News In Brief

The US

Justice Department prosecutors recommended that an independent counsel investigate Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's role in rejecting a request from three bands of Chippewa Indians to turn a Hudson, Wis., dog track into a casino, department officials said. Attorney General Janet Reno was reportedly expected to endorse their recommendation. Last month she rejected a GOP request that an independent counsel investigate President Clinton's role in the casino affair, but a department inquiry into Babbitt's part in the matter has continued.

A Minnesota court suit against the tobacco industry was scheduled to begin today in St. Paul. The state wants to recover billions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages for public funds spent treating smokers. A settlement was still possible, but seemed far from certain. Minnesota was seeking $1.75 billion in actual damages and an untold amount in punitive damages. Texas settled a suit against the industry late last week for $15.3 billion over 25 years - surpassing the combined $14.4 billion negotiated by Florida and Mississippi in deals last year.

Clinton gave six hours of sworn testimony in the sexual- harassment lawsuit brought against him by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones. His deposition to attorneys representing Jones was reportedly the first time a president had testified as a defendant while in office.

The federal psychiatrist examining the mental competency of Theodore Kaczynski turned in her report over the weekend, a step that may get the oft-derailed Unabomber trial back on track. Sally Johnson questioned Kaczynski for about 19 hours and studied transcripts of his conversations with lawyers to reach her conclusions. Kaczynski is accused of waging a nationwide bombing campaign that killed three men and maimed or injured 29 other people. A competency hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

A State Department effort to have Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington this week was scrapped after US Jewish groups objected. Museum chairman Miles Lerman said he would extend a formal invitation to Arafat once there is a peace settlement in the Middle East. Arafat is to meet with Clinton in Washington Thursday as part of an effort to revitalize Mideast peace talks.

The Republican National Committee rejected a resolution that would have denied party funding to any candidate who did not support a ban on so-called partial-birth abortions. The measure was defeated on a 114-to-43 vote during a meeting in Palm Springs, Calif.

The US space agency enthusiastically offered US Sen. John Glenn a return to orbit. The Ohio Democrat, who plans to retire next year, asked to become the oldest person to travel in space after hearing the agency was considering sending an older American into orbit to study some seemingly similar effects of weightlessness and aging.

One in every 155 US residents was behind bars as of mid-1997, new statistics released by the Justice Department indicated. The report said the prison and jail population stood at more than 1.7 million on June 30, 1997, an increase of nearly 6 percent from an estimated 1.6 million the previous year.

Repair crews from as far away as North Carolina were at work on Maine's electrical system. Officials estimated that some 140,000 people began the weekend without electricity as a result of last week's massive ice storm. They said it could be late this week before service is fully restored.

Ving Rhames shares his Best Actor award with veteran Jack Lemmon at the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards. After receiving the award, Rhames invited Lemmon to the stage, handed him the trophy, and said Lemmon deserved it for his role in "12 Angry Men."

The World

Saying, "it will end when it ends" and that to demand early completion makes no practical sense, UN weapons-inspection chief Richard Butler rejected Iraq's threat to stop the work of his investigators unilaterally by June. In Baghdad for meetings with senior Iraqi officials, Butler also said the UN would not drop its requirement that all suspected weapons-storehouses be made accessible.

The red-carpet sendoff given to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu by Cabinet ministers and Jewish settlement leaders was a signal to the US that he won't be pressured into yielding additional West Bank land on terms other than his own, analysts said. Netanyahu is to meet with President Clinton today at the White House. But first he is due to talk with American Jewish leaders, Christian fundamentalist backers of Israel, and key congressional leaders, whom he could use as a counterweight to pressure from Clinton, the analysts said.

Back in his Kremlin office for the first time in a month, Russian President Yeltsin scolded his government for failing to pay promised back wages to employees of the state. Analysts said the reprimand was a warning that Yeltsin may be about to replace key members of his administration, such as first deputies Boris Nemtsov and Anatoly Chubais.

