News In Brief

The World

British Prime Minister Major and Irish Prime Minister Bruton unveiled their plan for ending the violence in Northern Ireland. Ireland promises to amend its constitution's claim to Northern Irish territory, while Britain will restore a parliament within the province. (Story, Page 1.)

France has asked the US to withdraw four diplomats and a civilian it claimed were CIA spies. The newspaper Le Monde said the five had attempted to recruit members of French ministerial cabinets. It said Interior Minister Pasqua wanted to curb US spying in France and counter similar allegations against French agents in the US. The White House said private discussions with France on the matter were under way.

World unemployment has reached its worst level since the Great Depression, the UN labor agency said. The International Labor Organization said the jobless rate, 30 percent in 1994, could be halved if proper economic policies are followed.(Story, Page 7.)

About 165,000 German metal and electronics workers voted to strike as early as this week.

The New China News Agency said American and Chinese trade negotiators made "satisfactory progress" toward averting a trade war. An unidentified Chinese official said an agreement could be in the offing. The US has threatened $1 billion in sanctions starting Saturday if China doesn't curb intellectual-goods piracy. China says it will retaliate.

South African President Mandela's Cabinet met to discuss the walkout of the 48 Inkatha Freedom Party members from Parliament. Party leader Buthelezi, the Home Affairs minister, said the government is not addressing his regional-autonomy demands. While he did not quit the government, the move heightened concern over a renewal of inter-Zulu fighting in KwaZulu-Natal.

Russian forces claimed they beat back a Chechen attack on the outskirts of Grozny. Fighting increased after the expiration of a four-day cease-fire Sunday. Top Russian commanders ruled out peace talks unless the rebels surrender their artillery, demilitarize the capital, and release all Russian prisoners. In Russia, meanwhile, popular Gen. Alexander Lebed, a critic of Yeltsin and the Chechen war, said he would run for president next year.

A UN convoy carrying 99 tons of food aid finally reached northwest Bosnia after a three-day delay. UN special representative Akashi met with Croatian Serbs and received assurances further convoys to Bihac would not be blocked, but aid workers were skeptical. They have warned of starvation among the area's 200,000 residents.

PLO leader Arafat launched a diplomatic effort to pressure Israel on troop withdrawal and Palestinian elections. The move followed a meeting of the PLO executive committee, which decided not to withdraw from the peace process. Arafat met with Egyptian President Mubarak and was set to go on to Saudi Arabia.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee said his country would not hold a military exercise with the US. The move should help improve strained relations with North Korea. But he also warned that a US-North Korea nuclear deal would collapse if Pyongyang rejects South Korean reactors.

Violence continued in Algeria, where 95 Islamist inmates and four guards died in a prison revolt. Islamists killed a defense-ministry official Tuesday, the latest in a half-dozen killings of intellectuals, artists, and journalists since last week. Security forces killed eight Islamists in a series of action the same day. Some 30,000 people have died in political violence that broke out in 1992, when the army halted legislative elections that the Islamic Salvation Front appeared likely to win.

The US

Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, warned that economic growth will "almost surely" slow. He hinted that Fed policymakers are starting to think about cutting interest rates sometime in the future. Greenspan cited evidence that the economy had already slowed: an increase in the unemployment rate from 5.4 percent in December to 5.7 percent in January; a slackening in retail sales; and a drop in housing construction. The Fed predicted an increase in consumer prices between 3 percent and 3.5 percent this year, up from 2.7 percent for the past two years.

The Supreme Court struck down a law prohibiting most federal employees from getting paid for speeches and written articles. The court ruled the honoraria ban violated government workers' free-speech rights. It said a procedural glitch prevented it from ruling on a California case that sought to reinstate a law limiting welfare payments for people who had lived in the state less than a year. The court refused to rein in Alabama judges' power to impose death sentences for convicted murderers after juries recommend life in prison as the proper punishment.

The Supreme Court ruled that Amtrak is part of the government and can be sued by people alleging its employees violated their constitutional rights. The decision could have far-reaching repercussions for other government-established entities. Elsewhere, Vermont agreed to put up $581,000 to keep Amtrak trains rolling through the state for at least another year.

Laura D'Andrea Tyson will leave her post as chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers to become President Clinton's chief economic aide. She replaces Robert Rubin, who left the National Economic Council in January to become treasury secretary.

The House passed legislation making 25 percent of health-insurance premiums tax-deductible for 3.2 million farmers, small-business owners, and other self-employed workers.

The Public Broadcasting Service said it will get a share of the merchandising profits right from the start from its new children's show, "The Puzzle Place." That was not the case with its two big hits, "Barney and Friends" and "Sesame Street." Under a deal with toymaker Fisher-Price Inc., PBS will get 19 percent of the net profits from the new show. PBS officials said they anticipate that a House subcommittee will recommend deep cuts in federal funding for public broadcasting. (Media notes, Page 13.)

A General Accounting Office report says the District of Columbia is insolvent and has money to operate only because it is not paying bills, the Washington Post said. The City Council voted to eliminate 1,200 jobs by Sept. 30, in addition to 2,000 job cuts approved earlier, to help the district cope with a $722 million budget shortfall.

Faced with strong congressional opposition, the White House abandoned a plan to impose a mandatory border-crossing fee for people entering the US by land from Mexico and Canada.

Black Americans are increasingly finishing school and finding good jobs, but they still earn less than their white counterparts, new Census Bureau studies show. Among the other findings: About 27 percent of all black families lived in poverty in 1989; 83 percent of the 7 million black families in 1990 had at least one worker; median income was not significantly different in 1969 than it was in 1993 (about $21,550); more black women (6 million) than men (5.4 million) were employed in 1990.

Clinton vowed to oppose GOP efforts to repeal school lunch and breakfast programs. He also said the GOP's proposed tax cut was too large.


Stockbroker Steve Fossett became the first person to fly across the Pacific in a balloon. Fossett's 150-foot-tall helium balloon touched down on a farmer's muddy field 250 miles east of Calgary, Alberta. The Chicago native left South Korea on Saturday, traveling more than 6,000 miles in four days. He originally planned to land in San Francisco, but winds blew him far to the north.

Australian Antarctic researchers completed a historic two-way crossing of the world's largest glacier. Three bulldozers made the 100-day, 2,000-mile journey over the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf near Davis station.

Zimbabwe's wildlife department is mired in infighting over elephant-protection programs. A tribunal convened to investigate theft of funds and the alleged illegal sale of elephants by a senior ranger during an operation to relocate elephants rather than cull them. Ranger Gordon Putterill claims he's being framed by officials involved in ivory poaching.

Their new home is ready, but the Houston Zoo's hippos don't want to move. The pair of two-ton Nile hippos are supposed to leave for the Kansas City Zoo's $30 million, 95-acre African exhibit, which opens this summer. Zoo personnel have tried since Feb. 1 to get the river horses onto a trailer for the journey, but to no avail. They'll try again today using bread, yams, and apples to lure the reluctant animals.

Top-Grossing Films, Feb. 17-20

1. "The Brady Bunch Movie," $15 million

2. "Just Cause," $10.6 million

3. "Billy Madison," $6.1 million

4. "Heavyweights," $6 million

5. "The Quick and the Dead," $4.4 million

6. "Legends of the Fall," $4.1 million

7. "Boys on the Side," $3.6 million

8. "Forest Gump," $3 million

9. "Pulp Fiction," $2.9 million

10. "Nobody's Fool," $2.5 million

- Associated Press

``We seek to help peace, but only the people of Northern Ireland can deliver it. So let me say to them, these are our ideas, but the future is up to you."

- British Prime Minister John Major

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