News In Brief

The US

White House and Republican negotiators held more talks on balancing the budget and cutting taxes. Although Republicans hope to finish work on spending and tax bills by Aug. 1, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee asked President Clinton to continue talks until fall if necessary to get a good deal. Republicans reportedly were considering a key White House proposal - allowing low-income workers who don't pay taxes to receive $500-per-child tax credits.

Two former chaimen of the Republican National Committee were at odds over whether one of them, Haley Barbour, sought Hong Kong money for political purposes. On CNN's "Evans and Novak," Barbour attacked the credibility of Richard Richards, who late last week told the Senate panel investigating campaign fund-raising that Barbour had asked him to solicit a $2.1 million loan from Ambrose Young of Hong Kong to help elect GOP candidates. Earlier, Barbour told the panel he did not seek foreign funds for that purpose.

A White House staffer solicit-ed a political donation from Johnny Chung the day before the California businessman handed a $50,000 check to Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aide, Chung said in a newspaper interview. The Los Angeles Times quoted him as saying he sought and received special treatment from the White House in exchange for the donation on March 9, 1995. The White House denied that aides solicited a donation from Chung.

The US and Canada named new negotiators to resolve a dispute over Pacific salmon fishing. William Ruckelshaus, former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and David Strangway, University of British Columbia president and chancellor, are the new envoys. Talks on interpreting and implementing a 1985 treaty broke down in May.

The discovery of abused, deaf Mexicans spread to Chicago and North Carolina. Two deaf illegal aliens from Mexico were charged with conspiring to smuggle other deaf countrymen into the US and forcing them to sell trinkets in Chicago. And immigration agents took into custody 16 Mexican immigrants, most of them deaf, who allegedly were held in servitude in Sanford, N.C. The new development came just a few days after the discovery that 60 deaf Mexicans were being held captive and treated as slaves in New York City. The North Carolina and Chicago raids reportedly stemmed from information obtained in New York.

Hundreds of Border Patrol agents are being sent to south Texas in a crackdown on illegal immigration, US officials said. Under Operation Rio Grande, 270 new agents will be in place by January. More than 2,700 agents patrol the Rio Grande River separating Texas and Mexico. US officials plan to have 5,000 agents there in 2002.

Clinton unveiled a plan to halt the pollution of Lake Tahoe. Increased tourism is blamed for fouling the air and increasing algae in the scenic lake, which straddles the California-Nevada boundary. The new plan calls for a $53 million cleanup over the next two years. Experts estimate it will take $900 million over 10 years to reverse the lake's decline.

General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative accord on a new contract to end a strike that had idled four assembly plants in Michigan and Canada. Details of the agreement were not released, pending a ratification vote by workers at the GM Powertrain Group transmission plant in Warren, Mich.

Orders for durable goods posted their biggest increase in five months in June, reflecting strength across the board in the manufacturing sector, the Commerce Department said. New orders rose a stronger-than-expected 2.3 percent last month to a record $180.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Former US Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, who died in Arlington, Va., was a liberal legend and one of the most influential jurists in US history. He spent 34 years on the court.

The World

The US gave tacit recognition to coup leader Hun Sen's control over Cambodia, but urged the country's neighbors to press for free and fair elections next year. Secretary of State Albright, at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Ma-laysia, said "We should be prepared to monitor" the elections. She did not call for a multinational peacekeeping force. Meanwhile, ousted co-Premier Noro-dom Ranariddh suspended his designated replacement, Ung Huot, from his party.

Irish Republican Army guerrillas will decide in November whether to extend their cease-fire declared earlier this month, a Dublin newspaper reported. It said the IRA wants Britain to announce "confidence-building measures" as a condition for prolonging the truce - among them plans for the release of IRA prisoners and the removal of some troops from Northern Ireland.

