News In Brief

Chinese premier zhu rongji was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on the first leg of a nine-day, six-city tour in which he hopes to close a deal on China's entry to the World Trade Organization and soothe relations with the US. First on his agenda was lunch with Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordon and other local officials. The premier will also visit Washington, Denver, Chicago, New York, and Boston. He is to meet with President Clinton tomorrow. Administration officials cautioned that a major breakthrough in US-China relations is unlikely during the visit.

Military bases at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; on Guam; and in Europe were being considered for up to 20,000 refugees of the Kosovo conflict whom the US has agreed to house until they can return to their homeland, Pentagon officials said. The Guantanamo Bay naval base, which housed some 51,000 Caribbean boat people in the mid-1990s, would need a large and rapid construction program to accommodate new refugees, military officials said.

Robert Pinsky, the nation's poet laureate, was appointed to an unprecedented third year in the post by Librarian of Congress James Billington. Pinsky is the ninth American laureate since Congress created the title in 1985. The Boston University creative-writing instructor has helped to develop a project in which both prominent and ordinary Americans are asked to read aloud their favorite poems. Some 1,000 audio and 200 video recordings will be made and deposited in the Library of Congress as a record of how Americans felt about poetry at the turn of the millennium.

Clinton asked Congress to expand US hate-crime laws to include offenses based on sexual orientation - and he directed colleges to report hate crimes annually. The president announced the initiatives in the company of religious, education, and law-enforcement leaders from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, where he unveiled a public-private initiative to develop curricula to combat intolerance among middle-school students.

Libya's US assets remain frozen - and trade with and travel to Libya by Americans continue to be essentially banned, US officials said. They made it clear the US view of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has not changed despite his surrender of two suspects wanted in the Pan Am 103 bombing a decade ago. US sanctions against Libya are based on its alleged role in international terrorism. On Monday, the UN suspended bans it imposed in 1992 on military sales to Libya, as well as all activities related to commercial-air transportation.

Archaeologists have discovered three well-preserved Inca mummies high in the Andes Mountains, the National Geographic Society reported. The remains of two girls and a boy were found beneath five feet of rock and earth on a burial platform atop Argentina's Mt. Llullaillaco. Apparently relics of a sacrificial ritual, the mummies may have been frozen for some 500 years, archaeologists said. Thirty-five gold, silver, and shell statues were also discovered. The expedition of US, Argentine, and Peruvian scientists was supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society.

Compiled by Robert Kilborn

and Lance Carden

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