotiators for striking machinists at McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Hazelwood, Mo., walked out after four days of talks. They vowed not to return to the bargaining table until the company changes its position on job security. The company said it would not draft a contract guaranteeing jobs for any of the machinists, who have been on strike for 10 weeks.

Some 10 news organizations challenged a gag order imposed by the judge in civil trial of O.J. Simpson, saying it infringes upon First Amendment rights. Earlier, Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki barred public comments by any trial participants about "anything connected with this trial." Civil libertarians said they'd never seen such a sweeping gag order in a civil case.

The US prison population rose to nearly 1.6 million inmates in 1995, doubling the number of a decade ago, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice and Statistics said. The population increased 6.8 percent in the last year.

Judith Curren, the 35th person to have died in the presence of Jack Kevorkian, knew what she was doing, and her decision was not related to an assault charge against her husband, the doctor's lawyer said. Reporters are raising the charge against her husband in an effort to discredit Kevorkian, he said.

THE WORLD

Chechen rebels and negotiators for the Russian command were set to meet again to try to halt fighting in Grozny. The capital was quiet after both sides' agreed to keep their troops within "zones of responsibility." The local Russian commander is insisting the rebels leave Grozny, and has refused to halt the artillery and air bombardment. Also, Russian security chief Alexander Lebed challenged President Yeltsin to choose between him and his rival, Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov. Lebed said Kulikov should be fired for mishandling the Chechnya conflict.

Voters in Christian Mount Lebanon turned out for the first of five parliamentary rounds. Despite Christian minority calls for a boycott, voter turnout appeared high. The region is expected to provide the hottest contest between pro-Syrian government candidates and the Christian opposition, but the outcome is unlikely to change parliament's pro-Syrian makeup.

NATO's planned destruction of a secret Bosnian Serb ammunition dump is a provocation that could undermine the Dayton accord, Serb television said. A NATO spokesman dismissed the threat as "a bit of face-saving bluster." NATO plans to destroy at least 300 tons of ammunition, found in the village of Margetici, later this week.

A coalition of 11 Jordanian opposition parties called for the removal of the government, saying they held it responsible for provoking riots that have shaken the country since Friday. Riots erupted when the government tripled the price of bread as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Also, the Army imposed a curfew on the town of Karak.

Some 10,000 South Korean police surrounded 1,000 students at a Seoul university. The students, trapped inside a science building, have refused to turn themselves in without a guarantee of immunity. Police hold them responsible for last week's violent rallies calling for reunification with North Korea. And President Kim Young-sam's clemency order for several convicted former officials could signal an amnesty for two ex-presidents now on trial for mutiny and treason, analysts said. Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae-woo are to be sentenced this week.

Exiled Chinese dissident Han Dongfang says all dissidents should flee Hong Kong before it reverts to China next year. While Han plans to remain to continue his work, some of the 80 exiled dissidents still in Hong Kong said they fear further persecution and imprisonment if they stay beyond the handover.

More than 700 of Mexico's top police officers were fired in an effort to stamp out corruption and restore public confidence, Attorney General Atonio Lozano Gracia said. The firings, which accounted for 17 percent of the force, were by no means the last, Lozano said.

Burundian troops killed more than 200 Hutu civilians, including women and children, in two separate incidents since a July 25 coup, foreign aid workers said. New ruler Pierre Buyoya claimed he took power to put an end to such ethnic violence.

Sinn Fein member Jimmy Smyth was returned to Britain 13 years after escaping from a Northern Ireland jail. The US extradited Smyth after final appeals failed in his four-year fight to avoid returning home. He was serving a sentence for attempted murder.

Seven Russian airmen who escaped after more than a year's captivity headed home. The men, who were captured by opposition Taleban militia, escaped Friday in their plane after overpowering their guards.

ETCETERA

"You are never going to build a great political party in the shadow of one person."

-- Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm, on Reform Party founder Ross Perot. Perot defeated Lamm for the Reform Party nomination.

A female gorilla came to the rescue of a toddler who fell 18 feet into a primate exhibit at the Brookfield, Ill., zoo. Carrying her own baby on her back, Binti Jua cradled the little boy in her arms and brought him to the zookeepers. The toddler's condition is improving.

Gold coins went spilling onto the street when Egyptian workmen hit an unexpected treasure trove while demolishing a house in Do-meira. Authorities recovered 107 of the coins, which newspapers report date back to AD 390 to 640 - when the Byzantines ruled Cairo.

Campaign redux? President Clinton is following his winning formula of four years ago, publishing a new book during an election year. His book "Biography of Hope" hits bookstores this week. It is being billed as a philosophical work rather than a political treatise.

A heavyweight is leaving the literary business: Big Boy is bowing out of comic books. The chubby mascot of the Big Boy restaurant chain has been starring in his own line of comics since 1958. The chain plans to stop distributing them next month.

THE DAY'S LIST

How Much Is That Diploma Really Worth?

The top 12 US colleges from Money magazine's top 100, based on an analysis of cost and academic quality. Harvard ranked 70; Stanford was 77.

1. California Institute of Technology

2. New College of the University of South Florida

3. Rice University (Texas)

4. Truman State University (Missouri)

5. College of New Jersey

6. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

7. Spelman College (Georgia)

8. University of Texas-Austin

9. State University of New York at Binghamton

10. St. Mary's College of Maryland

11. Hanover College (Indiana)

12. Grove City College (Pennsylvania)

- Associated Press

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