News In Brief

The US

President Clinton says he will veto the bill to lift the Bosnian arms embargo. But he must now find the votes to avoid an override. Both congressional chambers approved the measure with veto-proof votes: 298 to 128 in the House on Tuesday; 69 to 29 in the Senate last week. Clinton argues that lifting the embargo will prompt allies to withdraw their UN soldiers with help from the US, putting 25,000 US troops in the line of fire. Congressional supporters say Bosnian Muslims need weapons for self-defense against the Serbs.

Two networks. Two deals. Two days. Westinghouse confirmed its $5.4 billion buyout of CBS on Tuesday, the day after Disney announced a $19 billion takeover of Capital-Cities/ABC. The spate of deals could prompt more buyout offers, analysts said, including a higher bid for CBS. (Editorial, Page 20.)

At 3:30 a.m. yesterday, California passed a budget. It was one month late. At the last minute, Governor Wilson dropped his demand for five budget-related bills.

Hurricane Erin dwindled to a tropical storm early yesterday. (Story, Page 4.)

Excerpts from the Unabomber's manifesto appeared yesterday in the New York Times and the Washington Post. The elusive terrorist, who is thought to be responsible for a 17-year string of deadly bombings, has said he will stop the attacks if all of the treatise's 35,000 words are printed. The papers said Tuesday they had not decided whether to print the full text. The FBI meanwhile, contacted many universities - including some in Chicago, Salt Lake City, and northern California - where the Unabomber may have taken history of science classes.

The economy may be gaining momentum again. In its first rise this year, the Index of Leading Indicators - which forecasts economic trends six to nine months ahead - rose 0.2 percent in June, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

One in five Americans thinks White House Counsel Vincent Foster was murdered. Nearly half think the White House is covering something up, a Time/CNN poll released Tuesday found. FBI, Park Service, and Justice Department officials were to testify yesterday in congressional hearings.

''We have found no major conspiracies,'' Waco hearings' GOP co-chair, Congressman Zeliff, said after the final day of testimony Tuesday. While Attorney General Reno placed blame for 80 Davidian deaths on leader David Koresh, she admitted about the raid: ''I don't know what the right answer was.'' Democrats say the hearings were fruitless. The GOP says they focused attention on two reckless agencies - the FBI and the ATF.

In the controversial trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is sentenced to die on Aug. 17 in Philadelphia for the 1981 killing of a policeman, a witness said yesterday that he now remembers Abu-Jamal saying ''I shot him, I hope he dies.'' The former police officer says that until recently he didn't think the confession was important. Abu-Jamal, who once reported for the radio from death row, has gained worldwide fame. On Tuesday a group of French writers gathered to protest his execution. Critics say he is the victim of a racist court system. (Story, Page 4.)

The Senate Ethics Committee wants to know whether Senator Simpson obtained secret documents of its investigation of sexual conduct charges against Senator Packwood. Simpson, a Packwood defender, says that one woman who charged Packwood with harassment actually made advances toward him. The Committee wants to know if the basis for Simpson's claim is the committee's secret documents.

The House ethics committee is considering whether to elevate its investigation of Speaker Gingrich's book deal with media tycoon Rupert by hiring an outside counsel. Gingrich and Murdoch testified recently. Democrats are calling for a formal investigation and charge that Republicans are stalling. GOP Chairman Johnson said Tuesday it was time to step back and assess the situation.

The NRA has lost more than 300,000 members this year. But the powerful gun-rights group still has 3.2 million members.

The World

China accused two US Air Force officers of spying and expelled them from the country Wednesday. The officers sneaked into restricted military zones to photograph and videotape military intelligence, a spokesman from China's Foreign Ministry claims. Six test-missiles were fired from the area last week. The incident has exacerbated already strained relations between the countries. Meanwhile, the US will send a full delegation to Beijing next month for a UN women's conference, despite problems in relations with China, US Ambassador Albright said Wednesday. (Story, Page 6.)