Supporters of war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic will ignore all decisions made by the Bosnian Serb sub-state parliament, a spokesman said. Karadzic allies walked out of parliament Sunday rather than vote to approve the selection of relative moderate Milorad Dodik as prime minister in President Biljana Plavsic's government. Plavsic and Karadzic are rivals in a struggle for political supremacy in Serb-held Bosnia. Dodik pledged to observe the terms of the Dayton peace accords "to the dot."

Chinese officials gave US Defense Secretary William Cohen an unprecedented tour of the country's secret air-defense center, later described as "a mix of old and new technology." A spokesman for Cohen's 14-man party said the visit was a breakthrough in building US-Chinese trust. Less than two years ago their respective navies engaged in a confrontation in waters near Taiwan, where China was conducting maneuvers.

An offshoot of the Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for killing a Protestant shopkeeper in a Belfast suburb as negotiators resumed talks on the political future of Northern Ireland. The incident was the sixth of its type since Christmas. Meanwhile, in London, British Prime Minister Blair was to meet with Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. The political ally of the IRA has denounced a proposed power-sharing assembly for Northern Ireland, but says it will remain a partner in the negotiations.

Cuba's young communists were officially encouraged to do their "patriotic duty" and attend Sunday's Roman Catholic mass in Havana conducted by Pope John Paul II. After all but ignoring the papal visit in recent weeks, the Cuban news media now are devoting extensive coverage to it, although some appearances may not be broadcast live to conserve fuel used in generating electricity.

Two Guatemalans were arrested in connection with the robbery and sexual assault of visiting US college students and their escorts. The women, from St. Mary's College of Maryland, were returning to Guatemala City from a tour of historical sites when their bus was forced to stop at gunpoint in a region known for lawlessness. Five other men remain at large after the attack.


"The US is now second only to Russia in its rate of incarceration and locks up its citizens

at a rate five to 10 times that of most industrialized nations."

- The Sentencing Project, a private group, noting a steadily rising prison population - despite declining crime rates.

Remember "Candle in the Wind 1997," Elton John's tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales? According to Billboard magazine, it has slid from No. 1 to No. 3 in US sales after 14 weeks. Three more weeks atop the charts and it would have set a record.

The Day's List

Winners of Movie, TV Golden Globe Awards

Winners of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe Awards, presented Sunday night:

Motion Pictures

Drama: "Titanic"

Actress, drama: Judi Dench, "Mrs. Brown"

Actor, drama: Peter Fonda, "Ulee's Gold"

Musical or comedy: "As Good As It Gets"

Actress, musical or comedy: Helen Hunt, "As Good As It Gets"

Actor, musical or comedy: Jack Nicholson, "As Good As It Gets"

Foreign language: "My Life in Pink" ("Ma Vie en Rose"), Belgium

Supporting actress, drama, musical, or comedy: Kim Basinger, "L.A. Confidential"

Supporting actor, drama, musical, or comedy: Burt Reynolds, "Boogie Nights"

Director: James Cameron,"Titanic"

Screenplay: Matt Damon/Ben Affleck, "Good Will Hunting"

Original score: James Horner, "Titanic"

Original song: "My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic"


Drama series: "The X-Files"

Actress, drama: Christine Lahti, "Chicago Hope"

Actor, drama: Anthony Edwards, "ER"

Musical or comedy series: "Ally McBeal"

Actress, musical or comedy: Calista Flockhart, "Ally McBeal"

Actor, musical or comedy: Michael J. Fox, "Spin City"

Miniseries or movie for TV: "George Wallace"

Actress, miniseries or TV movie: Alfre Woodard, "Miss Evers' Boys"

Actor, miniseries or movie for TV: Ving Rhames, "Don King: Only in America"

Supporting actress, series, miniseries, or movie for TV: Angelina Jolie, "George Wallace"

Supporting actor, series, miniseries, or movie for TV: George C. Scott, "12 Angry Men"

- Associated Press

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