News In Brief


Top Movies in the US and Canada by Per-Location Revenue, Aug. 16 to 18

Per-location revenue gauges movie popularity by community response to a film. Movie titles are followed by per-location revenue, number of locations, and weeks in release.

1. "Emma;" $6,028; 419 locations; three weeks

2. "Tin Cup;" $5,034; 2,012 locations; one week

3. "Jack;" $3,970; 2,172 locations; two weeks

4. "A Time to Kill;" $3,512; 2,313 locations; four weeks

5. "The Fan;" $3,111; 2,016 locations; one week

6. "Lone Star;" $2,888; 182 locations; nine weeks

7. "Trainspotting;" $2,820; 357 locations; five weeks

8. "Independence Day;" $2,575; 2,257 locations; seven weeks

9. "Alaska;" $1,861; 1,566 locations; one week

10. "Escape from LA;" $1,837; 2,312 locations; two weeks

- Exhibitor Relations/AP


President Clinton was to sign a bill that would make health insurance a little easier to keep. The bipartisan legislation lets workers keep their insurance even if they change or lose their jobs. The bill is the second of three high-profile ceremonies for the president as he gets ready for next week's Democratic convention in Chicago. Earlier, he approved the first minimum-wage increase in five years, raising the minimum wage 90 cents an hour over 13 months. And tomorrow he plans to sign the welfare-reform bill. Also, Clinton is likely next week to propose tax breaks for businesses that hire people off the welfare rolls, aides said.

Arizona and Kansas joined the list of states that are suing the tobacco industry. The states are charging that manufacturers lied about the nature of tobacco and manipulated nicotine levels in cigarettes. Arizona's state attorney general said the state will be seeking $500 million in damages, but no figure was named in the suit. About a dozen states have already sued, and a dozen more are getting ready to do so. They're seeking to recover smoking-related health costs.

Republican candidate Bob Dole pounced on a new report showing teenage drug use rose 78 percent from 1992 to 1995. His allies blasted Clinton for a lack of leadership on the issue. The White House countered, saying rising drug use by teens was a bipartisan issue that shouldn't be used to score political points. Earlier, Dole, in a speech to a VFW convention in Kentucky, accused the Clinton administration of undermining the military by keeping pay low and refusing to modernize.

Memorial services were to be held in Texas and Wyoming for the nine victims of the crash of an Air Force cargo plane. Investigators say there's no evidence of sabotage or mechanical problems in the crash of the presidential support plane. The Pentagon confirmed that the C-130, which crashed shortly after takeoff near Jackson Hole, Wyo., last week, didn't have a ground proximity warning system.

School enrollment is expected to eclipse the 1971 record this fall, and 33 states - mostly in the West and Southeast - are expected to bear the brunt. California is expected to experience the largest student growth: 1 million more in the next decade. Other states likely to be impacted include Texas, Washington, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, and New Jersey.

Whitewater prosecutors say they had no sentencing deal with Susan McDougal, countering allegations by her lawyer that she was sentenced to two years in prison because she refused to implicate the Clintons of wrongdoing. The president's former business partner was convicted on loan-fraud charges. Her ex-husband is cooperating with prosecutors.

Federal Reserve policy-makers left interest rates unchanged, as expected. Many analysts believe the Fed will continue to hold rates steady at least until the Nov. 5 election.

The Army is to begin the controversial destruction of chemical weapons today at a Utah incinerator. The move comes a week after a federal judge refused to grant environmentalists' request for a preliminary injunction to stop the destruction. Also, workers in Dayton,Ohio, began digging up small germ warfare bombs that were buried after a 1950s testing program. The bombs were discovered in November during the construction of a sewer line.

Firefighters are making progress on a wildfire that has blackened at least 70,000 acres in California's San Luis Obispo County and have contained Oregon's biggest blaze on the Warm Springs Reservation. Earlier, the Army and National Guard were called in to help with a fire that burned about 81,000 acres in northern California. At least 4.3 million acres have burned across the West so far this summer.