Progress was reported in meetings aimed at ending weeks of political and ethnic strife in the Congo Republic. But scheduled presidential elections were called off by the Constitutional Council, which extended President Pascal Lissouba's mandate past its Aug. 31 expiration date. The council said the election would have to be rescheduled - a move that Lissouba rival and former dictator Denis Sassou Nguesso called unacceptable.

Supporters of Spain's Basque separatist group, ETA, staged their first major counterdemonstration since a wave of national outrage earlier this month over the execution of a kidnapped politician. Police said at least 30,000 people marched peacefully though the city of San Sebastian and listened to speeches by leaders of ETA's political wing, Herri Batasuna.

Another dike reinforcing the Oder River between Germany and Poland burst, flooding a German village, officials said. Thousands of soldiers worked around the clock to shore up barriers along the river, and hundreds of residents were ordered to leave. So far, Germany has escaped the worst of the flooding that has claimed more than 100 lives in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Riot police allowed an unauthorized march in Jakarta, but prevented followers of Indonesian opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri from laying wreaths on the first anniversary of a violent raid on her headquarters that had the government's backing. A reported 55 participants were arrested. Five people died and 149 were hurt in the July 27, 1996, raid, with 23 others still listed as "missing." Above,

Thailand's armed forces dismissed speculation about a possible coup in the wake of mounting political and economic woes. Rumors spread that the military was unhappy with a new draft constitution that seeks to curb its influence in government and with the sluggish Thai economy. The military has staged 17 coups and revoked more than a dozen constitutions since Thailand adopted a parliamentary system in 1932.

With older brother Fidel looking on, Cuban military chief Raul Castro blistered the US in a speech on Revolution Day. He used especially harsh terms in describing "a monstrous plan" to force the island's communist regime "to surrender through hunger and illness." He also attacked the acquittal of four Cubans accused of hijacking planes to the US and "anti-Cuban terrorists" for recent bomb attacks on Havana hotels.

Brazilians should "keep their anger at home," President Cardoso was quoted as saying after nationwide protests last Friday against his free-market policies. An estimated 40,000 civil servants, landless peasants, the homeless, and the unemployed demonstrated in 16 cities, causing a mammoth traffic jam in So Paulo. Cardoso said the economy was performing well and that "Brazil does not like turmoil."

Etceteras

"The White House is like a subway: You have to put in coins to open the gates."

- California businessman Johnny Chung, telling the Los Angeles Times his views on gaining access to the Clinton administration.

NASA has a lot of nerve trespassing on Mars without permission, a lawsuit filed in Yemen says. Supporting documents claim the Red Planet was willed to three Yemenis by ancestors who lived there 3,000 years ago. They want the US space agency's Path-finder probe removed and all its research kept secret.

City Council in Bangor, Maine - which considers such weighty issues as a new waterfront development plan - will set all that aside Aug. 11 to vote on . . . whether a "Welcome, Don Imus" T-shirt may be display-ed on the main local landmark - a 31-ft.-high statue. The nationally syndicated radio host is due there this fall for a live broadcast. But his cutting-edge humor irks Mayor Patricia Blanchette, with whom he is feuding on the air. City Council must approve the T-shirt display. Yes, the mayor has a vote.

Speaking of statues, George Bowers seems to have - uh - endeared himself to some local wildlife because of the two that adorn his lawn in Lincoln Township, Mich. They are deer, and an apparently lovelorn stag has been visiting them twice a day, unconcerned that they're made of concrete.

The Day's List

TV Series Nominated for Annual Emmy Awards

Series-category nominees for the 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, as announced by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences:

Drama

"Chicago Hope," "ER," "Law and Order," "NYPD Blue," "The X-Files"

Comedy

"Frasier," "The Larry Sanders Show," "Mad About You," "Seinfeld," "3rd Rock From the Sun"

Miniseries

"In Cold Blood," "The Last Don," "The Odyssey," "Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgment," "Stephen King's The Shining"

Variety, Music, or Comedy

"Dennis Miller Live," "Late Show With David Letterman," "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher," "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," "Tracey Takes On..."

- Associated Press

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