News In Brief

President Clinton could be subpoenaed to testify about Monica Lewinsky, a spokesman for independent counsel Kenneth Starr said. Charles Bakaly also revealed on ABC TV that an indictment of the president was one option being considered by Starr. Observers said the statements indicate the special prosecutor's inquiry has reached a critical stage.

Many Northern and Northeastern states were assessing damage from weekend storms and tornadoes that killed at least 18 people, destroyed homes and businesses, and shut down power for more than 1.3 million people. Sunday night's storms tore through Pennsylvania, New York, and New England in an extension of a weather pattern that had arrived earlier in South Dakota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Californians cast votes today in gubernatorial and Senate primaries - and on two significant ballot initiatives. One would scrap bilingual education in a state where by 2040 almost two-thirds of the population could be Hispanic. The other would force unions to get permission from individual members before spending their dues on political campaigns.

Much of the wealth the Nazis looted from Jews during World War II was routed through Switzerland to help sustain German supplies and armaments, The New York Times reported. Citing a report of US government historians scheduled to be released today, the newspaper said some $300 million in looted gold - estimated to be worth $2.6 billion now - was used to pay Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey for war supplies and weapons.

The US manufacturing sector grew more slowly than expected pace last month. The National Association of Purchasing Management said its monthly index of business activity fell to 51.4 in May from 52.9 in April. The drop reportedly surprised economists, who had expected the index to drop only slightly or to remain unchanged.

Private citizens can sue the Federal Election Commission over decisions not to require certain groups to disclose their campaign spending, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-to-3 decision. The justices also agreed - in an effort to clarify a 1996 immigration law - to hear a case involving US attempts to deport a group of Palestinians accused of supporting a foreign terrorist group. The government contends lower courts lack authority under the law to hear the Palestinians' argument that they were singled out for enforcement of immigration laws.

Two trade unions representing 44,000 workers at Lucent Technologies went on strike. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America were reportedly still at the bargaining table with the company, which comprises what used to be AT&T's manufacturing, installation, and Bell Laboratories' operations before being spun off in 1996.

Philadelphia appeared headed for a strike that could shut down the nation's fifth-largest urban mass-transit system. The Transport Workers Union said its 5,200 members were prepared to walk out unless a last-minute deal was reached. A strike could force more than 400,000 daily riders to find alternate transportation.

American Home Products Corp. is buying Monsanto Co. in a $33 billion stock swap, the firms announced. The deal would reportedly create a life-science company with $23 billion in annual sales. American Home Products makes drug and health-care products. Monsanto makes ingredients for agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, and foods.

Packard Bell NEC plans to offer laptop computers without a link to Microsoft's Internet software, the electronic edition of the Wall Street Journal reported. The Journal said the move by the Sacramento, Calif.-based firm would mark the second time in a week that a major personal-computermaker has said it will not keep the link between Microsoft's operating system and its Internet browser software.

The World

"Surprising - and wrong" was India's official reaction to the claim by Pakistani Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Kahn that the New Delhi government planned a new round of nuclear tests next month. But a senior Atomic Energy Commission official was quoted as saying tests of small nuclear devices might still be carried out for research purposes "if necessary." Meanwhile, Pakistani scientists said only a government go-ahead was necessary to test a new medium-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Hundreds of refugees fled into neighboring Albania after the heaviest fighting in Yugo-slavia's volatile Kosovo province in almost three months. Thirty-seven ethnic Albanians and two Serb policemen were reported dead, and telephone service to the border region was cut. The clashes followed weekend meetings in Washington between Kosovo separatist leader Ibrahim Rugova and senior US officials in which he pledged to continue talks with the Yugoslav leadership on ending violence.

Gunfire echoed in the streets of Montenegro's capital as revelers celebrated the apparent victory of President Milo Djukanovic's coalition in parliamentary elections. The outcome was a new blow to Yugoslav President Milosevic, whose attentions are divided because of Kosovo. If final results confirm a Djukanovic victory, he could name most of Montenegro's delegates to the Yugoslav federal parliament, where they - in turn - could join with other Milosevic opponents to oust him.

The first planeloads of emergency supplies were due in northern Afghanistan, where a powerful weekend earthquake flattened more than 50 villages, killing at least 3,000 people and leaving another 8,000 homeless. Many of those affected were living in tents because they'd lost their homes in another strong quake that struck in February.

An efficient political machine and apparently successful efforts to distance himself from scandal-tainted head of state Ernesto Samper propelled ex-Interior Minister Horacio Serpa to a narrow victory in the first round of Colombia's presidential election. Serpa, a Samper protg, had trailed former Bogot Mayor Andres Pastrana in late opinion polls, but edged him by 0.3 percentage points in a record voter turnout. The two will face each other again in a June 21 runoff.

A runoff election for president also loomed in Ecuador after neither of the leading challengers won a majority of votes. Quito Mayor Jamil Mahuad finished with 35.4 percent, to 26.8 percent for business tycoon Alvaro Noboa. Mahuad has promised to improve education and health care and reduce crime. Noboa, in an appeal to the poor, vows to generate 1 million new jobs and to build 200,000 low-income housing units. The runoff is set for July 12.

After five months of house arrest, former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda was freed for lack of evidence that he knew of a coup plot. Kaunda was detained Christmas Day for allegedly concealing information on an attempt by junior military officers to overthrow the government two months earlier. His release came on the opening day of the trials of 81 suspects in the case.

Angry troops were ordered to end their mutiny and return to duty in Niger after a weekend protest over unpaid wages. It was not immediately clear whether the government's demand would be heeded, despite a threat to prosecute "troublemakers." The mutinies were centered in the capital, Niamey, and the central city of Agadez. Similar protests in February ended when the cash-strapped government granted partial payments.

Etceteras

" It's going to be interesting. There are always a few wild cards that come out of California."

- University of California Prof. Steven Erie, on ballot measures today that would scrap the state's bilingual-education program and limit unions' ability to apply member dues to political campaigns.

In most upscale communities you'd upset the neighbors if you didn't mow your lawn. Mike Perkins, on the other hand, angers them precisely because he did. In fact, the suburban Charlotte, N.C., resident has been threatened with a lawsuit if he dares to try it again. He lives in a development whose homeowners association hires a contractor to cut the grass - so all lawns will look alike. Perkins helps to pay the $112 monthly fee for the service, but claims he can do a better job. The association board is unimpressed. Sniffed one member: "If I didn't like the rules, I'd go somewhere else."

Devotees of travel in Thailand are bubbling with excitement at the prospect of a new luxury hotel coming onstream at or about the turn of the century. If all goes well, the $12.5 million, 200-room Tay Muang Resort will be built underwater. The only other such hotel is on Key Largo, Fla.

The Day's List

Time Ranks Top Artists, Entertainers of Century

Time magazine is compiling a list of the 100 most influential figures of the 20th century. This list of the 20 most influential artists and entertainers (in alphabetical order) seems certain to spark controversy - as did Time's earlier selection of 20 leading political figures.

Louis Armstrong

Lucille Ball

The Beatles

Marlon Brando

Coco Chanel

Charlie Chaplin

Le Corbusier

Bob Dylan

T.S. Eliot

Aretha Franklin

Martha Graham

Jim Henson

James Joyce

Pablo Picasso

Rodgers and Hammerstein

Bart Simpson

Frank Sinatra

Steven Spielberg

Igor Stravinsky

Oprah Winfrey

- Associated Press

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