News In Brief

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The US

The Supreme Court was set to hear arguments on the line-item veto. It will decide the constitutionality of a law that would make Clinton the first president able to reject specific items from spending bills. A federal judge threw out the law, saying Congress can't delegate spending authority.

Trying to put the 'Memorial' back in Memorial Day, a group called No Greater Love organized a nationwide moment of silence on the holiday to remember US war dead. Also, tens of thousands of motorcycle-riding Vietnam vets roared through Washington to honor fallen comrades and push for an accounting of those listed as missing in action.

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In severe holiday weather, tornadoes struck a wide area including parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Two people were killed. And heavy rainstorms across the Midwest and Northeast postponed the Indianapolis 500 and baseball games in New York and Philadelphia.

Amelia-Earhart emulator Linda Finch is set to finish her round-the-world flight. Flying the same model Earhart used in 1937, the Texas resident planned to leave Honolulu today and arrive in Oakland, Calif., tomorrow.

Some 3,500 General Motors workers in Oklahoma City planned to end a seven-week strike and return to work today. But 5,900 employees in Pontiac, Mich., are in their eighth week on strike. They say fewer workers are doing more work, which increases the number of injuries. GM says the strikes have cost $225 million in lost production.

Air Force Pilot Kelly Flinn has decided to accept a general discharge - and not fight for an honorable discharge. The nation's first female B-52 pilot told Time magazine she did it to "save myself, my family, and the Air Force ... the embarrassment."

Former Air Force Sgt. Napolean Bailey was sentenced to 30 years in prison for rape and 14 related charges near Spokane, Wash. He will be dishonorably discharged from the Air Force, where the offenses took place.

The US education department said 2 million new teachers will be needed within the next decade or so. Increasing student enrollment and the coming retirements of baby-boom era educators are fueling demand.

The Chicago Bulls aimed to finish off the Miami Heat yesterday in Miami. The Bulls already led basketball's Eastern Conference finals 3-0. Earlier, the Houston Rockets tied the Western Conference finals 2-2 with a 95-92 victory over the Utah Jazz in Houston. Charles Barkley's defense and Eddie Johnson's stunning three-point buzzer shot put Houston on top.

The Philadelphia Flyers are headed to hockey's Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 10 years. Rod Brind'Amour's two goals during Sunday's home game helped sink the New York Rangers 4-2.

South African native David Frost won golf's Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. Brad Faxon and David Orgin tied for second. Tiger Woods and Paul Goydos tied for fourth.

Before leaving for Bosnia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ratcheted up US rhetoric against accused war criminals in the former Yugoslavia. "Those who consider rape just another tactic of war should answer for their crimes," she said.

President Clinton's birthplace will open to the public next week. Contributions to the renovation effort in Hope, Ark., had fallen off after Congress subpoenaed gift records as part of a campaign-fundraising probe. No irregularities have been found.

Strom Thurmond (R) of South Carolina has broken the record for the longest-serving senator. He has served 41 years and 10 months, besting the late Sen.Carl Hayden, who retired in 1969. Thurmond plans to retire at the end of his term in 2002.

Officials continued trying to dismantle the Midwest's largest gang, the Gangster Disciples. They arrested eight people in Chicago who allegedly vied to fill the leadership vacuum created by prosecution of other top gang members. Charges against the eight include possessing and distributing cocaine.

The World

French Prime Minister Alain Jupp said he would resign after his Conservative Party got a stinging rebuff from voters who favored the Socialist Party and its allies in the first round of elections. The Conservatives' coalition won 29.9 percent, with 6.5 percent taken by independent parties. The Socialists won 23.7 percent of the vote. The far-right National Front got 15 percent and was set to get a parliamentary seat for the first time since 1993.

President Clinton, 15 NATO allies, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin plan to sign a historic deal in Paris today that will give Moscow a consultative voice in NATO affairs, but no vote. The deal also sets out new areas of cooperation and the West's future military intentions. It also aims to ease Moscow's concerns about enlargement with the approach of the Western alliance to its borders.

