BALANCED-BUDGET AMENDMENT FAILS In a significant vote on the GOP's ``Contract With America,'' the House failed yesterday to pass a balanced budget amendment that would require a three-fifths majority vote to increase taxes. The House, though, is still expected to pass an alternative amendment that would not require the supermajority provision. This approach, however, would be a rebuff to conservatives, who argue that without a tax limitation provision it will be too easy for Washington to balance the budget on taxpayers' backs. Wiesel represents US

President Clinton Wednesday named Elie Wiesel, a Nobel laureate and Nazi death-camp survivor, to head a delegation to ceremonies in Poland this week marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Mr. Wiesel has expressed unhappiness at the Polish government's arrangements for the ceremonies, saying Jews should have a larger role in marking the liberation of a camp where 1.5 million people were killed, 90 percent of them Jews.

Duel over lobbyist gifts

Stung by Republican charges of hypocrisy, President Clinton Wednesday ordered his legal defense fund to stop accepting money from lobbyists. The White House then challenged Congress to do more to insulate itself from special interests. The latest tussle over lobbying reform began when Clinton, in his State of the Union address, urged Congress to refuse gifts from lobbyists.

Gingrich book deal

Former Rep. Ben Jones from Georgia says Newt Gingrich's book deal with a company owned by Rupert Murdoch violates House rules. Mr. Jones, who was defeated by Mr. Gingrich in November, filed an expanded complaint yesterday with the House ethics committee. The complaint alleges that the deal violates standards of conduct dealing with potential conflicts of interest, limits on outside compensation, and a requirement that House members be full-time legislators.

Jordan, PLO sign pact

PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Jordanian Prime Minister Sharif Zeid Bin Shaker signed a cooperation accord yesterday to guide future Palestinian-Jordanian relations.

Championships canceled

Ski officials yesterday canceled the World Alpine Skiing Championships to have begun tomorrow in Sierra Nevada, Spain, because of a lack of snow and reset them for February 1996 there.

Japan quake aftermath

As the cleanup from last week's earthquake continues around Kobe, Japanese officials are growing concerned about the need to find homes for the 300,000 survivors who now are living in cramped quarters with primitive sanitation. As of yesterday, more than 5,000 people had been killed and 88,000 buildings destroyed or heavily damaged in the disaster.

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