News In Brief
The USSkip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
A public-opinion survey found most people skeptical about the balanced-budget and tax bills passed by Congress late last week. In a Time magazine and CNN poll, 62 percent said they believed it was "somewhat or very unlikely" the bills will produce a balanced budget by 2002, and 58 percent said the tax cuts will be "unfair" because they mostly benefit the rich. President Clinton said he would sign the package into law tomorrow. A White House spokesman noted these will be the first bills reviewed under terms of line-item-veto authority approved by Congress in January.
More than 185,000 Teamster Union members at United Parcel Service were poised to go on strike if agreement could not be reached on a new contract, the union said. Talks between the union and UPS broke off last Friday night after a first strike deadline passed at midnight Thursday. No time was set for further talks.
The US dollar hit an eight-year high against the German mark, powered by new economic data that raised the prospect of higher interest rates. The Labor Department said the July unemployment rate returned to a near-24-year low of 4.8 percent. The National Association of Purchasing Management said July manufacturing expanded to the highest level in nearly three years. And the government reported gains in June incomes, spending, and factory orders, further suggesting a vibrant economy.
Clinton ended a 20-year ban on the sale of high-tech US warplanes and other advanced weapons to Latin America. The Carter administration adopted the arms-sales policy at a time when most of Latin America was under military regimes. The change will have the most immediate effect on Chile, which has been seeking to buy advanced fighter aircraft, US officials said.
Two men from the Middle East were arrested for plotting to bomb a New York subway, and the FBI was trying to determine whether they were linked to the militant Palestinian group Hamas. A spokesman for Hamas denied any link, saying the group "does not consider the American people an enemy and it does not target any of its communities." A third suspect was being held on charges of being in the US illegally, officials said.
A former Ku Klux Klansman was sentenced to 21-1/2 years in prison for conspiring to burn a migrant labor camp and the Macedonia Baptist Church, whose congregation is predominately black. Both sites are 80 miles south of Charleston, S.C. Arthur Haley told a district court judge in Charleston he was innocent, despite having entered a guilty plea in December. Another conspirator, Hubert Rowell, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 25.
Gov. Paul Cellucci (R) of Massachusetts said he would file a constitutional amendment to prohibit prison inmates in the state from voting. His comment came hours after The Boston Globe reported that a group of convicts was trying to start what was believed to be the first prisoner political action committee in the state, and possibly in the nation.
Three men charged in Los Angeles last week with smuggling deaf and mute Mexicans into the US and forcing them to hawk trinkets have been operating since at least 1995, officials said. All three are reportedly deaf and speech-impaired.
Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., was to induct four new members: Tommy Lasorda, who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles in 20 years; 318- game-winning knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro; 12-time All-Star second baseman Nellie Fox; and Willie Wells, a slick-fielding shortstop who hit over .300 in 10 of 20 Negro Leagues seasons.
Beat-generation writer William S. Burroughs, who died Saturday in Lawrence, Kan., was a counter-culture icon. He was best known for his novel "Naked Lunch," published in 1959 but banned for three years in the US before winning a landmark anti-censorship decision from the Supreme Court.
The expected return of special US envoy Dennis Ross to the Middle East later this week was cited by Palestinians as grounds for hope that the latest chapter of violence could soon be closed. But extra-tight security measures kept Palestinians and Israelis alike bottled up and on edge following last week's suicide bombings in Jerusalem. A new bomb alert appeared on Israeli TV screens Saturday night, and senior officials said they had a "series of details" that pointed to the possibility of new attacks.
Squabbling political leaders in Bosnia were given until today to agree on measures to integrate the government or face new sanctions. Carlos Westendorp, senior envoy from the so-called Contact Group of countries monitoring compliance with the 1995 Dayton peace accord, said the "international community is not going to deal with" Bosnia's ambassadors because they "do not represent" all of the country. Currently, all ambassadors are Muslims or Croats, even though Serbs control 49 percent of Bosnia.