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News In Brief

By CompiledRobert Kilborn and Lance Carden / September 15, 1997



The US

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President Clinton named David Satcher as his choice to be US surgeon general. Dr. Satcher is director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If confirmed, he would take up a job vacant since December 1994, when Joycelyn Elders resigned after suggesting that schoolchildren be taught about masturbation. Clinton nominated Dr. Henry Foster in 1995, but removed him from consideration when it became clear he had performed more abortions than he originally admitted.

The president reportedly is standing by his nominee to be ambassador to Mexico - even after conservative Sen. Jesse Helms (R) of North Carolina stonewalled attempts late last week to give moderate fellow Republican William Weld a Senate hearing. The White House said Clinton would seek new ways to circumvent Helms, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. During a highly charged 30-minute special meeting of the group, Helms lashed out at the news media, fellow senators, and Weld, a former Massachusetts governor.

Jeb Bush filed as a Republican candidate for governor of Florida, three years after losing the state's closest gubernatorial election. Bush, a real estate developer from Miami and the son of former President George Bush, lost the 1994 race to incumbent Democrat Lawton Chiles by about 80,000 votes out of 4.2 million on the same day his elder brother, George, won the Texas governorship. In Florida, the state constitution bars Chiles from seeking a third term as governor.

Southern California was braced for a pounding from hurricane Linda late Sunday, today, and tomorrow. The hurricane, although weakening, is the strongest on record for the eastern Pacific. It was expected to diminish only gradually as it moved north from the coast of Mexico, because waters off California are relatively warm due to a weather pattern known as El Nino, which occurs every few years. Trade winds that usually push storms out to sea have also been suppressed by El Nio.

A tentative labor accord ended a six-day transit strike in San Francisco. Union and management officials of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the area's biggest commuter-rail system, apologized to commuters who had clogged freeways or joined long bus and ferry lines to get to work last week. Striking union members began reporting to work over the weekend and were expected to ratify the agreement this week.

The head of the American Legion called on the US military to offer separate-sex boot camps. Anthony Jordan, newly elected commander of the 2.9-million-member legion, said the considerable pressures of basic training are increased by mixing male and female recruits. Meanwhile, The Washington Post said the Army plans to toughen fitness tests for female soldiers after a survey found that the current relatively easy tests for women irritate male soldiers.

A secret Air Force study indicated that a tremor thought to be a Russian nuclear test occurred under water, indicating it was probably an earthquake. The report reached no conclusion, but tended to support denials by Russian officials that they had conducted a nuclear test Aug. 16 on the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya.

Boeing Co. filed suit against US Airways Group Inc. over the airline's decision to cancel an order for 48 jets valued at $2.2 billion and instead place a huge order with Airbus Industrie, a European manufacturer, Last November, Boeing declared the airline in default when it failed to make a $3 million partial payment on eight Boeing 757s scheduled for delivery in 1998. Shortly afterward, US Airways placed an order for 120 Airbus jets valued at more than $5 billion, with an option to buy an additional 280.

The space shuttle Atlantis will blast off Sept. 25 for the Russian space station Mir, the US space agency announced. Atlantis, which is scheduled to link up with Mir Sept. 27, is to pick up British-born US astronaut Michael Foale from the troubled space station and drop off his replacement, David Wolf. The shuttle also will deliver about 7,000 pounds of supplies and repair gear to the Russian outpost.

The World

No incidents of violence were reported in Bosnia as voters completed two days of municipal elections. International mediators said they were pleased with the first local balloting in 3-1/2 years, in which tens of thousands of people crossed ethnic dividing lines to vote. But many Croats heeded calls by their largest political party to boycott the election.

Arab governments should do everything possible to deny financial aid to Hamas and other radical Islamic groups, Secretary of State Albright told a meeting of Gulf-state foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia. She urged them to funnel aid instead to the struggling Palestinian Authority. And she issued a plea for Arab states to attend a November economic conference in Qatar, which Saudi Arabia and others say they will boycott if Israel attends.