News In Brief

The US

Charges were to be filed yesterday against a Virginia man who authorities say scaled the White House fence Tuesday night carrying a revolver. Trespasser Leland Modjeski and a Secret Service agent were shot during a struggle, apparently with a bullet fired by another agent. Neither wound is said to be life-threatening. (Story, Page 3.)

The Senate was expected to vote on a Republican budget plan yesterday, having rejected Senator Gramm's conservative tax-cut proposal. Before the vote, it brushed aside several Democratic amendments. Meanwhile, Republicans continued their assault on international aid, despite a presidential veto threat. President Clinton also said he will veto welfare-reform legislation that dismantles the $27 billion food stamp program and turns responsibility for feeding 1 in 10 people over to states.

Senators McCain and Kerry urged Clinton on Tuesday to extend full diplomatic recognition to Hanoi. Meanwhile, investigators have found several human remains they believe are those of missing American servicemen.

Terry Nichols, one of the suspects in the Oklahoma City bombing, reportedly is being fingered by Army companion Michael Fortier as the operation's chemist, the Washington Post reported. The Senate, meanwhile, is moving toward action on an anti-terrorism proposal by Memorial Day. (Story, Page 3.)

Relief workers are not expected to get a break soon from rainstorms pushing the Missouri and Mississippi rivers outside their banks and across land in Missouri and Illinois. Rains have pushed Indiana corn and soybean farmers behind schedule. A state of emergency was declared in Edwards County, Kan.

Orders for durable goods took their steepest plunge in more than three years in April, led by a drop in demand for cars and aircraft, the Commerce Department reported yesterday. Orders fell 4 percent last month, the third consecutive decline.

The real estate market continued to improve earlier this year but at a slower pace as higher interest rates took a toll on housing, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said. The FDIC's quarterly survey showed the index fell in the April survey to its lowest reading since October 1992.

The Federal Reserve has left interest rates unchanged. The central bank's policymaking body will meet again July 5.

In a dramatic overhaul of consumer banking services by the nation's biggest bank, Citibank said it is ending all direct electronic banking fees for New York-area customers. Banking customers will be able to conduct electronic transactions through automated teller machines and PCs at no cost.

Although more drivers are wearing seat belts and refraining from drinking while driving, only 41 percent of adults believe driving is less risky than five years ago, according to Prevention magazine's annual auto safety survey. Auto accidents are more prevalent today, even though statistics show fewer highway deaths and injuries and improved car safety.

Larry Forgy captured the GOP nomination for Kentucky governor Tuesday. He faces Lieutenant Governor Patton in November.

A series of strong earthquakes shook Anchorage, Alaska, yesterday but caused only minor damage.

Washington Mayor Barry's financial records have been subpoenaed, the Washington Post reported. Also, the city's child welfare system has been ordered into receivership.

Contributions to Governor Wilson's presidential campaign have dropped since he underwent surgery last month. Wilson's formal announcement will likely be delayed until next month.

The World

NATO could send 50,000 troops to Bosnia, nearly half of them Americans, under contingency plans to protect a withdrawal of UN peacekeepers, US Defense Secretary Perry said. Perry, starting a four-day visit to Germany, Ukraine, and Italy, stressed that no final UN decision had been made to retreat from Bosnia. A Russian envoy, meanwhile, arrived in Belgrade on a solo peace mission yesterday following a failed US bid to persuade Serbia's leader to recognize Bosnia in exchange for easing sanctions. Two people were killed and at least 13 wounded yesterday as shelling erupted in and around Sarajevo.

Sinn Fein President Adams urged Britain to turn yesterday's historic meeting into the first of a series to seek a political solution over Northern Ireland. Adams asked Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Mayhew to show a ''generosity of spirit'' toward the IRA's dream of a united Ireland. Mayhew has said future talks depend on Sinn Fein agreeing on steps to disarm IRA supporters.

