News In Brief
Mexican President Zedillo's credibility may get a boost from the arrest of his predecessor's brother. Raul Salinas was charged with masterminding the September murder of Raul Massieu, No. 2 man in the ruling PRI party. Former President Carlos Salinas said he believed his brother was innocent. In another case, investigators said three witnesses to the March 1994 assassination of PRI presidential candidate Luis Colosio identified Othan Cortes as a second gunman. Police arrested Cortes last week. A Colosio bodyguard was also detained. (Story, Page 1.)
Ecuador and Peru signed a new cease-fire accord in their border conflict. It calls for deployment of observers by March 8 and troop withdrawals from the combat zone.
News reports alleged that Barings Brothers bank executives knew a month ago about a trader's disastrous deals and tried to cover them. British regulators are trying to determine what the collapsed bank's London managers knew about Nicholas Leeson's futures trading in Singapore. Leeson and his wife are still missing. Meanwhile, bankruptcy administrators have begun closing out the deals in an effort to control losses and sell off the bank. Asian stock markets fell again because of the scandal, but European and US markets rose. (Derivatives, Page 9.)
British Prime Minister Major faced a rebellion by backbench Conservatives over European integration and by Northern Irish Unionists upset at his peace proposals for the territory. At press time, party managers were predicting a narrow victory in a parliamentary confidence vote.
Calls for NATO chief Willy Claes to step down increased after authorities arrested a former top aide in a Belgian bribery scandal. Johan Delanghe was Claes's chief of staff when the NATO secretary-general was Belgian economic minister. Investigators are looking into allegations that Claes's Socialist Party got a kickback from the Italian manufacturer of helicopters bought by the Belgian military. Claes began a nine-day North American visit.
The Polish parliament elected Jozef Oleksey prime minister. President Walesa, unhappy over the slow pace of economic reform, forced the resignation of Oleksey's predecessor, Waldemar Pawlak. Both Oleksey and Pawlak are former Communists.
Iran charged the US was trying to harm Tehran's relations with neighboring Gulf states. Western military sources said Iran has deployed Hawk antiaircraft missiles on Sirri Island, in the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane. Iran launched small-boat attacks on oil tankers from the island during the Iran-Iraq war.
Somali gunmen chased looters at Mogadishu's airport after Pakistani peacekeepers withdrew. The 1,500 UN troops moved to defensive positions manned by US and Italian marines in preparation for their departure, set for today.
South African police raided Winnie Mandela's house and office. They were investigating influence-peddling and bribery charges relating to a building company Mrs. Mandela would eventually control. The estranged wife of President Mandela was out of the country; no arrest warrant was issued.
Indonesia's human rights commission said soldiers unlawfully killed six East Timorese in January. It said there was no proof the six were supporters of the Fretelin separatist movement. Indonesia occupied East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, in 1975. The UN has never recognized the action.
The Philippine peso weakened again, despite central bank efforts to shore it up. Downward pressure on the currency has prompted concerns the country may follow Mexico into a fiscal crisis. The US
Supporters of a balanced-budget amendment delayed a vote until at least today as they sought the single, decisive vote needed to pass the measure. North Dakota Senators Conrad and Dorgan said they remain opposed to the measure the way it is written. (Story, Page 3.)
The economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the last three months of 1994, rounding out the strongest year of growth in a decade. GDP increased 4.0 percent for all of last year, the Commerce Department said. Spending on new construction fell in January for the first time in six months.
A House subcommittee chairman said he would hold hearings on whether Treasury Secretary Rubin had a conflict of interest in overseeing Mexico's financial bailout because of his background as a Wall Street executive. The Justice Department, meanwhile, was reviewing whether to appoint an independent counsel to investigate Transportation Secretary Pena, the Los Angeles Times said. A money-management firm founded by Pena won a contract to manage $5 million from the Los Angeles transit pension fund 19 days after he took federal office. Also, Representative Clinger, head of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, said he wants an independent counsel to investigate Commerce Secretary Brown's private finances.
The House pushed through a bill calling on government agencies to measure the costs of their rules against expected benefits and to do a better job of evaluating risks. It earlier approved a freeze on federal regulations.
The House Judiciary Committee voted to send to the floor a bill that would limit members of Congress to 12 consecutive years of service. Representative McCollum, the bill's author, admitted he was short of the two-thirds majority required to pass a constitutional amendment.
The Supreme Court ruled that unlawful arrests based on court employees' computer errors don't always require throwing out evidence seized afterward. Earlier, the court refused to let a Michigan high school keep a portrait of Jesus displayed on a hallway wall, where it has been for 30 years.
The Agriculture Department proposed legislation aimed at preventing more than $1 billion in losses each year from illegal trafficking in food stamps. The legislation would target participating grocery stores. Earlier, House Republicans' proposal to fold food stamps into a block grant with other federal food and nutrition programs was defeated.
Chicago Mayor Daley won 66 percent of the vote in the city's Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday. His opponent, Joseph Gardner, urged supporters to vote for independent candidate Roland Burris in next month's general election.
Clinton pledged that the Brady handgun law and a ban on assault-style firearms would remain in place, despite Republican opposition. The president cited results of a study showing that thousands of felons were denied weapons under the law.
The State Department said drug cartels are demonstrating new sophistication in feeding the world appetite for narcotics. It said they are getting better at fighting efforts to subdue them.
Whitewater council Starr announced the indictment of an Arkansas bank president and others, alleging a conspiracy to conceal large cash withdrawals by President Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign.
A judge ruled unconstitutional a New Jersey law requiring the public to be alerted when a sex offender is released into the community. He upheld the requirement that sex offenders register with authorities.
Los Angeles County said it needs help paying for the O. J. Simpson trial and might sell broadcast rights. Prosecutor Marcia Clark, meanwhile, took a day to examine a tape-recorded interview with a key witness. Etcetera
Turner Broadcasting System, which broke off talks to buy NBC earlier this year, has turned its sights back to CBS. The Atlanta-based cable-TV company has been holding preliminary talks about buying the ratings-troubled CBS. Turner first bid for CBS in 1985.
NBC won the February rating sweeps for the first time in five years. The network was first in prime time both for its total lineup and for its regularly scheduled series. ABC was second, and formerly first-place CBS faded to third.
Nine-time Emmy Award winner and "NYPD" creator Steven Bochco has jumped to CBS in an exclusive agreement through 2000, Peter Tortorici, president of CBS Entertainment, said. The move is a major coup for the network, according to industry sources.
Most cable-TV companies began compensating customers for late or missed service calls in the industry's most ambitious effort to date to rid itself of a poor customer-service image. The customers will get $20.
Proposed Base Closings, 15 Largest Facilities
1. Fort McClellan, Ala.
2. Naval Air Facility, Adak, Alaska
3. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Louisville, Ky.
4. Fort Ritchie, Md.
5. Naval Air Station, South Weymouth, Mass.
6. Naval Air Station, Meridian, Miss.
7. Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.
8. Brooks Air Force Base, Texas
9. Red River Army Depot, Texas
10. Reese Air Force Base, Texas
11. Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Colo.
12. Naval Air Warfare Center, Indianapolis
13. Army Military Ocean Terminal, Bayonne, N. J.
14. Navy Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst, N.J.
15. Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, Calif.
- Associated Press
``This is not about exempting Social Security. This is about whether we will be honest and true to our word about creating a trust fund for future generations."
- Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) of North Dakota, on the balanced-budget amendment