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News In Brief

By CompiledRobert Kilborn and Lance Carden / November 18, 1996



THE US

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The US continued its plans to send US troops to Zaire, despite the return of Hutu refugees to Rwanda, Defense Secretary William Perry said. He welcomed news of the refugees' exodus from Zaire, but said they would still need humanitarian support. The US agreed in principle last week to send 1,000 troops to Zaire and several thousand support personnel to neighboring countries.

President Clinton arrived in Honolulu for a weekend of relaxation before continuing east to visit Australia and Thailand and attend an Asia-Pacific economic summit in the Philippines. The president had to forego a scheduled round of golf because of torrential rains that brought flooding and mudslides to Hawaii.

The president's foreign policy drew criticism from some members of Congress. For instance, Sen. Dan Coats (R) of Indiana attacked the extension of the US military mission in Bosnia and said it may be premature to send troops to Zaire. He reminded Clinton of an unkept promise to pull US troops out of Bosnia within one year.

A member of a wealthy Indonesian family at the center of a Democratic Party fund-raising controversy has visited the White House 20 times, presidential aides said. The disclosure of James Riady's visits came after Clinton told a newspaper that the Democratic National Committee erred in sending fund-raiser John Huang to Taiwan to raise money. On six of his White House visits, Riady met with the president, security records show.

Former White House aide Mark Middleton issued a statement denying any wrongdoing. The Wall Street Journal said Friday that Middleton had entertained clients in the White House staff restaurant after leaving the government in February 1995 to set up a consulting business.

Texaco agreed to a $176.1 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by six black employees in 1994. Planned weekend demonstrations against the company's racial policies turned into celebrations in Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York after the announcement. It was reportedly the largest racial discrimination settlement ever by a US corporation.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing will compete for a $219 billion contract to build almost 3,000 jet fighters between 2005 and 2030, the Pentagon said. The announcement eliminated McDonnell Douglas from the competition. The Pentagon hopes to save money by developing a single fighter for the three armed services. Critics say that by 2005, the US will have upwards of 3,000 fighters with the latest technology - or more than the air forces of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq combined.

The Army said four of the 10 noncommissioned officers under investigation for sexual misconduct at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., had been charged with violating a ban on personal relationships with trainees. One instructor at the base had admitted earlier to having sex with three trainees and was sentenced to five months in prison.

The US dropped spying charges against former Russian KGB agent Vladimir Galkin. Russia had threatened to retaliate against CIA agents on its soil, saying the US had broken "unwritten rules" of espionage by giving a former spy a visa, then arresting him when he arrived in the US.

Output of US factories fell in October for the first time in seven months, the Federal Reserve said. A spokesman blamed the 0.5 percent decline to a ripple effect from recent strikes against General Motors.

Jury selection for the first trial stemming from the Oklahoma City bombing was set to begin March 31, nearly two years after the incident. The trial of Timothy McVeigh is expected to take up to six months.

Alger Hiss, who helped lay the groundwork for the United Nations and saw his career destroyed by charges he was a Communist spy, died in New York. The scandal that sent Hiss to prison for perjury helped to propel Richard Nixon to higher office.

THE WORLD

The UN put the number of refugees streaming home to Rwanda at 300,000 and growing. Officials called the exodus from Zaire a vital step in easing the humanitarian crisis in central Africa. At the same time, aid workers warned that more than a half-million refugees remain cut off from food supplies in the hills of eastern Zaire. Meanwhile, the first Canadian troops who will lead the international force in the region set up headquarters in Rwanda's capital, Kigali.

NATO officials planned to call today for a longer mandate to keep peacekeeping troops in Bosnia. The international force now in place would be shrunk by about half, to 30,000 troops. The current mandate expires Dec. 20. The US signalled its willingness to participate in an extended Bosnian mission last week.