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News In Brief

By CompiledLance CardenRobert Kilborn, and Yvonne Zipp / October 23, 1996



THE US

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Four new polls gave President Clinton a commanding lead of 15 to 24 percentage points over GOP challenger Bob Dole. An ABC News survey found 53 percent of the electorate favoring Clinton, 38 percent Dole. A Harris poll had the president leading 54 to 36 percent. A CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll put the figures at 55 and 34 percent. And a CBS-Times survey found 58 percent favoring Clinton, 34 percent Dole.

The president called for the expansion of NATO by making a number of former Soviet bloc nations NATO members by 1999. The call came during a speech in Detroit. Dole accused Clinton of "foot-dragging," on NATO expansion. He said some nations should be added by 1998.

Dole was campaigning in Michigan at the end of a scheduled two-day bus tour. He touted his economic plan and made passing references to ethical lapses in the White House and in Democratic fund-raising.

Nazi leaders hoped their massive transfer of funds and documents into Switzerland toward the end of WWII would help preserve the Nazi movement, a newly released document indicated. The two-page memo from the Office of Strategic Services, precursor to the CIA, is dated May 9, 1945. It was released by the World Jewish Congress.

Damage from multiple wildfires in southern California continued to rise. More than 90 homes have been damaged or destroyed and more than 18,000 acres scorched. Fires have been whipped by winds gusting to 70 miles an hour. Malibu and Carlsbad were among towns suffering the most damage.

States of emergency remained in effect for parts of Maine, Massachusetts, and all of New Hampshire after a storm dumped 18 inches of rain in some areas. It damaged roads and bridges, caused much flooding, and left more than 1,000 people without drinking water.

US clothing companies are responding to pressure to reduce child labor in foreign plants, Labor Secretary Robert Reich said. He stressed the need for further progress after US officials visited US plants in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and the Philippines. A Labor Department poll of 48 large US apparel importers found 36 had adopted relevant codes of conduct. Three did not reply.

Opening statements are to begin today in Santa Monica, Calif., in the wrongful death lawsuit against O.J. Simpson. Eight alternates were sworn in to back up 12 jurors already seated. A year ago in criminal court, Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. But Simpson could be forced to pay damages if found responsible for the murders in civil court.

Computer price scanners at checkout counters are mostly accurate and mistakes tend to favor consumers, the Federal Trade Commission said. After purchases at 294 food, discount, home, drug, and department stores, inspectors found they were overcharged 2.24 percent of the time and undercharged 2.58 percent of the time.

The Social Security Administration should do more to help disabled people return to work, a congressional report said. The General Accounting Office estimated $3 billion could be saved if 1 percent of 6.6 million working-age people receiving disability benefits returned to work. A Social Security spokeswoman agreed with the general conclusions of the study.

A start-up company announced a computer chip more than twice as fast as current chips. Exponential Technology said it will offer the new chip, which runs Macintosh software at up to 533 megahertz, in volume next spring. Macs would have to be changed to accommodate the new chip.

THE WORLD

Municipal elections in Bosnia will be postponed again because they cannot be held fairly, senior Western officials said. Balloting for local councils had been rescheduled from September to Nov. 23-24 after ethnic factions in key towns inflated voter rolls with the names of their supporters. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which organizes the voting, said it will likely be scheduled for next May.

Special US envoy Dennis Ross changed his mind and remained in Jerusalem in hopes of prodding Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to reach a settlement on withdrawing Israeli troops from the tense West Bank city of Hebron. Ross had threatened to return home if the two parties did not try harder to complete a deal on the redeployment. As talks continued, however, two Palestinians died in separate flareups of violence in the West Bank.