Israel plans to approve 1,500 flats for Palestinians in Arab East Jerusalem, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said yesterday. On Tuesday, Cabinet ministers said Israel will keep building Jewish housing in East Jerusalem despite its freeze on the confiscation of land in the Arab half of the city. Israel asked its Christian Arab minority, meanwhile, for forgiveness for a soldier's machine-gun assault on a church near Tel Aviv Tuesday. There was extensive damage but no injuries.

Russian forces attacked rebel positions in Chechnya from the air and ground yesterday, Itar-Tass news agency said. Senior Russian military officials said peace talks in Grozny, scheduled for today, could be doomed if Russian troops try to attack the mountains of southern Chechnya, the last rebel strongholds.

Russia's policymaking Security Council supported President Yeltsin's decision to sign NATO's Partnership for Peace program, but repeated concerns over the alliance's projected eastward expansion.Yeltsin earlier vetoed an election law that would have formalized rules that helped hard-liners such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky win a large number of parliamentary seats.

French Prime Minister Juppe called for mobilization against mass unemployment to restore France's economic and social balance. Juppe announced measures promised in President Chirac's election campaign to combat unemployment, raise the minimum wage, increase pensions, and create new benefits for the elderly and children. Juppe gave no details of how the measures were to be financed.

Beijing police detained two more dissidents in roundups preceding the June 4 anniversary of the 1989 pro-democracy protests. The arrests bring to 14 the number of political activists arrested or taken in for questioning in the past week. Wang Dan, a student leader in the 1989 protest, has been on a hunger strike since his weekend arrest.

The Kuwaiti government said it would most likely withdraw a request for a constitutional review of parliament's powers, defusing a crisis that threatened to deal a blow to democracy in the emirate. Cabinet members and the opposition-dominated legislature have been battling for six weeks over whether parliament has the right to review laws passed during its six-year suspension.

The EU stepped into the middle of the car-trade dispute between Japan and the US, threatening to bring any deal that is struck to the new World Trade Organization in Geneva.

Lloyd's of London proposed a radical reorganization plan aimed at ensuring its survival. The plan involves a $4.41 billion compensation deal for Lloyd's backers, called Names, and the creation of a new c


The head of London's art-theft squad said he was pushing for the formation of an international team of detectives to track down art thieves around the globe. Detective Chief Inspector Charles Hill said he has already sounded out the US FBI on the matter.

The European Commission is mapping out a hearts-and-minds strategy to try to persuade people to give up their national money in favor of a single unified EU currency. ''You have to teach people to love the currency,'' a spokesman said.

San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson was named the National Basketball Association's Most Valuable Player. Shaquille O'Neal of the Orlando Magic was runner-up.

Support for independence in Bermuda, a British colony, is slipping away. A new poll shows only 17 percent of Bermudians favor it. British ties to the island go back 386 years.

Harold Wilson, who died in London, was the last Labour Party leader to win an election. As prime minister, he led Britain through a series of crises in the 1960s and '70s.

Top-Rated Cable Shows, May 8-14


1. NBA Playoffs, TNT, 5.3, 5.05 million homes

2. NBA Playoffs, TNT, 4.6, 4.42 million homes

3. NBA Playoffs, TNT, 4.0, 3.83 million homes

4. NBA Playoffs, TNT, 3.1, 2.92 million homes

5. NBA Playoffs, TNT, 3.1, 2.91 million homes

6. NBA Playoffs, TNT, 2.9, 2.75 million homes

7. NBA Playoffs, TNT, 2.5, 2.38 million homes

7. ''Inside the NBA,'' TNT, 2.5, 2.38 million homes

9. O. J. Simpson Trial, CNN, 2.4, 2.31 million homes

10. O. J. Simpson Trial, CNN, 2.4, 2.28 million homes

(Each ratings point represents 854,000 households.)

Associated Press

''When you look at the forest instead of the trees, inflation concerns become very hard to justify.''

L. Douglas Lee, NatWest Securities Corp., on the Fed's decision to leave interest rates unchanged

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