News In Brief

The US Welfare reform: It's a cornerstone of the GOP social revolution. The Senate will resume debate this week; many hope for a quick resolution. Since Senator Dole postponed debate in early August, he has tried to cobble together consensus within the party. The sticking point: whether to give cash to unwed mothers. Some conservatives say denying the money will discourage out-of-wedlock births. Others say it would force single moms to have more abortions. The ''star wars'' missile-defense system was the main issue debated as the Senate took up the defense bill yesterday. A GOP compromise would require the US to deal with three issues - cost-effectiveness, military need, and treaty implications - before building a multisite missile-defense system. The ''star wars'' budget includes $626 million more than the $3 billion President Clinton requested. The overall defense bill adds $7 billion to Clinton's request, making it $1.5 billion more than this year's budget, though not enough to offset the effects of inflation. Hurricane Luis - called the most threatening storm in half a century - roared into the Carribean. Its 160-mile-per-hour winds bent trees and created nine-foot waves on Antigua and Barbuda. It was expected to reach Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands late yesterday. Senator Dole warned Democrats and Clinton that the GOP will not have an ''autumn of compromise'' and back down from an impending budget battle. Republicans say they will shut down the government in October to create budget savings rather than increase the national debt ceiling. In a patriotic Foreign Legion speech Monday, Dole also criticized the ''liberal intellectual elites'' whom he labeled the ''embarrassed-by-America crowd.'' (Mayors, Page 3.) Hot dogs were the meal of choice at a California fairground Monday where President Clinton stressed middle-class themes in the vote-rich state. ''It is wrong to expect people to work for $4.25 an hour,'' he said. Tough work-safety laws and education tax breaks were other top issues. The Colombo family is back on New York streets. It is tooling up its loanshark and gambling empire after years of fighting indictments and an internal war, says the New York Daily News. GOP House Speaker Gingrich said Monday that he is less likely to run for president if Colin Powell does. Gingrich has said he will decide by the end of the year. Avoiding ''cyberjackers'' was the focus of an administration proposal designed to help authors and publishers avoid losing control of their ideas on the information superhighway. The report, for instance, recommends classifying transmissions as copies and thus including them under copyright law. Three-quarters of the US work sites where employees suffered serious accidents in 1994 had never been inspected by OSHA - the government's workplace safety agency - says the Associated Press. 1,835 workers were killed during the period. OSHA has 2,000 inspectors for 6 million workplaces. The agency, a prime GOP budget-cut target, says it is trying to weed out unfounded hazard claims, better target its surprise inspections and build cooperative agreements with industry. William Kunstler, who died Monday, looked and sounded every bit the part of a radical lawyer with his wild hair and raspy voice. For 30 years his clients included the outcasts and the underdogs: Martin Luther King Jr., the Chicago Seven, Jack Ruby, John Giotti, and the Chicago Seven. The World In a speech before the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing yesterday, US first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized China for harassing and trying to suppress attendees of the Women's NGO Forum. Addressing 1,500 delegates, Mrs. Clinton also attacked China for prohibiting some women from attending the conferences. She also blasted forced abortions and sterilizations, infanticide, and population-control policies. (Stories, Pages 1 and 7.) NATO unleashed new airstrikes against the Bosnian Serbs yesterday after they refused to move heavy weapons out of Sarajevo. Serb forces reported heavy damage and civilian casualties. The attacks near Sarajevo and Pale ended a tense period following the expiration late Monday of a deadline for the Serbs to move the weapons. The rebels moved some weapons, but fell short of NATO-UN demand. Also, the UN and huiman rights observers accused Croatian soldiers of atrocities against civilians when they recaptured areas from rebel Serbs last month. Some 50 bodies were found, and UN officials spoke of four possible mass graves in the area around Knin. (Story, Page 1.) Greece and Macedonia agreed Monday to resume talks to resolve disputes over the name and flag used by the former Yugoslav republic. The countries have been at odds since Macedonia declared independence in 1991. The talks are crucial to restoring stability in the Balkans, the White House said. South Korea has accepted a proposal by North Korea to meet for talks in Beijing Sept. 27. The two Koreas plan to discuss trade and other issues, a South Korean official said yesterday. A UN team sent to survey flooding in North Korea found ''enormous'' material damage and 500,000 homeless, the UN said Monday. Former US president George Bush held talks with Vietnam's Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam in Hanoi yesterday. Bush is the first serving or retired US president to visit the country since the Vietnam War ended. France may cut short seven or eight nuclear tests in the South Pacific, French President Jacques Chirac said yesterday. He refused to say when the first tests will take place, but French Polynesia's President Gaston Flosse said this week. In Tahiti, politicians from around the world have held protests for three days. And Jacques Cousteau pleaded with Chirac Monday to cancel the testing and announced his resignation from the Council for the Rights of Future Generations, saying the ''future of our descendants is ... incompatible with the nuclear threat.'' Filipinos started digging their homes and roads out yesterday from under tons of volcanic debris washed down from Pinatubo volcano by heavy rains. Also, state prosecutors filed graft charges against Imelda Marcos in a bid to strengthen its claim on nearly $500 million the Marcos family is said to have squirreled away in Swiss bank accounts. The US is proposing March 1996 as a target date for reaching agreement between Israel and Syria, Israeli TV reported Monday. US official said it was essential to reach agreement before upcoming electoral campaigns in Israel and the US. Peru reopened its borders with Ecuador Monday, a key step toward restoring relations between the nations after a brief war this year. Peru's President Fujimori announced the decision Sunday night when he arrived in Quito, Ecuador, for a summit of 12 Latin American presidents. Azerbaijan's Supreme Court banned the Communist Party Monday from running in November elections. An Algerian journalist was killed outside her home Monday and a pro-government political cartoonist was found dead. Two nuns and a journalist were killed Sunday. Etcetera An elephant alert was in effect yesterday in India's West Bengal state. Forest rangers reported seeing 55 elephants leaving a wildlife sanctuary and advancing on villages and towns. The wildlife warden requested that trained elephants and qualified drivers be brought in to guide the wild herds out of populated areas. Brazil published Monday a list of suspected ''phantom'' federal employees who do not work but receive a salary. The 12,529 employees named will be struck from the federal payroll if they can't prove their right to their jobs by Sept. 20. A Roman Catholic bishop Monday condemned ''All Things Bright and Beautiful,'' one of Britain's favorite hymns, and said it was wicked and dreadful. Bishop of Leeds David Konstants said the hymn appeared to lay the blame for society's problems on God. It says: ''The rich man in his castle/The poor man at his gate/God made them high and lowly/And ordered their estate.'' The United States is the world's most competitive nation, with Singapore a close second, according to an annual economic survey released in Geneva today. Japan, leader for nine years, slid past Hong Kong to fourth place because of economic troubles. Switzerland was in fifth place. Top-Grossing Films, Sept. 1-3 (Preliminary figures) 1. ''Mortal Kombat,'' $8.1 million 2. ''Dangerous Minds,'' $7.9 million 3. ''The Prophecy,'' $7.5 million 4. ''Desperado,'' $6.4 million 5. ''A Walk in the Clouds,'' $5.5 million 6. ''Babe,'' $4.3 million 7. ''Something to Talk About,'' $4 million 8. ''The Usual Suspects,'' $3.72 million 9. ''Waterworld,'' $3.6 million 10. ''Apollo 13,'' $3.2 million - Associated Press '' It is indefensible that many women ... who wished to participate in this conference have not been able to attend or have been prohibited from fully taking part.'' - Hillary Rodham Clinton, in China addressing the Fourth World Conference on Women.

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