News In Brief


Israeli Prime Minister Rabin won't suspend autonomy talks with the Palestinians, but he expects PLO leader Arafat to crack down on insurgents. If Arafat does not comply, Rabin said, negotiations between the two parties could suffer. The Israeli government also said unless Arafat moves against Hamas and the Islamic Jihad groups, Israel will not implement the second phase of the autonomy accord -- an Army pullout from the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat countered that Israel's ban on Palestinians from the West

Bank and Gaza entering Israel is a breach of the 1993 peace deal.


The Egyptian government appears determined to crush the Islamic insurgency afte*clashes between police and militants in southern Egypt escalated. Police shot and killed 14 suspected militants over the weekend, and extremists killed two policemen and two civilians. This month's death toll of 82 rivals all of 1993, when 93 people were killed. The radicals claim that the secular government is corrupt and must be replaced by Islamic rule.


Skirmishes exploded along the Peru-Ecuador border as each claimed it was fighting on its own territory. Despite foreign leaders' appeals to both countries to negotiate a peaceful end to the long-standing dispute, Ecuador announced a new tax to pay for the conflict. Sunday marked the 53rd anniversary of an accord that ended a border war between the two countries. Ecuador has never reconciled itself to the settlement. Ecuadoran officials said 20 Peruvian and three Ecuadoran soldiers were killed over the w eekend. Peru confirmed the deaths of five Peruvians and the downing of one helicopter.


International mediators presented a new peace plan to the Croatian and Serbian governments. The proposal would grant self-government to Serbs in areas where they were a majority before the war. In exchange, the Serbs would have to surrender authority to Croatia in areas they hold now but did not previously control.The plan aims to prevent a resurgence of fighting when UN peacekeepers leave at the end of March. It is also designed to reintegrate Serb-held lands into Croatia. Mediators acknowledge that bo th sides will have difficulty accepting the proposal. .


Russian commanders are preparing for a ''final storming'' of Grozny, according to the Russian government press service. Russian authorities have repeatedly announced plans to seize the city, but they have been unable to oust forces loyal to Chechen leader Dudayev. The Russians are also concentrating on Argun and Gudermes, towns east of Grozny that haven't buckled after more than a month of attacks. An international humanitarian group visiting Chechnya said both sides had violated human rights over the c ourse of the war.


Burmese forces attacked the Karen rebels' last major northern base and moved against guerrilla positions to the south. The Karen rebels were the strongest of what were once more than a dozen ethnic insurgencies fighting for greater autonomy from the military-run central government. The Karen rebellion erupted 46 years ago. Some leaders of the rebel movement, along with thousands of followers, have fled to Thailand. The United States condemned the government attack.


Emperor Akihito is finally visiting survivors of the Jan. 17 earthquake in Kobe, Japan. There has been little open criticism of the emperor's delayed arrival, and city officials hope today's visit will boost morale. The more than 200,000 Japanese packed into unheated shelters are concerned about the low temperatures expected to last over the next few days.


Republicans at the National Governors' Association meeting are pushing a plan to replace hundreds of federal welfare programs with block grants to states and to set aside emergency funds for disasters or recession. But it's not clear if enough Democratic governors support the plan, which needs backing from three-quarters of governors to become NGA policy. The Clinton administration view of the proposal will sway the Democrats; the president has expressed reservations about giving governors so much leewa y. In a meeting with the governors, Clinton asked them to back his Mexico aid plan.


The Clinton administration told 18 states and the District of Columbia that they may have to refund between $1 billion and $3 billion in Medicaid funds. It's also questioning states' methods of increasing the Medicaid money they get from the federal government, the Washington Post said. Some states may be able to get waivers, but a federal agency told Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New York, and Texas that their methods were illegal.


The number of young American children living in poverty has hit an all-time high, a private study claims. The report by the National Center for Children in Poverty says more than one-quarter of American children under age 6 live in poverty, and the number increased by 1 million between 1987 and 1992. The study also says three-fifths of poor children have working parents.


Senator Pressler proposes deregulating some cable TV programming, even as some cable customers are still waiting for refunds mandated by Congress three years ago. He says emerging competitive forces should protect the public from price-gouging. Pressler plans to introduce his bill next month as part of an overhaul of telecommunications laws. Meanwhile, in a letter to the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Pressler repeated his resolve to cut funding for public TV and radio. CPB officia ls warn loss of federal funds could close 1 out of 10 public stations.


The Smithsonian's regents may cancel a controversial exhibit on the dropping of the first atom bomb on Japan. The exhibit, which features the Enola Gay, the World War II plane that dropped the bomb, has raised the ire of veterans' groups. They claim the exhibit portrays the US as aggressor and Japan as a victim. It was due to open in May.


Clinton extended the moratorium on nuclear testing beyond this year, National Security Adviser Lake said. The move aims to improve the chances for extending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is up for renewal.


Some fans celebrating San Francisco's 49-26 Super Bowl win over San Diego got out of hand. About 30 people were arrested for fighting, drunkenness, and firing celebratory gunshots. Two men were injured by gunfire during celebrations in San Francisco's Mission district. In the game, the 49ers' Steve Young set a Super Bowl record, passing for six touchdowns. (Story, Page 13.)


Americans' personal income rose 6.1 percent in 1994, the largest annual gain in six year, the Commerce Department said. It also reported that consumer spending, which represents two-thirds of US economic activity, rose 5.7 percent for the year, slightly lower than in 1993, and the smallest advance since 1991. A trade group said orders for US machine tools leapt to $4.7 billion, 43 percent more than the previous year.


Members of a Greek expedition have discovered two limestone plaques they hope will prove that Alexander the Great was buried in the remote Egyptian oasis of Siwa. Alexander's burial place of is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the ancient world. History has it he died in Babylon and was moved to Egypt


After court battles over the wishes of an eccentric collector, 84 paintings displayed in a gallery in suburban Merion Township for more than a half century will finally hang four miles away in Philadelphia.The collection of Dr. Albert Barnes includes 2,500 Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and modern works.


The Sundance Film Festival, the pet project of actor Robert Redford, closed its 11-day run in Park City, Utah, Sunday, racking up record attendance. Top prizes went to ''The Brothers McMullen,'' a drama about three Irish-Catholic brothers in New York, and the documentary ''Crumb,'' about 1960s cartoonist R. Crumb.


Hundreds of millions of people across Asia began celebrating the Chinese New Year, bidding farewell to the Year of the Dog and welcoming in the Year of the Pig. The celebrations are akin to combining Christmas, the Fourth of July, and New Year's.


Terrorism is hitting us hard. But will stopping the peace process reduce terrorism? In my opinion, it would increase it.

- Israeli Prime Minister Rabin


Top-Grossing Films Last Weekend

(Preliminary figures)

1. ''Legends of the Fall,'' $6.6 million.

2. ''Highlander The Final Dimension,'' $5.7 million.

3. ''Dumb and Dumber,'' $4.6 million.

4. ''Nobody's Fool,'' $4.3 million.

5. ''Higher Learning,'' $3.6 million.

6. ''Murder in the First,'' $3.4 million.

7. ''Houseguest,'' $2.1 million.

8. ''Disclosure,'' $2 million.

9. ''Little Women,'' $2 million.

10. ''Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight,'' $1.7 million.

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