News In Brief

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The US

Rep. Bob Livingston (R) of Louisiana emerged as leading contender for Speaker of the House after Newt Gingrich resigned the post and said he would also give up his seat in Congress. The news set off a chain of announcements for GOP House posts held by party leaders tied to Gingrich and the party's poor showing in the Nov. 3 elections. Rep. Christopher Cox of California, who has headed a House probe into US technology transfers to China, is reportedly Livingston's strongest rival for Speaker. Livingston chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

The first official hearing in the House impeachment process is to take place today with 19 scholars lined up to testify on the background and history of impeachment. House Republicans set a scaled-back schedule for the proceedings with only one major witness - independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Judiciary chairman Henry Hyde said he might call other witnesses, but would try to end the probe by the end of the year. He also sent Clinton a letter asking him to confirm or deny certain allegations in the Starr report, which he said would make clear what facts were in dispute and speed up the inquiry.

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Some 430 law professors denounced Starr's report, saying its allegations do not justify impeachment. In an open letter to Gingrich, the legal experts from across the country said that under the US Constitution, no president can be impeached unless he has committed treason, bribery, "or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The letter to Gingrich says, "In our judgment, Mr. Starr's report contains no such evidence."

Sen. John Glenn returned to Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery as exuberant as when he set out on his historic ride. The next shuttle mission, scheduled for Dec. 3, will connect the first two parts of the International Space Station, a $60 billion orbital outpost involving 16 nations.

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D) of New York said he would not seek reelection to the Senate when his term expires in two years. Moynihan, known for his quick wit and intelligence, served four presidents before being elected to Congress in 1976.

Clinton flew to Camp David to meet with advisers on dealing with Iraqi defiance of UN arms inspections. He was to confer at the Maryland retreat with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defense Secretary William Cohen, among others. Officials said Clinton was not expected to make any final decisions on various options, including possible launching of cruise missiles at military targets in Iraq. Fifteen UN arms monitors were to leave Iraq today and Wednesday after Baghdad said Oct. 31 that it was suspending cooperation with them.

The president said he wants to close a legal loophole that allows dealers to sell arms at gun shows with no questions asked. He directed Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Attorney General Janet Reno to report back to him in 60 days with a plan to revise the Brady handgun-control law to correct the problem.

The pace of consumer borrowing picked up in September, the Federal Reserve said. Credit outstanding grew at a 7.9 percent annual rate for the month - up from a 4.2 percent rate in August and faster than the 5.2 percent average thus far for the year.

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was indicted on US corruption charges in connection with the issuance of riverboat-casino licenses. A grand jury returned the 30-count indictment after a two-year inquiry. Edwards, who left office in 1996 after serving four terms, said he welcomed a trial to prove his innocence. Also included in the indictment were the former governor's son, Stephen; state Sen. Greg Tarver; Andrew Martin, a former aide to Edwards; cattleman Cecil Brown; and contractor Bobby Johnson.

The World

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels planned to hold crisis talks today on Central America. US military engineers arrived in Honduras to help repair roads and bridges, while the country received $20 million in food aid from the US Agency for International Development. US Army Secretary Louis Caldera was to visit Guatemala and Nicaragua to evaluate damage and relief efforts after touring Honduras, where he said the US would fly in 12 helicopters to join 20 already sent. Hurricane Mitch has killed an estimated 11,000 people in Central America and left 13,000 others missing.

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai predicted the Cabinet would ratify the Wye peace agreement this week after the vote was frozen by a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed the two assailants and injured 21 Israelis. Palestinian forces arrested Islamic Jihad activists and closed a nursery linked to the military group.

Colombia moved to end a 35-year-long conflict and withdrew some 2,000 government troops from five southern towns where peace talks are to begin in December. The region is a stronghold of the 15,000-member Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin returned to Moscow after a week-long respite on the Black Sea to recover from health problems. He is expected to attend several meetings this week, including some with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who is scheduled to arrive in Russia tomorrow. Also, the US signed an accord in Moscow to donate 3.1 million tons of food aid.

Partial results from a New Caledonia referendum showed resounding support for a measure that could lead to independence. Residents were asked whether they would accept a transition period of "shared sovereignty" for the French territory. If they agree, a new referendum will be held in 15-to-20 years to decide on total independence. With 23 of 33 regions counted, the "yes" vote led at 76 percent.

Polling stations opened in four Mexican states, where voters were deciding whether to extend the mandate of the world's longest ruling party in state congresses and governors' seats. The vote is being viewed as a barometer of voter support for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party before presidential campaigns start next year.

After a 23-year delay, Bangladesh tried 15 former military leaders for assassinating the country's first prime minister. Dhaka district Judge Kazi Golam Rasul sentenced them to death for killing Sheikh Mujibur Rahma - father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Four others on trial, including a former junior minister for information, were acquitted.

The US partially lifted sanctions on Pakistan and India because of progress on arms issues. Sanctions were imposed on both countries last spring after they carried out nuclear test explosions. The waiving of sanctions on Pakistan opens the door to a loan from the International Monetary Fund, which has a team arriving in Islamabad today. US backing for international lending doesn't apply to India, whose economy is more robust than Pakistan's.

Turkey sent 25,000 troops, warplanes, and helicopters into northern Iraq to battle the rebel Kurdistan Worker's Party, according to the Anatolia news agency. The operation is aimed at rebels who fled into Iraq from Syria.

Etceteras

"We're creating a stage where there is no armed conflict." - Colombian President Andrs Pastrana, after his government pulled its troops out of a region the size of Switzerland in a bold effort to prepare the way for peace talks scheduled to begin next month with rebel leaders.

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. You're off to the brig! The latest version of Monopoly is a Navy edition of the classic board game - the first concerning a military service. Chance and Community Chest cards are now Atlantic and Pacific Fleet cards, which can send you to the brig or grant ROTC scholarships. Virginia Avenue, St. Charles Place, Marvin Gardens, Kentucky Avenue, and Reading Railroad have become the Naval Academy, Norfolk Naval Base, a Seawolf submarine, a P3 Orion, and the USS Enterprise.

So, how do you occupy yourself when a rush-hour traffic jam delays a commute? The energy company Pennzoil has polled 15,000 Americans on the subject. It reports that, generally, the older the driver, the more likely he or she is to wait it out by - well - waiting it out: i.e., simply watching for the vehicle ahead to move on. Apparently, one-quarter of respondents use the time to finish dressing. And 46 percent of women try to "make up" some time by freshening makeup.

The Day's List

Texas Capital Is Chosen Best City for Business

Fortune magazine has named Austin, Texas, the year's best city for business in North America. Seven of Fortune's top-10 cities are in the Western US, and most of them wouldn't be "booming" were it not for the strong presence of high-tech startup firms. In determining its rankings, the magazine assessed the business climate of various cities by considering such factors as the number of new businesses, increased employment, amount of venture capital raised, and the rate of job growth. The top 10:

1. Austin, Texas

2. Las Vegas, Nev.

3. Salt Lake City

4. Phoenix

5. San Jose, Calif.

6. Raleigh, N.C.

7. Portland, Ore.

8. Atlanta

9. Denver

10. Grand Rapids, Mich.

- PR Newswire

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