News In Brief
The USSkip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The Justice Department distanced itself from Sen. Fred Thompson's statement that China plotted to raise its influence in US politics, and the Governmental Affairs Committee chairman acknowledged it may be impossible to prove the charge. Executives from the Lippo Group, an Indonesian firm with close ties to China and ex-Democratic Party fund-raiser John Huang, were expected to testify in the second week of Senate campaign-finance hearings, beginning today. Meanwhile, Newsweek magazine reported Huang funneled illegal foreign contributions to Democrats as early as 1992.
The Sojourner rover was ordered to return to and inspect "Yogi," the bear-shaped Martian rock it got stuck on late last week. Sojourner sat motionless much of the weekend, two feet from the rock. Space officials determined that a system overload had caused the spacecraft's computer to reset, leaving them unable to communicate with the craft for a short time. Over the weekend, Pathfinder was reprogrammed so it will to continue working if a similar situation occurs. Two children share a magnifying glass while inspecting a Martian meteorite at Albuquerque's New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. It is reportedly one of only 12 meteorites in the world identified as coming from Mars.
President Clinton threw his support behind legislation that would make it illegal for health-insurance companies to discriminate against healthy people on the basis of genetic data suggesting they may be vulnerable to inherited diseases, White House aides said. Clinton's decision was in line with information he received in a Department of Health and Human Services report, they noted. The document says potential benefits of genetic testing might be lost if people refuse to take the tests out of fear the results may be used against them.
Investigators were scheduled to begin a series of 10 test flights with a Boeing 747 similar to the one involved in the TWA Flight 800 explosion that killed 230 people, National Transportation Safety Board chairman Jim Hall said. The test aircraft was set up at New York's Kennedy International Airport with monitors to examine six scenarios that could have led to the July 17, 1996, explosion - four of them described as mechanical.
The Justice Department has granted immunity to a scientist who allegedly helped Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company develop a plant with high-nicotine content, the Los Angeles Times reported. Citing unnamed sources, the Times said the scientist, Janis Bravo, told a grand jury she helped develop a high-nicotine plant for a joint venture of Brown & Williamson and DNA Plant Technology.
Fifteen boats carrying Cuban exiles sailed safely back to Florida after commemorating 41 people who drowned while trying to flee Cuba. A Cuban warship rammed and sank their boat three years ago. The protest was held on the edge of Cuban waters without incident. Before the ceremony, the US Coast Guard seized the boat of group leader Ramon Saul Sanchez after he vowed to enter Cuban territory.
A state grand jury was to consider evidence of an alleged coverup in the Oklahoma City bombing. Two witnesses are expected to insist that convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh was not alone as he drove through Oklahoma City on the morning of the April 1995 attack that killed 168 people, the Sunday Oklahoman reported.
Residents of the mid-Atlantic states were cautioned to watch the progress of Tropical Storm Claudette as it crept northward in the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said the storm did not pose a large threat to the US mainland, but its future track was uncertain. Early Monday, it was 230 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
DuPont Company said it would buy two major businesses from Imperial Chemical Industries, a London-based firm, for $3 billion, greatly expanding its global reach. The deal is expect-ed to give DuPont greater dominance in production of titanium dioxide, a white pigment used to color and brighten paper, paint, and plastics.
Bosnian Serbs were believed to be responsible for an explosion that damaged a hotel used by international organizations such as the UN and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The blast, in Serb-held Zvornik, also destroyed or damaged two vehicles. UN officials reported other incidents, such as the circulation of pamphlets warning of retaliation for a NATO strike last week against two indicted Serb war-crimes suspects. One of the suspects was killed while resisting arrest. Meanwhile, in The Hague, convicted Serb war criminal Dusan Tadic was sentenced to 20 years in prison.