Criticism of the US House vote to lift Bosnia's arms embargo resounded throughout Europe yesterday. Germany's Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said the decision significantly boosts the danger of having to withdraw UN peacekeepers from the region. Moscow also expressed concern. Meanwhile, thousands of Croatian soldiers were massing at Sunja, 50 miles southeast of Zagreb, for what appears to be a fierce, multi-pronged attack. (Story, Page 1.)

Hezbollah-Palestine,a small group of Palestinian Muslim fundamentalists, has claimed responsibility for last week's bus bomb attack near Tel Aviv in which six Israeli's were killed. A spokesman told a Lebanese newspaper the name of the individual who carried out the suicide attack. The group, which is opposed to the Middle East peace process, is led by a Sunni cleric living in Syria. Meanwhile, Israeli fighter planes rocketed Palestinian guerrilla bases in Syrian-controlled eastern Lebanon yesterday. The Islamic resistance movement Hamas said Wednesday it hoped Washington would not force it to start harming US citizens. Hamas opposes US extradition to Israel of a Hamas official arrested for terrorism.

Two Russian officers were exchanged for three Chechen fighters as part of a military peace pact reached Sunday. More exchanges are expected over the next week. President Yeltsin is considering disbanding his commission on human rights, which is headed by a vocal opponent of Russia's war in Chechnya.

France was blasted at an ASEAN meeting Wednesday for its plans to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific, but Japan said it would not boycott French products. Meanwhile, the Australian Defense Department encouraged state governments to spurn French businesses. The state of Victoria said Wednesday that French companies are not welcome to bid for a slice of its electricity privatization program, worth up to $9.6 billion.

A congressional panel in Colombia said Tuesday it will investigate charges that President Samper accepted millions of dollars of drug money to finance his election campaign. The prosecutor general also asked the Supreme Court to investigate Defense Minister Botero, who was Samper's campaign chief.

A special Italian tribunal has dropped a corruption case against former Premier De Mita. The Christian Democrat, in power in 1988-89, was accused of extorting millions in earthquake aid in the Naples area.

Indonesia's parliament plans to investigate the alleged existence of a billion-dollar war fund raised in the 1960s. It hopes former foreign minister Subandrio, a political prisoner being released this month, can shed light on the matter.

Japanese prime minister Murayama hinted yesterday that he would postpone a major Cabinet reshuffle that had been widely predicted after last month's election setback. Japanese newspapers say the move will be delayed until the Liberal Democratic Party holds a presidential election in late September. And volunteer groups sent letters to Asian nations apologizing for Japan's World War II brutality.


Attention tomato afficionados! Supermarkets may replace the ''cardboard'' variety with a new, more tasty version in a few years. Called the Endless Summer, it is genetically engineered to ripen on the vine without softening and spoiling. Because it can stay on the vine longer, this high-tech version develops more of the sugars and acids that make home-grown tomatoes taste so good. It will also have a four-week shelf life, twice that of today's tomatoes.

A curious-looking machine that has been confusing air travelers flying into Glasgow, Scotland, for months was unveiled yesterday on the River Clyde. It's the first commercial power station driven by sea waves. Electricity will be produced by harnessing ocean swells. The Osprey is to be towed north to the site of a nuclear research facility, where it will be tested.

Top-Grossing Films, July 28-30

(Preliminary figures)

1. ''Waterworld,'' $21.6 million

2. ''The Net,'' $10 million

3. ''Apollo 13,'' $8.8 million

4. ''Clueless,'' $7 million

5. ''Nine Months,'' $6.6 million

6. ''Operation Dumbo Drop,'' $6.3 million

7. ''Under Siege 2: Dark Territory,'' $4.8 million

8. ''Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home,'' $4.7 million

9. ''Pocahontas,'' $3.8 million

10. ''Species,'' $3.5 million

- Associated Press

'' I am accountable.''

- Attorney General Janet Reno in congressional testimony on the raid at Waco, Texas

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