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Russia agreed to return to Holocaust victims or their heirs art looted by the Nazis, but France rejected a plea to auction more than 2,000 works of art held by the government since World War II. At a conference in Washington, Russian delegate Valery Kulishov surprised observers by pledging to try to identify and return so-called victim art. He said nothing about returning art taken from institutions.
More US documents that could help prosecute former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet will be declassified and released, senior administration officials said. Spanish investigators are combing declassified US archives for evidence of human-rights violations by Pinochet. Exactly how much more material will be declassified was not clear. The US has been cautiously neutral about Spain's interest in prosecuting Pinochet on charges of genocide, terrorism, and torture - and about a British court's denial of immunity for the former dictator.
A trial began in Washington to determine how much the late President Nixon's estate should be compensated for 42 million pages of documents, thousands of photographs, and 3,700 hours of secretly recorded tapes left behind when he climbed into a helicopter and quit the White House in 1974. The government was prepared to argue that the heirs are entitled to nothing - and that the collection is worth far less than Nixon lawyers contend. Estimates of its value, plus interest, range beyond $250 million.
Lawyers for President Clinton and GOP challenger Bob Dole disputed a preliminary audit that found their 1996 campaigns owe millions of dollars because they illegally benefited from ads run by their political parties. Federal Election Commission auditors recommended the Clinton campaign repay $7 million and the Dole campaign pay back $17.7 million in taxpayer funds.
Clinton eased most of the US sanctions imposed against Pakistan and India after they conducted underground nuclear-weapons tests last spring. The action came as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was to meet with Clinton in the Oval Office. White House officials said Clinton might reschedule for next year a trip he canceled this fall to the two nations.
Kentucky's Mitch McConnell was reelected chair of the GOP senatorial fund-raising panel as both Republicans and Democrats chose Senate leaders for the new Congress. McConnell's victory by a three-to-one margin over challenger Chuck Hagel of Nebraska came in the only contested election.
The Ohio Supreme Court cleared the way for a wrongful-imprisonment lawsuit by the son of Dr. Sam Sheppard to determine whether the doctor was innocent of the 1954 murder of his wife. The court ruled 4-3 against a request by prosecutors to stop the case, which partly inspired "The Fugitive" TV series and a film of the same name, from going to trial again.
University of California teaching assistants walked out at all eight undergraduate campuses. The strike was the assistants' fourth in six years, but the first involving all general-admissions campuses. At issue: whether the assistants can unionize, a right they have been trying to win for 15 years.
Russia will have to wait until after Jan. 1 for further financial help from the International Monetary Fund, director Michel Camdessus said. He left meetings in Moscow with senior officials, among them Prime Minister Primakov, saying he "saluted" their determination to pursue reforms. But he said he was not yet prepared to release more of the $22.6 billion in bailout funds agreed to last summer. A $4.3 billion installment has been frozen since September because of Russia's latest financial crisis.
Iraq failed to hand over key documents sought by the UN by the deadline the latter had set. Weapons-inspections chief Richard Butler had asked for an Air Force account of chemical munitions used in the 1983-88 war with Iran by Monday. Butler must certify that Iraq has fulfilled its promise to cooperate fully with his inspectors before the Security Council will review the question of lifting economic sanctions.
For the second time in eight days, Protestant and Catholic political leaders in Northern Ireland were to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair as they struggled to put together the joint administration called for in their April peace accord. The two sides remain apart on how many seats the administration, known as the Executive, should have and how they should be divided along sectarian lines. Protestants also insist that Sinn Fein, the political ally of the Irish Republican Army, should not participate until the IRA at least begins to hand in its weapons.