News In Brief


President Clinton was expected to establish formal diplomatic ties with Vietnam yesterday. The decision is opposed by GOP leaders and some former prisoners of war, as well as the families of servicemen missing in action. Senator Dole threatened to bar funds to build an embassy in Hanoi, citing the 2,202 Americans still listed as missing. Next month, Secretary of State Christopher may visit Hanoi, becoming the highest US official to go to Vietnam since the end of the war, a senior administration official said. Vietnam's market of 73 million people is a boon for US business.


Shrinking government to balance the budget is this week's task for House appropriation subcommittees. They may cut the Environmental Protection Agency by 33 percent and NASA by 6 percent. The Selective Service System and Clinton's AmeriCorps may be eliminated.


Homeless programs will get some $900 million in federal funds - the largest amount in history, according to Housing Secretary Cisneros, who cited the needs of 600,000 homeless Americans. Even as a House subcommittee mulls cutting HUD by 23 percent, Cisneros said funding has tripled under Clinton.


Democrats delayed House votes on foreign aid and trading status. The aid bill is 11 percent below last year's and 20 percent less than Clinton requested. Cambodia and Bulgaria are being considered for most-favored-nation status. Republicans are moving to stop Democrats' stalling tactics and speed the votes.


Federal agents may have lied to get military help for a raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, ABC-TV reported. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms told the military of a drug lab on the site. A drug link is one of a few ways the military can get involved domestically. ABC said no such lab was found.


A GOP "Wanted" poster sparked outrage from Democrats. It targeted 28 House Democrats - including many women and minorities - for voting against at least 70 percent of the Contract With America. Democrats charged race and gender-baiting.


An Archer Daniels Midland executive-turned-FBI informant helped uncover an alleged price-fixing scheme. The food supplier is under investigation for fixing corn, wheat, and soy prices. Its stock dropped a total of $2 billion in one week.


Susan Smith is competent to stand trial, a judge ruled yesterday in Union, S.C. But suicidal tendencies may prevent Smith from defending herself on the stand. She has confessed to drowning her sons.


A US human-rights activist is guilty of sneaking into China and stealing state secrets, but his case needs further investigation before it goes to trial, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Despite a consular agreement providing for speedy access, US Embassy officials first met with Wu on Monday, when he assured them he had not been tortured by his captors. Wu was taken into custody June 19.


A mail bomb that injured two employees at the BTI telephone company in Raleigh, N. C., probably was not from the so-called Unabomber, whose targets have included high-tech companies, authorities said. The bomb was addressed to a department manager, who was listed in serious condition yesterday.


The Senate Ethics Committee was to meet yesterday to decide how to proceed with the case against Oregon Senator Packwood. On Monday, five women senators urged public hearings on the sexual and official misconduct charges against Packwood.


O. J. Simpson's sister, Shirley Baker, was scheduled to take the stand in his defense yesterday. On Monday, Simpson's daughter Arnelle told jurors her father was shocked and distraught upon learning of his ex-wife's murder.


Space shuttle Discovery is expected to blast off tomorrow. A countdown Monday was hampered by stormy weather, forcing the crew to land in Orlando, Fla., rather than at the Kennedy Space Center as planned. Discovery also was delayed by woodpecker damage to the craft.


Separatist Serbs burst into the Bosnian government enclave of Srebrenica yesterday, and Dutch UN troops fled the area despite NATO air raids on Serb targets, UN officials said. The Serbs, who had been attacking Srebrenica since last Wednesday, had ignored UN warnings of an attack. They fought with Dutch troops manning a defensive line along the town's southern limits and shelled the town and a UN camp.


Russian President Yeltsin was hospitalized yesterday for heart problems but is conscious and in stable condition, a spokesman said. Initial test results indicated that the problem was not serious, the spokesman said. Yeltsin will continue with his duties as he while remains under observation in the hospital over the next few days.


A dispute over water, one of the most precious resources in the Middle East, has muddied the latest Israeli-Palestinian efforts to agree on an Israeli troop withdrawal from West Bank towns and Palestinian elections. Israel insisted Monday on controlling most of the West Bank's water resources even after Palestinian rule, but a top PLO official rejected that demand. US peace envoy Ross, who is in the Middle East for talks, has expressed cautious optimism about PLO-Israeli talks over expanding Palestinian self-rule.


Russian and rebel Chechen negotiators reported new attacks in Chechnya but pushed on with peace talks yesterday. The two sides released no details of yesterday's talks in Grozny, despite progress at Monday's session. They said negotiations on ending the seven-month-old conflict were to continue today.


Lawmakers jeered French President Chirac as he addressed the European Parliament yesterday before attending a summit with German Chancellor Kohl. Their response reflects a European-wide unpopularity with his decision to resume nuclear-weapons tests in the South Pacific. Greenpeace, meanwhile, said three of its members, slipped onto the test site Sunday while French commandos were boarding their ship, Rainbow Warrior II. The environmental group aims to put a halt to the proposed tests.


The UN Security Council met yesterday to decide whether economic sanctions against Iraq should be extended. The Council is not expected to vote in Iraq's favor. The country has been accused of lying to weapons inspectors.


New violence flared in Northern Ireland as Protestants threw firebombs at police in Belfast and Londonderry. Police would not allow them to make their traditional march through a Catholic section of Portadown town.


Japan's Economic Planning Agency said the nation's economic growth has ground to a halt after flickering signs of recovery. It blamed a surging yen and a US economic slowdown for the standstill. It was the first time since October 1993 that the agency, known for its rosy forecasts, acknowledged stagnation.


A teenage shop assistant was pulled alive from a collapsed department store in Seoul after 12 days under tons of rubble. The official toll in the disaster stood at 212, with about 230 people still missing.


Burmese dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi, freed after six years of house arrest, said yesterday that her democracy movement remains strong and urged the military government to negotiate peace. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was freed Monday by the government that seized power after crushing huge pro-democracy rallies that she let in 1988.


If we don't win this battle, all is lost. It is a matter of life or death, it is a matter of Ulster [Northern Ireland] or Irish Republic, it is a matter of freedom or slavery."

-- Protestant minister Ian Paisley on the standoff between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland

Eighty-seven years ago, Clyde Mehder strapped on his first pair of overalls. Today, his granddaughter is wearing the exact same pair. Manufacturer Oshkosh B'Gosh awarded Mehder $1,000 for having the oldest surviving pair of the company's overalls.


The oldest known copy of the Old Testament surfaced in Israel this week. The Syrian temple that once housed the book burned in 1947. Jews have been smuggling pieces of it out of Syria ever since, sometimes a page at a time.

World Stock Index Review

Performance of developed country price indexes in the six months ending June 30, 1995, in US dollar terms.


Country Dollars

Finland 29.04%

Switzerland 22.02

US 18.99

Sweden 15.60

New Zealand 14.26

Netherlands 14.03

Belgium 13.83

Ireland 13.10

Spain 12.69

France 11.88

Germany 11.59

Canada 11.37

Denmark 10.96

Hong Kong 10.86

Malaysia 10.20

Britain 8.75

Austria 7.61

Norway 6.37

Singapore -0.09

Italy -2.19

Australia -2.34

Japan -8.65

-- Morgan Stanley Capital International

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