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News In Brief

By CompiledLance Carden and Caryn Coatney / August 18, 1998



The US

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President Clinton is ready to admit he had an "inappropriate relationship" with Monica Lewinsky, one of his advisers said. Meanwhile a survey conducted on the eve of the president's secret grand-jury testimony in the Lewinsky case found 51.6 percent of respondents thinking the institution of the presidency has been diminished by Clinton but 57.1 percent giving the president's job performance a positive rating. The survey of 631 voters by Zogby America was conducted Friday through Sunday.

A massive underground complex that could house a nuclear-weapons program has been detected in North Korea, The New York Times reported. White House and Defense Department officials are concerned the complex is part of an effort to renege on a 1994 agreement for North Korea to abandon its nuclear-weapons ambitions in exchange for billions of dollars in outside aid, unnamed officials told the Times. North Korea has accused the US of not living up to its part of the accord because Congress has not authorized required fuel shipments to North Korea.

The State Department warned Americans against travel to Pakistan and ordered nonessential US embassy workers and their families to leave the country. The department issued a separate "worldwide caution" urging all Americans traveling abroad to be extremely careful in the wake of the US-embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. A department spokeswoman refused to comment on whether the announcements were linked to the arrest in Pakistan of a suspect in the twin bombings.

Investigators in Kenya have found a 100-pound drive shaft they believe was part of a pickup truck used in the bombing of the embassy in Nairobi, Newsweek magazine reported. The drive shaft reportedly contains identifying serial numbers. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright left for East Africa to visit the two embassies and to express the nation's grief over both the US and African victims of the bombings.

Millionaire-adventurer Steve Fossett was plucked from the Coral Sea east of Australia after his around-the-world balloon mission fell victim to a thunderstorm. He was to be taken to Townsville in Queensland, Australia, a spokeswoman at his headquarters in St. Louis said. Fossett was said to be at least five days from reaching South America, where he began the flight on Aug. 7. This was Fossett's fourth attempt to circle the globe nonstop in a balloon.

Florida residents remained under advisory to reduce their energy consumption following a fire Friday that damaged natural-gas lines and interrupted gas and electric supplies across the state. Because many Florida power plants are gas-fired, it was anticipated that some would not be able to operate and that others would have to operate at reduced levels until repairs to the gas lines are completed late Wednesday or Thursday. Lightning set off explosions late Friday at a natural-gas compressor station in the northern Florida town of Perry.

No face-to-face talks were scheduled between negotiators for U S West and the striking Communications Workers of America. The two sides talked separately Sunday with a federal mediator. The union, which went on strike Saturday, represents 35,000 of the regional Bell company's 51,000 employees in a region that includes 14 states.

General Motors estimated third-quarter costs of recent strikes by the United Auto Workers union at $1.65 billion. Chairman Jack Smith has said he expects the net loss from the strikes for the fiscal year to be approximately $2 billion after some of the lost production is recovered through overtime work.

The World

Kenyan and American investigators denied news reports that a suspect had confessed to planning the Aug. 7 bombings of the US Embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania. They said Mohammed Sadiq Howaida had not admitted responsibility for the attacks nor implicated anyone else. A Pakistani newspaper had reported that Sadiq claimed the attacks were sponsored by a wealthy Saudi dissident living in Afghanistan and believed to be funding a number of violent Islamic groups. Meanwhile, a Kenyan newspaper said FBI agents had arrested another suspect in Dubai.

Some 1,700 troops from 14 countries began a six-day military exercise in Albania, not far from the continued fighting in Kosovo. The operations, involving 11 NATO countries as well as Russia, Albania, and Lithuania, would demonstrate to "belligerents in the region" that NATO is ready to intervene in Kosovo, NATO's commander-in-chief for Southern Europe said. He denied that the exercises, which also include 60 aircraft and helicopters, were "directed at any particular party."