News In Brief

The US

In 2013, Social Security is projected to begin paying out more than it's taking in. And unless the system is changed, it may run out of money in 2030. The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, says Congress must privatize the retirement program to avoid insolvency. Critics say start-up costs would be too high. (Story, Page 1.)

Maryland and Wisconsin are the latest states to require welfare recipients to work. On Monday, the Clinton administration approved the two states' new welfare plans. The administration has now approved 36 state welfare programs. In addition to requiring work, Maryland will no longer increase a family's cash benefits for children conceived while parents are on welfare. Wisconsin will also require applicants to talk to a financial planner about alternatives to welfare.

The gap between rich and poor families with children in the US is the largest among 18 industrial nations, says a survey released Monday by Luxembourg Income Study. It found the average income for an affluent US family is $65,536; the average for a poor family is $10,923. The difference is $14,000 more than the country with the next largest gap, Switzerland.

Hurricane Felix missed Bermuda by 75 miles Monday. But its winds were enough to entice tourists and locals to the island's south shore for a view of the spectacular waves. No major damage was reported, but power was out on much of the island. Yesterday, Felix was moving toward Cape Hatteras, N.C.

He started as a Hollywood tour-bus guide, but yesterday Michael Ovitz was named president of the Walt Disney Company. Ovitz was already Hollywood's top dealmaker. Now, as second-in-command of the world's largest entertainment empire, he will make Disney one of the best-connected studios.

Ted Turner is moving to bid for CBS, industry insiders said Monday. The CNN owner is reportedly talking with potential investors - including Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. He is also talking with Turner shareholder Time-Warner, which blocked his previous efforts to buy a network.

The Labor Department is seeking $5 million from clothing manufacturers in back pay for Thai laborers. The women, whose ''sweatshop'' was discovered last week, were allegedly threatened with death if they stopped producing garments for such stores as Mervyn's and Neiman-Marcus. (Story, Page 1.)

Five cadets - including Shannon Faulkner - became ill Monday, the first day of ''hell week'' at the Citadel. Temperatures hit 100 degrees as cadets marched, shouted, and saluted. Today, Faulkner must meet army physical-fitness standards for women, including running three miles in 18 minutes, 54 seconds.

Oklahoma bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh pleaded innocent yesterday to an 11-count indictment. Fellow suspect Terry Nichols also was to be arraigned. On Monday, Oklahoma's chief medical examiner confirmed that a leg found at the bomb site does not belong to any of the known victims. McVeigh's lawyer has suggested that the leg belongs to the ''real bomber.''

The Pentagon took disciplinary action yesterday in one of the worst friendly fire incidents in US history. Seven Air Force officers involved in the accidental shooting of two US Army helicopters in Iraq last year are receiving administrative punishment, which could end their military careers. Twenty-six people died in the incident.

Congressman Reynolds testified Monday that he never had sex with an underage campaign worker, Beverly Heard. He contested nearly every point she made at the trial. He was to be cross-examined yesterday.

The World

Amid regional tension over Iraqi defections to Jordan last week, more than 3,000 US troops arrived in Jordan yesterday for scheduled joint military exercises. President Clinton has pledged to safeguard Jordan if Iraq threatens it. The US has dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Israeli coast, and a second carrier in the area has planes that could attack Iraq from the southeast. Israel has agreed to a US request to let planes fly over the country should Iraq attack Jordan. Two of Saddam Hussein's son-in-laws, who were top government officials, defected to Jordan last week.

Chechen rebels reportedly agreed to begin laying down weapons today, just hours after Russian President Yeltsin threatened military measures unless they disarmed.

US envoys carrying new Bosnian peace proposals could not reach Sarajevo yesterday because of fog. Diplomacy will resume in a few days. Reports of fighting and ethnic expulsions continue. Britain, France, and UN officials are heading for a showdown with Croatia and Bosnian Croats over deployment of the Rapid Reaction Force, half of which is stuck in the Croatian port of Ploce. The officials are considering Security Council action.

Premier Murayama made Japan's first unambiguous apology for World War II actions on the 50th anniversary of the war's end yesterday. More than half the Japanese people believe their government hasn't done enough to apologize, a newspaper poll finds. South Korea began razing the building that served as Japan's colonial headquarters during the war. It also granted amnesty to prisoners, and called for detente with North Korea. Thousands of South Korean students clashed with police while trying to walk to North Korea to attend a rally. (Story, Page 6.)

Chinese police detained six Western activists of Greenpeace yesterday after they unfurled protest banners in Tiananmen Square demanding the end of nuclear tests. The protest was timed to coincide with Beijing's plans to hold a nuclear test in the next week and missile tests off Taiwan. US Defense Secretary Perry called the tests ''worrisome.'' Taiwan will lobby nations in Northeast Asia to condemn the missile tests. A fishing association has asked the International Court of Justice for compensation for lost fishing revenues because of missile tests in the sea, and a government minister has asked that a peacekeeping fund be set up. (Story, Page 7.)

Rebel military officers stormed the presidential palace of Sao Tome and Principe in Western Africa yesterday. President Trovoada, his prime minister, and his defense minister were being held prisoner. Rebel officers have seized control of state radio and the airport and have placed armored vehicles on highways. Soldiers patrolled streets.

Indian police said they expected to hear from Kashmiri separatists who killed a Norwegian hostage and threatened to kill four more Western captives. Yesterday had been set as a new deadline for the release of jailed Kashmiri separatists in exchange for the hostages. India has refused to free the separatists.

Mexico's federal Human Rights Commission accused officials in southern Guerrero state on Monday of indiscriminately shooting dead 17 leftist peasants in June. The commission accused high-ranking officials of trying to cover up the massacre and urged the ruling party governor to dismiss and investigate them.

Japanese police pressed new drug charges yesterday against nine members of the doomsday group Aum Shinri Kyo, which was linked to Tokyo's subway attacks. Twelve members had earlier been charged with manufacturing drugs.


A three-nation consortium said yesterday that it's launching a luxury steam-train service between Singapore and the historic port of Malacca in western Malaysia. The Peninsular Line will run a 126-seat train along a 175-mile route starting in March, using old-fashioned coaches and Malaysia's last steam locomotive.

Beneath the sands of an ancient harbor near Haifa, Israel, archaeologists are hunting two giant cannons. The guns, once the pride of Napoleon's army, are so big they were each pulled by 22 horses. Napoleon abandoned the cannons during a retreat from a failed invasion of the Ottoman Empire in 1799. So far only smaller cannon have been plucked from the sand.

In the beginning there was ABBA. But then there came many more pop music exports from Sweden, making that country the No. 3 hit-producer behind the United States and Britain. Groups such as Europe, Roxette, Ace of Base, and now even a techno-country group named Rednex have emerged from this Scandinavian land.

Corporate Corruption: How Nations Rate

A recent compilation of surveys from 41 countries found business transactions in some nations rife with kickbacks, extortion, and fraud. Others were nearly vice-free. Listed below are the top 15 in each category.

Least Corrupt Most Corrupt

1. New Zealand Indonesia

2. Denmark China

3. Singapore Pakistan

4. Finland Venezuela

5. Canada Brazil

6. Sweden Philippines

7. Australia India

8. Switzerland Thailand

9. Netherlands Italy

10. Norway Mexico

11. Ireland Colombia

12. Britain Greece

13. Germany Hungary

14. Chile South Korea

15. US Spain

- Transparency International and the University of Goettingen

'' You must first learn to follow before you can lead.''

- Col. Joe Trez, commandant of cadets at the Citadel, to Shannon Faulkner and first-year classmates

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