News In Brief

The US

Two of the computer industry's fiercest rivals, Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. unveiled plans to cooperate. Under the agreement, Microsoft will invest $150 million in Apple, and release versions of its popular Office software in Macintosh formats. In exchange, Apple will make Microsoft's Internet Explorer the easiest choice for accessing the Internet from a Macintosh computer. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was booed when he announced the agreement at the MacWorld Expo in Boston.

A South Korean official reportedly described the atmosphere as "cozy," after the opening session of talks to arrange a peace conference on replacing the 1953 Korean War armistice. Delegations from North and South Korea, China and the US were said to have presented broad views on the issues at their meeting in New York. North Korea's official newspaper said the withdrawal of 37,000 US troops from South Korea was the key to peace. The US was expected to argue that any withdrawal must follow big steps by the North to reduce its military threat to the South.

The alleged principal plotter of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing went on trial in New York. Ramzi Yousef is accused of mixing the bomb chemicals and organizing the attack that killed six people and injured more than 1,000 others. In opening statements, prosecutors said Yousef hoped the blast would "send a message to Americans that they were at war." Last year, Yousef was convicted of a foiled plot to blow up a dozen US jetliners.

The White House said an apology for slavery was not an appropriate first step for President Clinton's national dialogue on race relations. Clinton has said he would leave the matter up to his race advisory board which is looking into ways to fight racism. The apology idea was proposed by US Rep. Tony Hall (D) of Ohio.

Labor Secretary Alexis Herman urged the United Parcel Service and its 185,000 striking workers to restart stalled labor talks. Herman spoke by phone with Teamsters president Ron Carey and UPS chairman James Kelly. Afterward, the two sides expressed a willingness to meet. The strike against the world's largest parcel delivery company has left people across the country scrambling to find other avenues for shipping packages.

The trial of a militia leader accused of plotting to make bombs opened in US District Court in Wheeling, W. Va. Defense attorneys argued Mountaineer Militia leader Floyd "Ray" Looker was entrapped by a government informant. Prosecutors planned to use a confession, a tape recording made by the informant, and testimony from co-conspirators in the case.

An agreement to form an anti-heroin unit was signed in Bogota by the head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Colombia's national police chief. The DEA's Thomas Constantine said 63 percent of the heroin seized in the US comes from Colombia.

Teenage drug use dropped last year - the first decrease since 1992, a government report said. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse said 9 percent of teens used drugs in 1996 - down from nearly 11 percent in 1995. Marijuana and tobacco use remained unchanged, while alcohol use dropped.

A California law requiring unmarried females under 18 to get parental or judicial consent to have an abortion was struck down by the state's Supreme Court. The justices ruled the law violated a pregnant minor's privacy rights. Last year, the same court ruled the statute was constitutional. But after two new judges were appointed, the court reversed its decision.

Bernard Parks, a disciplinarian with 32 years of police experience, was expected to be named as the next chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Times reported. If confirmed by City Council, Parks would become the second African-American to hold the post He would replace Willie Williams, who left the office in May.

The World

Israel and the Palestinian Authority both were urged not to allow extremists to derail the Middle East peace process by Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan. He substituted for his brother, King Hussein, at a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Meanwhile, however, Palestinian Authority President Arafat told followers to be "prepared for the battle that Netanyahu is forcing on us, because what is coming is worse than what has already been."

Despite the anger of local Protestants, Britain's new secretary for Northern Ireland held her first face-to-face meeting with senior Sinn Fein leaders. But Mo Mowlam kept out of public view as she greeted Gerry Adams and other representatives of the Irish Republican Army's political ally in Belfast. She was expected to press for assurances that the IRA would commit itself to gradual disarmament during the next round of peace talks.

Four key figures in the effort to build a permanent peace in the Balkans met to try to shore up the Muslim-Croat federation that governs half of Bosnia. Bosnia's Muslim co-President, Alija Izetbegovich, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, and US envoys Robert Gelbard and Richard Holbrooke held talks in the Croatian port city, Split. A US source at the meeting said, "We're not looking for paper commitments; we want action."

As expected, members of Cambodia's parliament voted to replace co-Premier Norodom Ranariddh with Foreign Minister Ung Huot. The outcome was never in doubt, and Ung Huot won six more votes than needed for confirmation.

Iraq formally submitted a plan to the UN under which it would resume the sale of oil for food and medical supplies. No details were made public on what the Baghdad government proposed to charge, but knowledgeable sources said prices were cut because of objections by UN officials who oversee the oil-for-food program. The Security Council had 48 hours to raise concerns.

Just returned from a month's vacation, Russian President Boris Yeltsin moved quickly to repair ties to the country's dominant Orthodox Church. Relations were strained when he vetoed controversial legislation that would have restricted "nontraditional" religions - among them Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths - in favor of Orthodoxy. Yeltsin pledged to strengthen relations with the church, saying, "No obstacles shall separate us."

Many ordinary Thais ignored Prime Minister Chavalit Yong-chaiyudh's efforts to promote calm following his government's shutdown of more than half the nation's finance companies. Rumors that commercial banks would be next sent depositors flocking to withdraw their money. One bank handed back $20 million in a single day. Other Thais canceled credit cards and hoard-ed food as hedges against a plan by the International Monetary Fund to rescue the nation's struggling economy.

A foreign journalist whose investigative reporting linked Panama's government to scandals and corruption was ordered out of the country. Gustavo Gorriti, associate editor of the newspaper La Prensa and a Peruvian citizen, must leave by Aug. 29, the Labor Ministry said. La Prensa's president called the order "a cheap and low attempt" to silence the paper and said it would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

A Korean Air jet returned for an emergency landing at Osaka, Japan, hours after another of the carrier's flights crashed on Guam in a hard rainstorm. Aviation officials praised US military personnel on Guam for responding quickly to the crash. Navy and Air Force crews cut an access road to the site, moved in rescue and fire-fighting apparatus, and ferried survivors to a hospital. One report said at least 220 people died in the mishap.

Etceteras

"We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose."

- Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, announcing his company's new alliance with industry giant Microsoft Corp.

If it's true that life sometimes imitates art, then Exhibit A might be actor E.G. Marshall, who played a crusading lawyer on "The Defenders" TV series. Well, he's crusading again - to stop a neighbor from disturbing the tranquility of posh Bedford, N.Y., by commuting to and from work in a helicopter. Marshall built his case on an ordinance that bans aircraft takeoffs and landings. Argues the neighbor, helicopter flights are a mode of transportation, not land use, and are not subject to zoning.

Malaysia wants to find out whether shaming people who trash its cities will work - since fines and a nationwide education campaign haven't. A new draft bill would punish those convicted of tossing aside waste by making them sweep the streets in T-shirts reading: "I am a Litterbug."

The Day's List

World's Priciest Cities For Foreign Workers

Thirteen of the world's 20 most expensive cities are in Asia, according to a report released in Geneva by the Corporate Resources Group. It compares the prices of housing and products and services commonly sought by people posted abroad. New York, ranked 31st, was assigned a base value of 100 for comparing living costs. The top 20 cities and their values:

1. Tokyo 170

2. Hong Kong 153

(tie) Moscow 153

4. Osaka, Japan 148

5. Beijing 141

6. Shanghai 136

7. Seoul 133

8. Singapore 127

9. Guangzhou, China 120

10. St. Petersburg, Russia 118

11. Shenzhen, China 117

12. Taipei, Taiwan 116

13. Kiev, Ukraine 115

14. London 114

15. So Paulo 111

16. Dalian, China 108

(tie) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 108

18. Jakarta 107

(tie) Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 107

20. Nassau, Bahamas 106

- Associated Press

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