Mohammed Khatemi pledged to continue the path of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after winning Iran's first free presidential elections since the 1979 revolution. The moderate cleric's victory over hard-liner Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri was seen as a boost for a milder form of Islamic rule.

The Congo's new government banned public demonstrations and activities of political parties in the capital, Kinshasa, until further notice, state television reported. Earlier, self-proclaimed President Laurent Kabila formed a new government comprised of 13 ministers.

Military rulers toppled the civilian government in Sierra Leone, and Maj. Johnny Paul Koromah declared himself the new head of state. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the coup a blow to West African democracy.

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were set to meet in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh today to discuss how to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The talks have been frozen since March 18. Mubarak was to meet with Palestinian President Yassir Arafat in Cairo earlier.

Afghanistan's Taliban army struggled to move troops into the newly conquered north after a surprise attack from troops loyal to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum. The Taliban, which is fighting to impose strict Islamic law throughout the country, seized the northern region earlier, bringing 90 percent of the country under its rule.

Polish voters replaced a 1952 communist-era constitution, exit polls indicate. The new charter commits Poland to a market economy and private ownership, ensures civilian control of the military, and guarantees personal freedoms necessary for NATO membership.

Indonesian troops and police patrolled Banjarmasin, Indonesia, after preelection rioting, arson, and looting on the island of Borneo. Authorities continued to search for bodies after a fire in a shopping mall killed 137 people. Some 269 have died in campaign violence preceding Thursday's parliamentary elections, the Indonesian Times reported.

Red Cross officials from North and South Korea signed an agreement on food aid for the North. Some 50,000 tons of food would be a six-month supply for 600,000 people - more than four times the current number of North Koreans receiving such aid, agency figures show.

Japanese coast guard vessels allegedly rammed ships in a flotilla carrying Hong Kong and Taiwanese protesters toward disputed islands. One ramming knocked journalists overboard, a spokesman said. Protesters had planned to tear down a lighthouse. Taiwan, Japan, and China claim the islands, known as the Daioyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

Etceteras

"[We aim to] create a world where the barking dogs of the 20th century don't yelp in the 21st."

- President Clinton, in Paris for the signing of the NATO deal with Russia, which aims to ensure peace by bringing Russia into a loose alliance with the US and 15 other Western nations.

Debbie Dacoba of Paw Paw, Mich., wept with delight after throwing out the winning bid of $8,625 for a pair of horseshoes worn by Mr. Ed, the talking horse in the 1960's comedy show. Charlton Heston's "Ben Hur" loincloth wasn't nearly as popular at the Sotheby's auction in Beverly Hills, Calif.: It fetched $1,350, well below the expected $15,000 sale price. Other items sold included Ella Fitzgerald's fake eyelashes for $900.

When nonagenarian Ramon Rodriguez refused to sell the house he has lived in for 50 years, Overton Bank and Trust Dallas decided to build around him. The former chauffeur says the noise of bulldozers rolling around him on three sides doesn't bother him, and the looming high-tech facility won't bother him when it's done. The $68,000 the bank offered him for his home just wasn't enough, he said.

Remember the cinnamon bun bearing the likeness of Mother Teresa that made news worldwide? The Nashville, Tenn., coffeehouse that shellacked, displayed, and turned it into a marketing boon received a personally signed letter from the nun asking it to stop using her likeness for commercial ventures. Owner Bob Bernstein insists marketing the bun isn't "in bad taste."

The Day's List

Highest and Lowest US Car Rental Rates

The average rates of major rental companies for an intermediate-size car, according to an analysis by Runzheimer International of 100 metropolitan areas. The Rochester, Wis.-based firm didn't include gas, taxes, insurance, and other fees.

MOST EXPENSIVE

New York $83.00

Washington $74.00

New Haven, Conn. $70.50

Baltimore $70.00

St. Louis $69.00

LEAST EXPENSIVE

Miami $36.00

Tucson, Ariz. $38.00

Orlando, Fla. $38.50

Honolulu $39.00

Manchester, N.H. $40.50

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