News In Brief

The US

The remains of the Oklahoma City federal building -- the site of the April 19 bombing that killed 167 people -- was imploded Tuesday. Relatives of bombing victims watched from a distance. Meanwhile, James Nichols, whose brother and friend are charged in the bombing, was ordered released without bail, despite a prosecutor's contention that he may have played a role in the attack. (Story, Page 1.)

President Clinton will respond to Republican efforts to balance the budget with his own plan to eliminate the deficit in 10 years, the Washington Post reported. The Senate is expected to take a final vote on the House-passed $16.4 billion spending-cuts bill this week. Clinton has vowed to veto the bill because it slashes education and job-training programs while saving ''pork'' building projects.

Flood-weary towns in Missouri and Illinois kept watch yesterday on the swollen Mississippi River and forecasts of approaching storms that could last through Saturday. Flooding has killed two people in the area. Missouri Governor Carnahan hoped to have enough damage estimates by late this week to request federal disaster aid.

Japanese government officials and spokesmen for auto companies in Tokyo said leftover food, drinks, and dirt may be causing trouble in the US with seat belts made by Takata Corporation, the New York Times reported. US Transportation Secretary Pena was expected to recommend the voluntary replacement of seat belts in 8.8 million vehicles yesterday.

Tom Washington won a unanimous vote to remain at the helm of the National Rifle Association, despite what had been reported as dissension in the ranks. The NRA recently came under attack over a fund-raising letter that referred to some federal agents as ''jack-booted government thugs.'' The letter spurred former President Bush to turn in his life membership; former House Speaker Foley said he will also.


The Pentagon is investigating charges by former Air Force safety official Alan Diehl that the military branch has repeatedly mishandled flight safety and accident investigations.

Amid hopes that the recent US economic slowdown will not turn out to be a harbinger of recession, the Federal Reserve was expected to refrain from increasing interest rates yesterday.

The CIA used elaborate deception to conceal the purpose of its first 38 spy satellite launches, once-secret CIA records show. The satellite program revolutionized intelligence collection in the 1960s and gave US presidents the first hard evidence of the actual state of nuclear-weapons development in the Soviet Union. Satellite photos and documents were made public yesterday in Washington. (Story, Page 3.)

Clinton will address a conference of about 400 American and Irish business firms Thursday. The administration wants to persuade US companies to invest in Northern Ireland and six counties of the Irish Republic.

Los Angeles will be the test site for a federal program to deport more imprisoned illegal immigrants. Attorney General Reno unveiled the plan Monday. The $2 million program calls for illegal aliens to be sent to an immigration court and then deported.

A coalition of Protestant and Catholic leaders is offering a political alternative to the religious right. The groups scheduled meetings with political leaders Tuesday to promote their statement, which brings religious and moral principles to each issue independently rather than following political categories.

Boeing has announced that it will lay off 12,000 employees. That number is 5,000 more than previously estimated.

Midwest ranchers want a federal probe of falling cattle prices, concentration of power, futures trading, and advance contracts. Senator Kerrey says a report due in October could help clarify the issue.

The World

Following a series of military setbacks, Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic indicated he is ready to accept an international peace plan as the basis for resuming stalled peace talks. Karadzic spoke on the eve of a parliamentary debate in the north Bosnian town of Banja Luka. The Security Council earlier renewed sanctions imposed on the Bosnian Serbs for another four months.

Arabs reacted cautiously to Israel's surprise decision to freeze plans to confiscate Arab land in East Jerusalem. They said internal Israeli politics played an important part in the decision and they thought the US remained indifferent or hostile to their interests in the holy city. The Arab League called off a summit planned for Saturday in Morocco to discuss the seizure. (Story, Page 6.)

Diplomats said the US and North Korea held ''good, serious discussions'' on dismantling the North's nuclear program, but there were no signs of progress. Officials were to meet again to hash out disputed issues.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen protested the US decision to allow Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to visit Cornell University, warning of serious consequences to ties if the visit went ahead. It was China's angriest protest since the US decided in 1992 to sell 150 F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. Beijing took no action that time. (Story, Page 1.)

Russian officials and representatives of Chechnya's rebels are to meet Thursday for talks arranged by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The talks would be the first held under international auspices since the war began in December. A rebel spokesman said at least 14 people were killed when seven Russian jets bombed a mountain village.

Ministers from the world's top 25 industrialized countries opened their annual two-day meeting on employment and economic growth under the cloud of a looming trade war between the US and Japan. OECD members were to discuss boosting jobs and prosperity, a new accord to spur foreign investment, and links with expanding economies. (Story, Page 8.) It was the car-trade dispute, however, that dominated discussions. US trade representative Kantor pledged to carry through with threatened sanctions and forecast no improvement in relations.

Japan said it had begun formal procedures to outlaw the sect accused of releasing deadly nerve gas on Tokyo's subway. The Justice Ministry said Aum Shinri Kyo would be placed under special surveillance.

Sri Lankan President Kumaratunga, who won office on a pledge to bring peace to her divided country, issued a renewed declaration of war. Kumaratunga said she would obtain the weapons the military needs to defeat the rebels. Peace talks and a cease-fire broke down April 19.

The EU's executive branch and 15 member countries said they will continue withholding aid to Rwanda until human-rights conditions there improve.

South Africa's Inkatha Freedom Party said crucial talks with the ANC over demands for more regional power for the Zulu heartland would be held this week. More than 30 people were killed between Friday and Monday in political and criminal violence in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Germany's highest court sharply curtailed prosecutors' ability to try to punish thousands of former East German spies. The court reasoned that the spies were operating according to the laws of their country and could not be held to the standards of unified Germany's laws.

Australian Prime Minister Keating's Labor government has slipped further behind the conservative opposition, according to opinion polls, dampening the prospects of an early election.


Antarctica's cloak of ice and snow is growing thicker -- a sign of global warming, scientists say. Antarctica has warmed up about four degrees since temperature monitoring began there in the 1950s. Last year was the warmest this century.

US Education Secretary Richard Riley kicked off a program that will give thousands of schoolchildren free pizza for reading at least 20 minutes a day this summer. Riley delivered the first reading kits to pupils at an elementary school in Fairfax, Va., near Washington. The program is called Read-Write-Now.

The telephone is replacing the feather in a new radio program that takes an American Indian tradition nationwide. In traditional talking circles, tribal members pass around a feather. The one holding the feather gets to talk. Starting June 5 on ''Native America Calling,'' host George Tiger will field the calls. Producers say it is the first national call-in radio program devoted to American Indians.

US film director Steven Spielberg has pledged $250,000 from his Oscar-winning Holocaust film, ''Schindler's List,'' to help restore the hiding place of young Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The donation will go toward a $14.38 million restoration of the building, according to a spokesman for the Anne Frank Institute.

Top-Grossing Films In the US, May 19-21

(Preliminary figures)

1. ''Die Hard With a Vengeance,'' $21.2 million

2. ''Crimson Tide,'' $12 million

3. ''Forget Paris,'' $6 million

4. ''While You Were Sleeping,'' $4.7 million

5. ''French Kiss,'' $3.9 million

6. ''Friday,'' $2 million

6. ''A Little Princess,'' $2 million

8. ''The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain,'' $1.6 million

9. ''Bad Boys,'' $1.3 million

10. ''My Family,'' $1 million

Associated Press

''The special relationship with the United States has been allowed to cool to the near freezing point.''

Margaret Thatcher in ''The Path to Power,'' her new autobiography

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