A Texas woman committed suicide in the presence of Jack Kevorkian in Pontiac, Mich. Dr. Kevorkian, who has been acquitted three times on assisted suicide charges, has acknowledged attending 36 suicides since 1990.


Russian troops bombarded Grozny, Chechnya's capital, in a bid to retake the city from separatists. Thousands of civilians, such as the little girl and her mother, hurriedly fled the city. It was unclear if the Kremlin endorsed the attack. Russian security chief Alexander Lebed, who was given extensive powers by President Yeltsin to find a solution to the conflict, was expected in Chechnya. Lebed criticized plans for an all-out assault proposed by the Russian commander in the region, Gen. Konstantin Pulikovski. Analysts say the situation is a crucial test of Lebed's power.

Western disarmament negotiators in Geneva mulled over various options to present a nuclear test-ban treaty to the UN General Assembly for signing in September. A consensus document at the Conference on Disarmament was foiled by India's veto. Meanwhile, New Delhi said it does not expect any economic sanctions for its defiant stand and will continue to oppose the treaty in its present form.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused his predecessor Shimon Peres of "interfering" in the peace process by meeting with Arab leaders. Peres will meet this week with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and is also planning to visit Morocco. Observers say the dispute reflects Netanyahu's sensitivity over Peres's international prestige. Netanyahu has avoided meeting Arafat since his election.

Burma's military government sentenced 11 dissidents to seven-year prison terms on undisclosed charges, sources close to pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said. The 11 dissidents were among more than 250 arrested in May as part of a military crackdown.

NATO is mulling whether to destroy some 2,600 tons of Bosnian Serb munitions spread over at least 10 different locations. The weapons were disclosed belatedly by Bosnian Serbs. NATO abandoned destruction of weapons at Sokolac after complaints about damage to the underground aquifer, which supplies water to the Bosnian town.

China cancelled a high-level mission to Ukraine in retaliation for a visit to Kiev by Taiwan's Vice President Lien Chan. Beijing said it did not want its delegation to be in the Ukraine at the same time as Lien, who is now in Kiev to accept an honorary doctorate. Also, Kiev vehemently denied a report that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma met Lien.

Burundi's military ruler, Maj. Pierre Buyoya, replaced his Army chief, Col. Jean Bikomagu, who has been implicated by a UN report in the murder of President Melchoir Ndadaye. Analysts say the dismissal is an attempt to appease international opinion, which has been uniformly opposed to Buyoya's July 25 coup.

Former Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr is set to testify today in a German court that a 1992 killing of three Kurd opposition leaders was backed by Iran. Tehran denies it was behind the Berlin murders. Banisadr's testimony looks to be the high point of the 33-month trial that has been full of cloak-and-dagger revelations.

Thousands of legal and illegal aliens formed long lines at Spanish police stations to beat tomorrow's immigration deadline. The plan allows immigrants who have temporary residence or work permits to remain in the country. It applies only to legal residents who arrived before Jan. 1. But, lured by the false promises of middlemen, hundreds of North Africans arrived on Spain's southern coast in makeshift boats, witnesses said.

Wildlife officers and volunteers saved 186 of 200 pilot whales that were stranded on Australia's rocky southwest coast near Perth.


"This is a bipartisan issue. These are all ... our children."

-- Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala on escalating drug use by teenagers.

The curtain is going up - after a 383-year intermission. William Shakespeare's open-air Globe Theater, which burned down in 1613, was to open yesterday with "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." Plywood and scaffolding will act as a backdrop while a $45 million reconstruction continues: Plans for the completed site include a museum, education center, and a second indoor theater.

San Antonio, Texas, resident Jennifer Conton's engagement gift turned out to have more than just sentimental value. Appraisers told Conton the porcelain flute her fiance found in China was probably made during the Ming dynasty and could be worth as much as $150,000.

Big Boy has gone to Los Angeles to petition for his star on the Walk of Fame - at least that's how Big Boy Restaurants International officials explained the disapperance of 60 Big Boy statues nationwide. They are keeping mum on the mascots' whereabouts but said they weren't hurt or stolen. Some speculate the company may be attempting to replace its famous mascot.

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