News In Brief

The US

President Clinton planned to unveil two proposals to help foster more volunteering in the US. He wants another 50,000 scholarships for AmeriCorps workers over the next five years by spending less per participant in his national program. Corporations would help to pay the difference. And he wants $20 million in federal grants for a program where students could work as police officers for four years in exchange for college tuition.

A militant separatist group holed up in a west Texas mountain compound swapped two hostages for its chief of security, who was arrested earlier on weapons charges. FBI agents are camped outside the site where the self-styled Republic of Texas is holed up. The group is demanding a referendum to allow the state's citizens to vote on being an independent nation.

More than two-thirds of Grand Forks, N.D., was opened to evacuees who wanted to assess damage. And banks, grocery stores, motels, and a bridge between the town and neighboring East Grand Forks, Minn., opened. The Red River has fallen six feet since cresting in the town more than a week ago, and the crest has moved into Canada.

States can bar political candidates from appearing on an election ballot under more than one party banner, the US Supreme Court ruled. The decision was seen as a blow to independent candidates and minor parties. The court also left intact Baltimore's bans on billboard ads for cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. The justices turned away, without comment, the arguments that the bans violate free-speech rights.

Two other high court rulings affect police forces nationwide. Police armed with warrants to search for drugs cannot always enter homes without announcing themselves, the justices ruled, adding they must be able to show they had a reason to believe a suspect would be dangerous or destroy evidence if alerted to the raid. The court also set aside an $818,000 award against an Oklahoma county, sending the message that local governments should be less vulnerable to lawsuits over excessive force used by their police departments.

Sales of new homes fell slightly in March by 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department reported. Also, February sales were revised to a 1.1 percent gain - the strongest sales pace since April 1986.

Jurors resumed deliberations in the trial of a former Army drill instructor charged with raping six women at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Delmar Simpson could get life in prison if convicted on even one rape charge.

Former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman headed an antifemale police group in the 1980s, the New York Daily News reported. It said he was the "Grand Dragon" in "Men Against Women," an all-male club of officers that reportedly ostracized policewomen in an attempt to drive them from the force. Fuhrman mentioned the club during a taped interview that was used in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

Road violence rose by 51 percent from 1990 to 1995, according to a report by the American Automobile Association for Traffic Safety. Of 1,037 recorded violent clashes, 218 led to deaths, the report said.

Fifty-one teens head to Washington this week to express their views on youth-related issues. The students were selected from a field of thousands who entered a letter-writing contest on national public policy issues. They will meet with members of Congress as part of the RespecTeen National Youth Forum.

The A-10 Thunderbolt warplane that crashed into a Colorado mountainside was piloted by Capt. Craig Button, the Air Force determined. DNA testing of human remains found near the plane identified the pilot.

The World

Aid workers located thousands of Rwandan Hutus who had fled refugee camps in eastern Zaire, the UN said. It said a trainload of food was ready to be sent to them. Zairean rebel lead-er Laurent Kabila gave aid agencies two months to find and repatriate all Rwandan Hutu refugees - a deadline that workers said they considered impossible to meet. Meanwhile, the UN accused Kabila's rebels of dragging 50 Rwandan children from a hospital over the weekend. The childrens' whereabouts were not known, the UN said. Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson arrived in Zaire for talks with President Mobutu and with Kabila.

With three days remaining until Britain's elections, a new poll showed the opposition Labour Party holding a 19-point lead over Prime Minister John Major's Conservatives. Major attacked Labour's plans for returning some legislative responsibilities to elected assemblies in Scotland and Wales. Labour leader Tony Blair criticized Irish Republican Army efforts to disrupt the election and vowed that, if elected, his government would not bow to guerrilla violence.

New Indian Prime Minister Gujral's government was threatened by a decision by federal investigators to prosecute senior leaders of his United Front coalition for the alleged theft of $138 million from a state treasury, reports from New Delhi said. The reports said it could take up to three weeks for formal charges to be filed.

A government crackdown against Islamic education in Turkey is not proceeding fast enough to suit the country's military, published reports said. The reports followed the resignations of two Cabinet ministers because of Prime Minister Erbakan's reluctance to comply with armed forces' demands to curb Islamic activism. Erbakan did, however, win a vow of continued support from his coalition partner and predecessor, Tansu Ciller.

The Bank of Japan surprised financial analysts by failing to intervene as the US dollar traded as high as 127.10 against the yen. It later fell back to 126.75. Concern was raised after finance ministers and central bank governors from the G-7 countries issued no forceful statement about the issue. Meeting in Washington, they said only that "excess volatility" in currency trading was undesirable. Analysts said that view opened the door for the dollar to hit 130 against the yen, a level not seen since early 1992.

Kidnappers in the breakaway region of Chechnya will be executed publicly if caught, President Aslan Maskhadov vowed. Kidnappings - mostly for ransom - lead a wave of lawlessness that has swept Chechnya since its war with Russia ended last year. Two Russian journalists and an Italian were freed earlier this month, but four other Russians and the son of the late Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia remain in captors' hands.

One of four black South Africans convicted of murdering an American student applied for amnesty from the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mongezi Manquina was jailed for 18 years in the 1993 slaying of Amy Biehl of Newport Beach, Calif., who was mistaken for a white settler while researching women's rights. Similar applications were expected from Manquina's codefendants. The panel can pardon apartheid-related crimes if those convicted admit to having political motives.

The release of 85 Moroccans held prisoner in the dispute over Western Sahara was announced by former Secretary of State James Baker. Baker, now a UN special envoy, was on a fact-finding mission to the region. A 15-year war for control of the mineral-rich area between Morocco and Algeria-backed Polisario rebels ended in 1994. But implementation of a UN peace plan has stalled over terms of a referendum on self-determination.

Etceteras

"The only poll that counts is on election day. I don't think this is landslide country."

- Labour leader Tony Blair, on a Gallup survey that showed his party with a 19-point lead three days before Britain's elections.

A cargo handler at Zurich airport took what he assum-ed was an empty freight container to pack with luggage for a flight to Atlanta when something inside caught his eye. It turned out to be sacks containing $11 million worth of uncut diamonds en route from troubled Zaire to London. The gems lay unprotected for two hours because no telex message had advised of their arrival. The worker pocketed - no, not some of the diamonds - a reward for reporting his find.

The trail of some house burglars in Dummerston, Vt., was in danger of growing cold when police picked up a hot new clue. The place had been robbed over the winter, and in his haste to leave the scene, one of the suspects had dropped his wallet on the ground outside. It remained under the snow until last week, when enough of the white stuff melted to reveal it. The suspect's ID led police to his residence, where they found a substantial amount of stolen property.

The Day's List

How Occupations Rate On the Prestige Scale

Many pro athletes and entertainers make huge salaries and are regularly in the public eye. But relatively few Americans attach great prestige to those vocations, according to results of a Harris Poll of 1,006 adults taken between March 26 and April 1. Here's how selected occupations compared in the survey (in percents):

Medical doctor 87

Scientist 86

Teacher 78

Engineer 74

Minister/Clergyman 73

Police officer 68

Military officer 66

Member of Congress 58

Business leader 58

Lawyer 52

Banker 52

Journalist 51

Accountant 50

Artist 50

Athlete 49

Entertainer 46

Union leader 39

- Associated Press

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