News In Brief
White House lawyers were deciding whether or not to oppose a motion for speedy Supreme Court action on President Clinton's bid to limit testimony in the Whitewater inquiry. The court gave the White House until 4:30 p.m. EDT today to make known its views on independent counsel Kenneth Starr's effort to expedite a decision on whether Clinton aides Bruce Lindsey and Sidney Blumenthal must face unlimited questioning. Meanwhile, sources said the two parties had reached an impasse over a separate bid for documents detailing Clinton's activities and whereabouts on certain dates - with the White House saying Starr's request was too broad.
Americans' personal incomes rose a healthy 0.4 percent in April, but not enough to keep up with their spending. The income increase reflected gains in all categories, including wages and salaries, the Commerce Department said. It followed a moderate 0.3 percent gain in March. Personal-consumption expenditures rose 0.5 percent in March and April.
Net emissions of gases that cause global warming rose by 20 percent in the US from 1990 to 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a draft report. Total US emissions of such heat-trapping gases as carbon dioxide rose only 10 percent over the period, but forests and other natural absorbers of carbon gases reportedly decreased by 33 percent, thus accounting for the net increase.
Hundreds of mistreated rare animals were rescued in the breakup of a major exotic-wildlife smuggling ring, US officials said. The Customs Service announced more than 40 arrests or indictments, and said others were expected.
Clinton's planned visits to China and India received an endorsement from Bob Dole, the Republican he defeated in 1996 to remain in the White House. Dole called the trips an "opportunity" not to be missed, even though some congressional Republicans had urged Clinton to cancel the China trip, following allegations Beijing had illegally donated money to Democrats during the 1996 elections.
US farm exports will be exempt from pending sanctions against Pakistan, Sen. Gordon Smith said. The Oregon Republican said he received assurance of an exemption from Alan Larson, assistant secretary in charge of the State Department's Bureau of Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs. The value of farm exports to Pakistan this fiscal year has been projected to reach $500 million - much of it in wheat.
The US space agency is not delaying its last shuttle mission to Mir, despite a computer glitch that left the Russian station adrift in orbit, a spokesman said. The failure of a Mir computer forced a shutdown of systems to conserve power, but repairs were expected by the end of the weekend. The Discovery shuttle is to blast off tomorrow and dock with Mir two days later. The shuttle will pick up Andrew Thomas, last of seven US astronauts to live and work on the station.
A tornado virtually flattened the small town of Spencer in southeast South Dakota. Incomplete local reports said five people were killed and another 150 injured.
Barry Goldwater, who died Friday at his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., was an icon among American conservatives. His vigorous but unsuccessful campaign for president in 1964 marked a shift to the West and South in GOP political leadership - and helped to spark the party's resurgence nationally under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Goldwater was elected to the Senate in 1952 and 1958 - and again, after his presidential bid, in 1968, 1974, and 1980.
Correction: Because of an erroneous wire-service story, it was reported in this space last week that the House had rejected a bill that would have restored food stamps to a quarter-million legal immigrants. In fact, the House defeated an effort to strip the food-stamp provision out of the bill. Final House action on the measure was delayed by a week-long congressional recess.
Tensions between India and Pakistan rose another notch as the former protested the beating of one of its diplomats in front of his residence in Islambad, the Pakistani capital. Meanwhile, Defense Minister George Fernandes disputed Pakistan's claim to have set off six nuclear test explosions last week. Fernandes said intelligence sources told him Pakis-tan had tested only two devices, neither of which was a match for India's. He spoke in response to his counterpart, Gohar Ayub Khan, who said Pakistan's nuclear capability now is "slightly ahead" of India's. But Khan told CNN that India was preparing to conduct more tests in early July.
Six hours of rioting - the worst violence in Northern Ireland since Catholic and Protestant negotiators reached a peace accord April 10 - were intentional, security officials in Portadown said. Eleven police were hurt, trying to provide a buffer between Catholic protesters and youth-wing march-ers of the Protestant Orange Order. Gasoline and paint bombs used by both sides "are not manufactured spontaneously," a police commander said.
Eighteen retired generals signed a statement calling on new Indonesian President B.J. Habibie to step aside in favor of a caretaker head of state. The document said ex-President Suharto, who named Habibie as his successor May 21, was wrong to do so. The generals demanded a special session of parliament by July to rescind his appointment. Meanwhile, in Surabaya, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians demonstrated peacefully in support of political and economic reform.
In Hong Kong, at least 2,000 people marched in memory of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre - the first such demonstration since the territory reverted to Chinese control last July. The march was peaceful, but the demonstrators openly demanded the end of one-party rule in China and the release of all political dissidents held in Chinese jails. Some carried a coffin bearing the inscription: "Down with [President] Jiang Zemin." Analysts said the emotional rally was a test of the Beijing government's tolerance for political dissent.
A strike by pilots of Air France that could disrupt next week's opening of the World Cup soccer tournament was to begin today. The carrier canceled up to 90 percent of its flights through Thursday after negotiations with the largest of several pilots unions broke down late last week. Air France's pilots are among the best-paid in the industry, but the carrier is attempting to implement salary-scale changes after only recently returning to profitability.
The hard-line conservative politician whose loss in last year's presidential election triggered a power struggle in Iran won a new term as Speaker of parliament. Akbar Nateq-Nouri has held the post since 1992, but he was soundly defeated for the presidency by relatively moderate Mohamad Khatami. Since then, Nateq-Nouri's supporters have used their influence to try to stall Khatami's efforts at democratic reform, leading to large and sometimes violent public demonstrations.
The second powerful earthquake since early February rocked northern Afghanistan. Relief efforts and early estimates of damage were hampered by bad weather, but officials said at least 3,000 people died and 50 villages were destroyed. Hardest-hit was Shahr-i-Buzurg, which can be reached only by helicopter or horseback. The quake measured 7.1 on the Richter scale - a far higher magnitude than the 6.1 tremor Feb. 4 that killed at least 4,000 people.
"They have not enhanced their security; they have diminished it. They have not
enhanced their standing in the world; they have diminished it."
- Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, commenting for NBC on India's and Pakistan's nuclear-weapons rivalry.
Women have a more generous spirit than men, right? Apparently so - if the results of a new study are to be believed. From London comes word that researchers gave people in two groups - one male, the other female - $10 in cash each and the option of keeping or sharing it. Fifty-three percent of the women said they'd give an unidentified partner some of the money, while only 40 percent of the men would. What's more, women on average gave away $1.60. That was within two cents of being twice what the men were willing to share.
Ever dreamed of having a big public monument in your honor? Now there's a way you can. The government of Romania, Prime Minister Radu Vasile says, will rename Victory Square in Bucharest for anyone who comes up with a "comprehensive solution" to the country's massive economic problems. The challenge is steep. Taxpayers owe the government an estimated $7 billion, and Romania's foreign debt comes to another $8 billion, give or take a couple of zeroes.
The Day's List
Two-Parent US Families With Children Under 18
It's been more than a quarter-century since married couples with children under age 18 accounted for more than half of American families. Here's a look at their declining percentage of the total for each odd year since 1967, the last time they constituted a majority:
- Census Bureau/AP