News In Brief

The US

The latest developments in the run for the White House include: Gen. Colin Powell saying he supports abortion rights and gun control (a 20/20 interview airs tomorrow on ABC); and Governor Wilson pulling out of Iowa. (Details are on Page 4.)

After voting 50-48 not to add $11 billion for child care to the welfare-reform bill Monday, the Senate continued consideration of 200 proposed changes to the overhaul effort. Democrats said the vote will leave kids ''home alone.'' The current bill would spend $6 billion on day care for kids of moms who must find jobs under ''workfare'' requirements. Senator Dole hoped to finish the bill by Thursday but could pull it for later action.

The elderly now pay $46.10 a month for Medicare's health-care coverage. On Monday, Capitol Hill wrangled over how much the as-yet-unreleased GOP Medicare-reform plan would increase premiums. Partisan estimates ranged from monthly increases of $7 to $56 by 2002. Still to be worked out: whether and how much to cut benefits to keep costs down. A Clinton plan would keep premiums lower by shifting costs onto hospitals and doctors.

Police were unsure how or why a bomb in a minivan exploded outside a shopping mall near Baltimore, Md. Five people were killed in Monday's blast.

The US trade deficit climbed 11.8 percent to hit a new high - $43.62 billion - in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department said yesterday.

Former Senator Danforth told Senator Packwood that having sex with staffers was a flagrant abuse of power, according to a 1993 entry in Packwood's diary. ''He doesn't think that extramarital sex is right. He thinks in the office it's doubly unfair,'' Packwood wrote. Danforth also warned that laws would eventually change to say that a boss having sex with subordinates is outright sexual harassment.

Continuing a pattern of moderating big House budget cuts, a Senate panel voted Monday to ease restrictions on enforcing anti-pollution laws. It also restored $800 million in EPA funding and $1 billion in low-income housing programs. The move came as Vice President Gore warned that the GOP attack on environmental laws ignore the dangers of global warming.

Savings and loans reported a 16.4 percent rise in profits in the second quarter. The news underscores the newfound strength in the once crisis-ridden industry. Thrifts pay high insurance rates because of earlier problems.

In a victory for Philip Morris, a New York federal judge threw out a lawsuit Monday brought by shareholders who claimed the tobacco company hid evidence showing nicotine was addictive.

It was the Internet version of an old-fashioned ''swag shop'' - a place where stolen goods are traded. Secret Service agents lured techno-thieves by inviting them to buy stolen cell phone and credit card data. The sting led to arrests of six people and seizure of 20 computer systems. The success was a boon to authorities who have struggled over how to police the Internet.

Just one dollar each. That's what NAACP Chairwoman Myrlie Evers-Williams is asking from the troubled civil-rights organization's 400,000 members. She warned in a radio speech that the group may close if it is not able to retire a $3.8 million debt.

GM settled suits over side-mounted gas tanks in its pickups, it announced Monday. Four customers had contended that the tanks burst into flames upon impact. GM maintains the 1973-89 pickups are safe. Settlement terms were not disclosed.

Could Americans be settling down? The Census Bureau says 16.7 percent of Americans moved to new homes over a 12-month period in 1993 and 1994. The figure is down from the 20.2 percent who relocated over a similar period a decade earlier. The rate has steadily declined over the past 25 years.

The World

NATO warplanes bombarded Bosnian Serb positions yesterday in their heaviest raids yet near Sarajevo. Russian and NATO diplomats failed Monday to heal a rift caused by Moscow's opposition to the airstrikes. China expressed its opposition yesterday, saying it was concerned about civilian casualties. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is considering assaults by Stealth fighters. And the five-member ''contact group'' plans to meet in Geneva tomorrow to discuss the peace process. (Story, Page 6.)

The nuclear testing issue is expected to dominate the 15-member South Pacific Forum's annual summit tomorrow in Madang, Papua New Guinea. Meanwhile, France accused New Zealand yesterday of misusing the International Court of Justice for political protests against its nuclear tests instead of presenting legal arguments. New Zealand told the court Monday that future tests could cause ''a substantial escape of radioactive material'' because previous tests damaged geological formations under the Mururoa Atoll.

China vehemently defended its one-child-per-family policy yesterday after delegates at the UN Women's Conference in Beijing pressed for women's rights to decide about their sex lives free from coercion and violence. Also, differences over inheritance rights, unwaged work, and sexual preferences forced a day's delay in drafting a final declaration. And rich and poor nations were locked in debate yesterday over who will pay for the platform.

Israel and the PLO hope to sign an accord Sept. 21 to expand Palestinian self-rule to the West Bank, an Israeli official said Monday. Israeli news reports suggested a compromise was emerging regarding Hebron. Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority began talks yesterday on the fate of Palestinians displaced in the 1967 Middle East war. (Opinion, Page 19.)

A UN program will expand Rwanda's prison capacity by 30,000 over the next three months, UN officials said yesterday. Currently, 53,000 inmates are crammed into 13 jails designed to hold 12,000.

Imelda Marcos began her climb back to power in the Philippines yesterday. The Supreme Court reversed a ruling by the Commission on Elections that barred her from a congressional seat she won in May elections. (Story, Page 6.)

The Bank of England denied Monday claims by Barings trader Nick Leeson that its own actions nearly tripled losses during the bank's $1.3 billion collapse in February. Sources close to Britain's Serious Fraud Office said a decision not to press for Leeson's extradition from Germany could be made soon. Singapore has demanded his extradition for months.

Voter support for Japanese Prime Minister Murayama's government has dwindled to its lowest level, according to a poll published yesterday by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Some 34 percent favor the three-party coalition; 45 percent don't.

Leftist demonstrators pelted riot police with stones Monday in protests that marked the 22nd anniversary of the military coup that overthrew Chile's Marxist President Salvador Allende. Thousands of demonstrators marched through Santiago.

Nepal swore in a new prime minister yesterday - centrist Nepali Congress coalition's leader Sher Bahadur Deuba.The communist government of Manmohan Adhikari was defeated Sunday in a no-confidence vote.

Swiss bankers said yesterday that tens of millions of dollars found in their vaults could be from secret accounts belonging to Jews killed in the Holocaust.


Pope John Paul will enter a crowded spiritual marketplace this week when he makes his 11th visit to Africa. Of the 700 million Africans, the pope claims 100 million adherents. But Islamic, Protestant, and Christian-inspired groups are all booming, the All Africa Conference of Churches says.

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are ''right royal rip-offs,'' says a consumer survey of Britain's heritage sites. Buckingham Palace charges a visitor 8.5 ($13) and 3.5 ($5) for a map necessary to the tour.

Apparently, the makers of Monopoly never passed spelling. An error in the spelling of Marven Gardens was acknowledged Monday by Parker Bros. But ''Marvin Gardens'' won't be corrected because of the cost.

Top Family-Friendly Firms

The most recent Working Mother magazine lists the companies that best accommodate working moms and their families. (See item at left.)

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Barnett Banks Inc., Jacksonville Fla.

Fel-Pro Inc., Skokie Ill.

Glaxo Wellcome Inc., Research Triangle Park, N.C.

IBM, Armonk, N.Y.

Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J.

MBNA America Bank, N.A., Newark, Del.

Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J.

Nationsbank Corp., Charlotte, N.C.

Patagonia, Ventura Calif.

Xerox Corp., Stamford, Conn.

- Working Mother/AP

'' They seem to have a religious intolerance.

They seem to say that people of religious faith should not be involved.''

- Sen. Trent Lott (R) of Mississippi on Sunday's CBS ''Face the Nation,'' characterizing the Democratic Party.

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