News In Brief

The World

Russian forces, accused of a civilian massacre in the town of Samashky, shelled rebel Chechen positions around two other towns April 11 in their drive to wipe out the last separatist bastions in the region. Russian President Yeltsin was expected to travel into the Caucasus region April 11 for talks that will touch on the war in Chechnya. EU foreign ministers maintained a freeze on an interim trade accord with Russia, saying not enough had been done to ease worries about human rights abuses in Chechnya.

Battles erupted along new front lines in northern Bosnia, and the government banned public gatherings in Sarajevo for fear of a massacre following fierce Serb shelling. The Sarajevo airport remained closed because Bosnian Serbs refused to promise that they would not shoot at airplanes, preventing a visit by international mediators. Croatia pressed the UN to remove Africans and Asians from the UN force in Croatia in favor of Europeans.

Broadening a crackdown in Gaza, PLO chief Arafat said he had begun a campaign to disarm Muslim militias. More than 40 suspected militants were rounded up April 11, bringing the total to 150. A Gaza military court sentenced an Islamic Jihad leader to life in prison for inciting guerrillas to commit suicide bombings. An American girl was among the eight victims of Sunday's suicide bombing in Gaza.

A previously unheard of Islamic guerrilla group called the Islamic Command Council claimed responsibility for the recent massacre of 53 people in the southern Philippine town of Ipil. Hundreds of villagers fled their mountain homes April 11 as Islamic gunmen continued to take hostages and rob homes while fleeing pursuing troops.

Britain's treasury secretary said he would sue the Guardian newspaper for printing ''wicked lies'' about his alleged ties to a Saudi businessman. Jonathan Aitken's move came a day after a government minister's aide, Richard Spring, resigned over a sex-scandal story in a tabloid newspaper. Spring was the 17th member of Prime Minister Major's government to quit in the past three years over sex or ethics scandals. (Story, Page 7.)

Striking French fishermen attacked Norwegian and Spanish trucks and dumped food cargoes in the Channel port of Boulogne-sur-Mer. The protest was the most violent in a series of stoppages in public and private sectors dogging the campaign for the April 23-May 7 presidential election. The strikers want higher pay and a ban on fish imports from countries outside the EU.

Iraqis reacted angrily to a UN report saying Baghdad may be secretly trying to reactivate its germ-warfare program, an allegation that could prolong UN sanctions. A Polish diplomat visited the two Americans imprisoned in Iraq and said life is tough but improving for the pair. The prisoners were sentenced last month to eight-year terms for illegally crossing into Iraq.

Mexico City's transportation chief, Luis Miguel Moreno, committed suicide during a crisis caused by the bankruptcy of the capital's public bus company. Rural villagers, meanwhile, cheered the announcement that the government and guerrilla leaders will begin formal talks April 20 to end southern Mexico's 16-month insurgency.

Veteran Chinese revolutionary Chen Yun died April 10, the government confirmed. (Story, Page 6.)

Six mixed-race Aborigines sued the Australian government over the former Northern Territory Law, which forced aboriginal children into government institutions between 1918 and 1953. They said the policy was constitutionally invalid and resulted in ''cultural genocide.''

The US

President Clinton pledged to work harder to end discrimination against women in the workplace. The Labor Department released proposals designed to reduce stress, improve pay and benefits, increase job-training opportunities, and end discrimination. Labor Secretary Reich denied that the proposals amount to a new affirmative-action plan. Reich, releasing a survey of 250,000 working women, said females continue to be held back in pay and advancement. Clinton said he will also push harder for a hike in the minimum wage.

Clinton signed a $3 billion defense bill to replenish accounts drained by operations in Haiti, Somalia, South Korea, Kuwait, Cuba, and Bosnia. He commended Congress for helping save the US military from deep cutbacks this year. The bill includes a provision to cut off US loans to Mexico if Congress is not given documents telling how the money is being used.

Clinton signed into law April 11a bill that allows some 3.2 million self-employed Americans to deduct a portion of the cost of health-insurance from their income taxes.

US wholesale prices held steady in March as energy and food costs declined, the Labor Department said. The Producer Price Index remained unchanged after posting 0.3 percent increases in January and February. The March showing was the best since prices fell 0.4 percent in October.

National security adviser Lake told Clinton's intelligence oversight board to conduct a full inquiry into the torture or deaths of any US citizen in Guatemala, widening an earlier probe into the deaths there of an American innkeeper and the Guatemalan husband of an American lawyer.

A panel on White House security is expected to recommend that Clinton bar the public from part of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the presidential mansion. The Secret Service recommended the move. The panel was appointed after the crash of a small plane on White House grounds and after Francisco Duran fired at the White House. (Story, Page 3)

Senator Dole took his presidential campaign to the Midwest April 11 in a week-long tour. He raised $1 million at two New York functions. Dole, who stumbled on the issue of taxes in his 1988 presidential bid, said he supports both tax cuts and a balanced budget. In Ohio, Dole pledged support for voluntary school prayer and a return to values in politics. In New York, GOP presidential hopeful Senator Gramm is fighting a rule keeping him off the primary ballot next year.

Rupert Murdoch urged the broadcasting industry to provide free time to political candidates. Broadcasters meeting at their annual convention in Las Vegas, where Murdoch spoke, told reporters that Murdoch was only trying to curry favor with Congress. Broadcasters reacted angrily to an FCC proposal that would force them to air three hours a week of children's TV programs.

San Francisco Judge James Warren said relatives of seven people killed in a gunman's rampage can sue the manufacturer of the assault weapon used.

Genetically-engineered fruits and vegetables could replace some vaccines in efforts to make people immune to diseases, a report by the National Academy of Sciences said.

Carol Ballamy, director of the Peace Corps and a former New York City Council president, was selected as head of UNICEF after weeks of stormy political maneuvering.


Traffic was banned in a heavily congested part of Athens in an effort to cut down on the pollution that usually blankets the city. Traffic lights were turned off. Horse-drawn carriages, once restricted to a small area near the Acropolis, now ply the streets.

South Korea, launching a new campaign to improve its image overseas, said it will crack down on ''ugly Korean'' tourists. Various reports indicated that the behavior of South Korean tourists was tarnishing the country's image. Among the targeted practices is the eating of strange animal meat.

France inaugurated its first new cathedral in more than a century, a $13 million red-brick cylinder with 24 trees growing from part of its sloping roof. The cathedral is in Evry, a modern town of about 100,000 people on the southern fringe of Paris. Critics say France hardly needs another cathedral; it already has 90. About 180,000 people, however, chipped in to fund it.

For 1,200 hours over six months, 36 people rubbed 1,096 copper pots and pans to restore their shine. The pots and pans come from a single kitchen in one of Britain's grandest homes. The kitchen equipment, known by its French term as a batterie de cuisine made in the 1870s, has gone on display for the first time at Petworth House, 55 miles southwest of London.

Top-Grossing Films In the US, April 7-9

(Preliminary figures)

1. ''Bad Boys,'' $15.6 million

2. ''A Goofy Movie,'' $6.5 million

3. ''Tommy Boy,'' $6.4 million

4. ''Don Juan DeMarco,'' $4.6 million

5. ''Outbreak,'' $4 million

6. ''Circle of Friends,'' $3.9 million

7. ''Dolores Claiborne,'' $3.1 million

8. ''Major Payne,'' $2.8 million

9. ''Rob Roy,'' $2.1 million

10. ''Forrest Gump,'' $1.75 million

Associated Press

``I've been tested. I've provided leadership. I'm not a lone ranger.

I know how to bring people together.''

Senator Dole on his presidential candidacy

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