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News In Brief

By CompiledCynthia Hanson and Yvonne Zipp / September 20, 1996



THE US

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President Clinton is shelving a Bush administration goal to have a man on Mars by 2019. A revised policy instead commits NASA to putting a robot on the red planet by 2000. The new plan emphasizes making the space program more efficient by developing cheaper technologies, transferring some activities to the private sector, and consolidating programs.

The House was to vote on overriding Clinton's veto of a bill that would ban certain late-term abortions. The bill is the first to ban a specific type of abortion since the Supreme Court legalized most abortions in 1973. The bill passed the House with a veto-proof margin, but the Senate vote fell short of what's needed for an override. Also, House and Senate negotiators agreed on legislation requiring insurance companies to pay for at least 48-hour hospital stays for mothers giving birth. And Congress finished work on a $12.6 billion transportation bill, the sixth of 13 spending bills that have to be completed before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The 16,000 US troops stationed in Bosnia should be able to come home on time in December, Defense Secretary William Perry said. But Secretary of State Warren Christopher didn't rule out the possibility of future missions to the Balkans. "We'll need to have some kind of follow-on presence" in Bosnia to pursue economic and political development, he said.

The number of abused and neglected children jumped to nearly 3 million in 1993 a new Health and Human Services study found. That's a 98 percent increase from 1986, when the last report was published. The rise was so steep that increased awareness of the problem can't fully account for it, HHS said.

The House Government Reform Committee formally accused Clinton of misusing his power in the 1993 firing of the White House travel office staff. The report charges that aides engaged in a "colossal damage-control effort" to cover up the roles of the president and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the affair. Democrats boycotted the vote.

Federal investigators are tapping foreign intelligence agencies to see if foreign terrorists were involved in the downing of TWA Flight 800, a source close to the case said. Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Israel are among the countries that have been contacted in regard to the crash.

A grinning Shannon Lucid (above) hugged Atlantis crew members when the space shuttle docked with the Russian space station Mir. She is now officially a member of the Atlantis crew, and a special seat was installed to ease her trip back to Earth's gravity. Over the next few days, astronauts and cosmonauts will transfer more than three tons of supplies - the biggest space cargo exchange ever.

The FDA said it will approve RU-486, the abortion pill, as soon as it receives more information about how it would be manufactured and labeled. The drug will be available by the middle or end of next year, a spokeswoman for the Population Council, which holds US rights to the drug, said.

The right man for the job may be a woman. A new study suggests women managers outperform men across the boards - from meeting deadlines to coming up with new ideas. The Foundation for Future Leadership study found that women managers scored higher than their male counterparts in 28 out of 31 skills evaluated, although the differences in scoring were small.

Five years after it hung up its wings, Pan Am is taking to the sky again. The Transportation Department gave the new Pan Am approval to begin operations, but it's not clear how soon service will begin. The old airline, which was the first to fly around the world, folded in 1991.

Construction on new homes and apartments jumped in August to the highest level in 2-1/2 years, the Commerce Department said. The building rate increased 4.5 percent - well above what analysts predicted.

Climate changes are threatening millions of migratory birds, the World Wildlife Fund reported. Coastal flooding, shifts in the change of seasons, and drier weather caused by global warming are robbing birds of habitat and food.

THE WORLD

The hunt continued for more infiltrators after South Korean troops shot and killed eight North Korean communists in a mountainous area near the coast. Some 18 infiltrators have been killed - 11 apparently in a suicide pact - and one captured since their damaged submarine ran aground, the Defense Ministry said. It was not known how many North Koreans were on the submarine.

Turkey endorsed Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani's de facto control of northern Iraq after he met with Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller. Also, more troops began arriving from Fort Hood, Texas, for war games in Kuwait. The US beefed up its forces in Saudi Arabia with several Patriot antimissile batteries.