News In Brief

By , Lance Carden, and Vic Roberts

The US

Chinese leader Jiang Zemin was to arrive in Williamsburg, Va., today before flying to Washington for meetings with President Clinton and other government leaders. Jiang also is scheduled to travel to Philadelphia; New York; Cambridge, Mass.; and Los Angeles before leaving Nov. 2.

The first big storm of the season left tens of thousands of people without power and hundreds of miles of roads closed from Colorado to Illinois. Hundreds were stranded in airports, at bus terminals, and on highways. At least eight deaths were blamed on blizzard conditions, which began Friday in Utah and moved across the plains as far south as Texas. It was the biggest October snowfall on record in Colorado, where rescuers used helicopters and military vehicles to collect stranded travelers.

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US Sen. Fred Thompson (R) of Tennessee said he would not press Clinton to testify before his Governmental Affairs Committee about apparent campaign-finance abuses. Thompson made the comment on CBS's "Face the Nation." In a letter made public over the weekend, White House counsel Charles Ruff told the committee the administration remain-ed willing to cooperate but considered it inappropriate for Clinton to testify.

White House tapes from 1971 show that President Nixon ordered his aides to dig up unflattering information on the Democrats and to commit two break-ins about a year before the Watergate affair, Newsweek reported. The tapes reveal Nixon wanting files at the National Archives ransacked to find anything to smear Demo-cratic presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to John Kennedy, the magazine said. It also quoted Nixon ordering a break-in at the Brookings Institution in retaliation against Daniel Ellsberg, a Brookings employee who had leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers to the media.

The federal budget defict has shrunk to $22.6 billion, its lowest level since 1974, administration officials said. Clinton was expected to announce the fiscal 1997 figure in a speech to the Democratic Leadership Council. At one time, the administration had forecast a deficit of $125.6 billion.

Martin Luther King III has emerged as the most likely candidate to take over as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, several board members of the civil rights group confirmed. King is the son of SCLC co-founder Martin Luther King Jr. The board is expected to vote on a new leader this week. The final decision will be made by delegates voting Saturday in Atlanta and by other SCLC members voting by proxy. The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who has head-ed the group for 20 years, is about to step down.

Baseball fans across south Florida celebrated into the morning after the Florida Marlins became the youngest expansion team to win the World Series. The Marlins defeated the Cleveland Indians four games to three, winning the final contest 3-2 in 11 innings. Florida pitcher Livan Hernandez was named Most Valuable Player.

Robert Cahn, who passed on last week, had a distinguished writing career that spanned 50 years, including noteworthy service as Washington correspondent for the Monitor. Mr. Cahn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his 15-part Monitor series "Will Success Spoil the National Parks?" At other times, he was White House reporter for the US Information Agency, staff correspondent for Life magazine, Los Angeles bureau chief of Colliers magazine, and Midwest editor for The Saturday Evening Post. In 1970, President Richard Nixon appointed him as one of the original members of the Council on Environmental Quality. In recent years, he wrote on environmental issues and was a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado.

The World

Stock markets across Asia fell back into last week's pattern of losses, with the Hong Kong exchange again leading the way. The blue-chip Hang Seng index lost 646 points, or 5.8 percent of its value - all but wiping out the partial recovery of last Friday. In Tokyo, the Nikkei Stock Average fell 325 points, closing at its lowest level in more than two years. In Seoul, the key South Korean index dropped 3.3 points, a decline matched in Australia.

Final approval of Russian President Yeltsin's compromise 1998 budget was expected as his Cabinet met in special session. This, after Yeltsin and the Communist-led lower house of parliament agreed last week to work together to modify the original budget, which propos-ed spending cuts for social programs, the military, and agriculture - and nearly led to a no-confidence vote in his government. The revisions could be acted upon in parliament as soon as Friday, reports said.

Iraq's parliament struck back at the threat of new economic sanctions, recommending to the Baghdad government that it halt all cooperation with UN weapons inspectors. The recommendation specified that a freeze on contacts should continue until the UN announces a timetable for ending sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. A new Security Council resolution threatens a travel ban on Iraqis who allegedly have impeded the work of UN weapons inspectors.

A struggle over control over education policy led 126,000 public-school teachers across Ontario to strike. The walkout halted classes for 2.1 million students, forcing their parents to make alternative child-care arrangements. Teachers are demanding the province's government back away from legislation that would take away local control over school issues. The strike is illegal since almost all of the teachers are under contract to local school districts.

Colombia's elections were a triumph for democracy, even if leftist rebels scared tens of thousands of people away from the polls, President Samper declared. Voting appeared heaviest in cities, where the rebels do not pose a serious threat. Elections officials had predict-ed there would be no voting in at least 100 of the country's 1,072 municipalities.

Argentine President Carlos Menem's party lost its outright majority in the lower house of Congress after voters backed the center-left Alliance coalition in midterm elections. The outcome also propelled feminist Graciela Fernndez Meijide, one of the Alliance leaders, into the picture as a serious presidential contender in 1999.

Thousands of Church of Scientology followers gathered for a protest in Berlin, one day before a scheduled German court ruling on whether Scientology is a religion or a business. The church is under surveillance on grounds that it is a threat to democracy. Followers say they are denied membership in political parties and trade associations and may not enroll their children in public schools.

Opposition and pro-government parties alike protested what they called widespread fraud in Algeria's local elections, demanding that the results be revised or scrapped. President Zeroual's party and coalition partners won a comfortable majority in last week's vote, one of a series that have helped his Army-backed government consolidate power in its bid to end a five-year-old Muslim insurgency.

Tanzania was accused of firing across its border at military positions inside Burundi. A Burundi Army spokesman said Tanzanian forces shelled Mugina and Kabonga, killing two soldiers and wounding three others. Tanzania's Foreign Ministry said it was unaware of any violence. The two nations' relations have deteriorated in recent months.

"Despite the [intimidation tactics by leftist rebels] people were arriving on horseback.

That's a surprise. These people were brave."

- Poll-watcher Santiago Murray, on the courage of some voters Sunday in Colombia's local elections.

Etceteras

Perhaps reasoning that it's now or never as far as his political career is concerned, a candidate in Denmark's Nov. 18 elections is employing an unconventional campaign strategy. Niels Petersen would turn the town of Tornved into an Elvis Presley memorial, renaming the main street Presley Boulevard, the town hall Graceland, and erecting a statue of the late rock 'n' roll king. It's not known whether he'll serve in a white jumpsuit if he wins.

At speeds of up to 30 m.p.h., inventor Andrew Akers' Zorb, the 10-1/2-foot-high plastic sphere generates enough centrifugal force to pin a "Zorbonaut" against its inner capsule. Akers predicts Zorbs will become commuters' preferred mode of transportation by 2014. If you're more curious than the woman dozing in the foreground, Akers's Web site is: www.zorb.com

The Day's List

A Profile of Jiang Zemin's China From Poll Results

A new Gallup poll, released as President Jiang Zemin began his eight-day state visit to the US, shows profound changes since China embraced market economics in the 1980s. Development has been rapid, especially in the cities. Selected findings of the poll, conducted across China in May and June:

Average annual household income: $1,250

Dwellings with TV: 89%

Dwellings with a telephone: 25%

Dwellings with hot running water: 2%

Consumers preferring Chinese-made products: 73%

Most-recognized foreign company: Coca-Cola

Able to define meaning of the term "stocks": 15%

- Associated Press

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