News In Brief

THE US

President Clinton was to give his acceptance speech after Democrats in Chicago formally approved him as their candidate in the fall election. Clinton is trying to become the first Democratic president to win reelection since President Franklin Roosevelt 52 years ago. He was expected to announce a proposal for a capital gains tax cut for homeowners. Earlier, he unveiled a proposal for $1.9 billion in spending to clean up toxic waste sites.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is in Libya to accept a $250,000 prize the US says he can't have. The US Treasury Department also forbade Farrakhan from accepting $1 billion from Libya to help US blacks economically and politically. The US charges Libya with sponsoring international terrorism. Farrakhan said he would fight Washington's decision to deny him the money.

The Marines may be called in to help combat Western wildfires that have burned almost 5 million acres across the US this summer, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said. Meanwhile, a lobbyist for the timber industry blames "environmental extremism" for the wildfires and is asking the government to allow speeded-up logging in national forests to remove dead and dying trees. Environmentalists say the industry is trying to use the fires as a wedge for more logging on public land.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is drawing up a plan to have bomb-sniffing dogs at airports, The Washington Post reports. The dogs would cost an estimated $8,500 each to buy and train - much less than the up to $1 million for each of the explosive-detection devices also being considered. Plus, the dogs would be on the job much sooner than the machines, which could take years to install.

Dick Morris, the Republican political consultant who reshaped President Clinton's reelection campaign, has resigned, MS-NBC News reported Thursday. Morris drew the ire of liberal Clinton aides for repositioning the president in the political center. There was no immediate comment from the White House.

Boeing has orders from Asian carriers for more than 30 of its new, longer 747 jets - an estimated value of $5.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. And orders could grow to 50 planes by Monday, when Boeing launches the new models at Britain's Farnborough Air Show, company executives said. Also, Boeing recently said it was adding 5,000 workers to expand production of its 777 jet.

About 41 percent of agencies that provide federal meal programs to the elderly have been forced to put people on waiting lists, a Health and Human Services survey found. The programs feed 3.2 million people, but have been unable to keep up with growing demand.

The National Cable Television Association formally protested new Federal Communications Commission rules to the US Court of Appeals. The association says the new rules, which govern deregulation of phone and cable TV industries, are arbitrary and capricious. Also, GTE Corp. and Southern New England Telephone Company asked the FCC to halt enforcement of the rules until a court reviews them. The companies stopped short of going to court, but said that was a next step.

The economy grew at its fastest rate in two years during the second quarter, the Commerce Department announced. The gross domestic product expanded at a 4.8 percent annual rate. Also, new-home sales jumped 7.9 percent - the highest rate in five months.

A federal judge ruled that Vincent "The Chin" Gigante is competent to stand trial. Gigante, reputed head of the nation's most powerful Mafia family, will be arraigned in New York Sept. 6. on charges that include six murders. Prosecutors say his reputation for walking the streets in pajamas and mumbling was a ploy to avoid prosecution.

THE WORLD

Palestinians staged a general strike in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem to protest the planned expansion of Jewish settlements. Mideast experts likened the action, observed by nearly all 2 million Palestinians in the area, to protests during the 1987-93 intifadah or Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, Israeli Army radio revealed new plans for the construction of at least 2,000 new apartments in settlements around Jerusalem.

France deported 88 illegal African immigrants in two specially chartered planes to their countries of origin. It was the biggest expulsion yet in the government's recent crackdown on illegal immigrants. Earlier, thousands of protesters in Paris and Marseilles demanded a repeal of the expulsion orders and called for a review of the government's immigration policy, an issue that has divided the French.

A Russian plane carrying 141 people crashed on the ice-bound Arctic Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. Cloudy weather hampered rescue crews, who found no survivors from the aging Tupelov 154 plane, which was transporting coal miners from Moscow to the island. It was the latest in a series of deadly accidents that have plagued Russian airliners in recent years.

Militant Northern Ireland Loyalist Billy Wright said he would defy a leave-or-die order from his own movement. Dubbed "King Rat" for allegedly killing Catholics and IRA supporters, Wright's Ulster Volunteer Force colleagues gave him 72 hours to leave Northern Ireland or face "summary justice."

The pullout of Russian troops and separatist fighters from the Chechen capital Grozny is on track and continuing smoothly, Russian news agencies reported. In line with cease-fire accords reached last week, about 2,000 Russian soldiers and 1,900 rebels have left Grozny. Security chief Alexander Lebed, who negotiated the truce, has planned another trip to Grozny today, aides said.

Thousands of farmers protested falling beef prices by blockading roads across France and checking trucks suspected of importing non-EU beef, following Britain's mad cow crisis. Also, the European Commission said it would study scientific reports saying the mad cow crisis would die out by 2001, but doubted the finding would change an agreed slaughter campaign that would kill 147,000 cattle.

NATO troops detained about 50 Bosnian Serbs, many of them policemen, after gunmen fired on Bosnian Muslim refugees in the northeastern village of Mahala. The refugees had recently returned home to rebuild their destroyed community. No casualties were reported, but some Muslims were beaten by club-wielding Serbs, UN police monitors said.

Hutu peasants accused Burundi's Tutsi-dominated Army of massacring about 70 civilians in the village of Maramvya, located about 12 miles from the capital. The troops were apparently trying to root out Hutu rebels.

Suspected guerrillas attacked Mexican security forces, killing at least 12 people and wounding 21 others, government officials said. The heavily-armed guerrillas launched simultaneous attacks on security units at a number of sites in Guerrero and Oaxaca states. No one claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Judges in Jakarta began the hearing of a lawsuit filed by Indonesian pro-democracy leader Megawati, after two weeks of delays failed to lead to an out-of-court settlement. Megawati filed the $21.1 billion suit against the government, military, and party rivals, saying her ouster from the Indonesian Democratic Party leadership at a rebel party congress in June was illegal. The case was adjourned until Sept. 5.

ETCETERAS

"We would like to go home soon. They [rebels] want to go home as well."

-- Sergei Gorkhovy, a Russian soldier, as Russian troops and Chechen rebels started withdrawing from Grozny, Chechnya's capital.

If you build it, they will come. At least, that's what folks on Prince Edward Island hope. An eight-mile bridge is under construction to boost tourism and connect Canada's smallest province with the mainland. It is set to open next June - just in time for tourist season.

Revelers in Bunol, Spain, painted the town red during the annual tomato fight. Some 20,000 people hurled about 132 tons of the fruit trucked in for the occasion. Bunol's town historian says the Tomatina became a tradition more than 50 years ago when townfolk rejected bull fights as cruel, and needed a festival to replace them.

Just how dependable is a Maytag washing machine? In December 1992, Wisconsin appliance dealer Bob Leibold rigged one up to run continuously, and invited customers to guess how long the washer would keep on washing. Nearly four years later, the Maytag finally wore out. Leibold figures that's about 193 years of regular use. Customer Dwight Hull guessed the correct day and is getting a brand new Maytag.

THE DAY'S LIST

Smart Career Choices

In today's work environment, number crunchers have taken a back seat to the creative and computer-savvy. Here are five careers to get into and five to dump, from POV magazine.

Hot

Computer animation

On-line content producer

Mutual fund manager

Industrial environmentalist

Management consultant

Not

Accounting

Bank teller

Government bureaucrat

Real estate agent

College professor

-- Associated Press

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