News In Brief

Searchers gave up hope of finding John F. Kennedy Jr.; his wife, Carolyn; and her sister, Lauren Bessette, alive after their plane crashed off Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Richard Larrabee said the aircraft "was not equipped with any survival equipment." Above, an unidentified man secures a fence to stop tourists and the news media from trespassing on a bluff overlooking the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port.

President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak were to hold another round of talks at the White House. They have reportedly agreed to meet every four months in a drive to reach Mideast peace accords by the time Clinton leaves office 18 months from now. Barak told NBC he expected to know within 15 months whether Israel could achieve a "major breakthrough" in negotiations with the Palestinians, Syria, and Lebanon.

The world's mightiest and priciest X-ray telescope was scheduled to embark today on a five-year space voyage. The Chandra X-ray Observatory, a 4-1/2-story colossus, will be in the space-shuttle Columbia when it blasts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. This mission will also feature the US space agency's first female shuttle commander, Air Force Col. Eileen Collins, who is to release Chandra seven hours after launch. The telescope's first eagerly awaited observations are to begin a month later.

A plan to reduce electricity disruptions in severe weather was to be unveiled by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson in an address to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, meeting in San Francisco. With another heat wave gripping the Northeast, Richardson told reporters his proposals would include convening a Northeast regional power summit, investigating power outages, and speeding anticipated new federal standards for air-conditioner efficiency.

A resolution calling for taxes on Internet sales was expected to be approved today by members of the National Association of Counties, meeting in St. Louis. The resolution urges Congress to enact legislation that would treat all sales equally "whether they take place over the counter, by phone, mail order, or by Internet." The association's 80-member taxation steering committee had adopted the measure unanimously Saturday.

Most Americans have no plans to prepare for potential Y2K computer problems, a new poll indicated. In the CBS News survey, 56 percent of respondents said they live in households where no such plans exist. Respondents overwhelmingly said they expect year-2000 computer glitches, but only 18 percent expected major problems. Among that 18 percent, most said they may stock up on water and/or food. Other precautions included: withdrawing cash from the bank, upgrading computers, and copying or backing up financial and electronic records.

US aircraft struck missile and communications sites in one of the no-fly zones over Iraq, according to officials at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. They said the warplanes were enforcing the nation's southern no-fly zone when Iraqi gunners fired on the them. Officials in Iraq said 14 people were killed and 17 injured in the incident. No US aircraft or personnel were damaged or injured during the engagement, the Air Force officials in Florida said.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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