News In Brief

The US

The FBI is investigating the possibility of sabotage after an Amtrak train carrying 267 people derailed yesterday in a remote desert area in Hyder, Ariz. At least one person was killed and more than 100 were injured when the train derailed at about 1:30 a.m. 50 to 60 miles southwest of Phoenix. At least three cars fell about 30 feet from a bridge over a dry stream bed. The train, the Sunset Limited, was bound for Los Angles from Miami. All 12 cars and two locomotives derailed.

The world economy is looking good and getting better all the time, said members of the IMF and World Bank, who met over the weekend in Washington at this year's annual meeting. The meetings were scheduled to continue yesterday with officials debating proposals aimed at addressing the debt problems of the world's poorest countries.

Hurricane Opal caused at least $1.8 billion in damage to insured property along Florida's Gulf coast, making it the nation's third-costliest storm. Opal, which blew ashore east of Pensacola Oct. 4, killed 19 people in four states. It destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses along a 120-mile stretch of the Florida Panhandle from Pensacola Beach to Mexico Beach. Power remained out for 41,000 customers in the Panhandle. Thousands more as far north as North Carolina were still blacked out.

Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia announced yesterday he will not seek reelection. The four-term senator is perhaps the most prominent southern Democrat and the Senate's foremost authority on defense issues. He is the eighth Senate Democrat to announce retirement plans in 1996 compared with only one Republican. (Story, Page 1.)

Fifty-three percent of blacks and 77 percent of whites say the Simpson trial hurt race relations, according to a USA Today-CNN poll. The races are divided on their faith in the justice system, with 54 percent of blacks saying it is biased and 58 percent of whites saying it's not. Meanwhile, blacks and conservatives are urging President Clinton to take a more visible role in dealing with racial tension. Retired Gen.Colin Powell told BBC radio yesterday the Simpson trial revealed a racial chasm in America.

Republicans hope legislation allowing companies to make discretionary withdrawals from employees' pension plans will help cut the deficit by raising $9.5 billion in corporate taxes. The legislation would permit companies to withdraw surplus funds in their ''defined benefit'' pension plans as long as they left 25 percent more than needed to meet current liabilities. The withdrawn money could be used for any purpose and would be taxed at the normal corporate tax rate.

Gay activists and House Republican campaign strategists managed to find common ground at their first meeting on AIDS programs and corporate America's efforts to treat gay employees fairly. The activists from the Human Rights Campaign Fund ended up contributing $5,000 to Republican coffers. The Walt Disney Co. said it will offer health insurance to live-in partners of its gay and lesbian employees, as well as partners' dependent children.

Military records show that 169 US marines and sailors in Japan have been court-martialed for rape, child molestation, or other sex crimes since 1988, the Dayton Daily News reported. The newspaper's computer analysis of military records showed that bases in Japan had more sexual-assault trials of marines and sailors than any other location in the world. (Story, Page 1.)

Pope John Paul II was back in Rome yesterday after a five-day visit to the US. In final comments, the pope called on Americans to apply their religious convictions to political issues.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch is likely to announce a further expansion of his global media group News Corp at the company's annual meeting today, analysts said. Possible announcements include an expansion at Fox Television or another venture with is partner MCI.

Oregonians will soon nominate candidates for US Senate in the nation's first vote-by-mail congressional election. But some see openings for fraud.

The World

Serbs shelled a town near the government stronghold of Tuzla yesterday, killing two people hours before a cease-fire was due to take effect in Bosnia. A government spokesman said the cease-fire could be delayed because electricity has not been restored in Sarajevo. A World Bank official said Bosnia will need $3 billion to rebuild its economy. A British academic, James Gow, became the first witness to testify before the UN war-crimes tribunal in The Hague for former Yugoslavia. The Bosnian-Serb defendant, Dragan Nikolic, charged with killing eight inmates at a Serb prison camp in 1992, is being protected by Serbs in Bosnia and will not testify.

Villagers in Padang, Indonesia, braced yesterday for another night in the mountain chill as the government vowed to rebuild their remote community devastated by an earthquake Saturday. The quake killed at least 100, injured 700, and damaged 10,000 buildings, most of them homes. Heavy rain has stopped recovery work by soldiers.

China's president, Jiang Zemin, is calling on all top Communist Chinese officials to temper the drive for economic growth with greater concern for political and social stability. Yesterday a speech he had delivered earlier at a closed-door party Central Committee meeting was splashed across most of the front page of the People's Daily, the Communist newspaper.

De Facto North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, signaling he is in firm control, has reshuffled the country's top military leadership, South Korean officials said yesterday. A number of generals close to Kim were promoted, and Kim is expected to name himself ''generalissimo'' eventually.

Japanese Justice Minister Tomoharu Tazawa resigned yesterday over a controversy surrounding an undeclared loan. Akira Fujita, president of Daiwa Bank, also resigned yesterday. He took responsibility for a $1.1 billion loss by a bond trader at Daiwa's New York branch.

Israel released the first of 2,300 Palestinian prisoners Sunday, but 20 women prisoners stayed in jail to protest Israel's refusal to free four other women. Bashayer Ali Abu Laben, above, right, is greeted by relatives as she arrived home in Jerusalem.

Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi said Saturday that an international tribunal set up to try those responsible for genocide in Rwanda should also probe the country's former Tutsi rebels. On Wednesday Moi ignited a firestorm by saying that Kenya would not extradite Rwandans wanted on genocide charges.

Labor talks in Turkey between the main union and the government collapsed and workers said they plan to sabotage an Oct. 15 vote on Prime Minister Tansu Ciller's new minority government. The biggest Turkish public workers' strike in decades, begun Sept. 20 over a pay-raise offer of 5.4 percent, now involves 335,000 workers. Inflation in Turkey is expected to be about 70 percent for the year.

Australia is expected to pressure Japan and South Korea to include agriculture in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum's free trade agreement during talks this week in Tokyo and Seoul. Both nations are reluctant to include agriculture because of powerful farm lobbies.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded yesterday to Edward Lewis of the US, Christiane Nuesslein-Volhard of Germany, and Eric Wieschaus, a professor in the US, for gene studies relating to birth defects.

Two-thirds of Irish voters want the Roman Catholic nation's constitutional ban on divorce ended, a poll published in Dublin by the Sunday Independent said.


After months of dickering, European Union nations are nearing agreement to call their new common currency the ''euro.'' Though uninspired, it seems to meet most of the criteria: It's short, pronounced the same in all the EU languages, and seems not to offend too many people.

Taking a bite out of a Big Mac in Japan will no longer take such a big bite out of your wallet. McDonald's announced yesterday it will cut the price of the burger by 100 yen ($1.00) to 280 yen ($2.80) starting Oct. 16.

''Les Miserables'' Sunday celebrated 10 years as one of the world's most successful musicals, seen by 12 million people so far. From Tokyo to Budapest, the adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel has been sung in 14 languages. Finnish is next.

Midway through Milan's 1996 ready-to-wear fashion show, it seems clear that designers are bringing back the 1960s look. Caftans, hip-huggers, thick heels, and head scarves abound.

Top 10 Video Rentals

1. ''Pulp Fiction,'' (Miramax)

2. ''Outbreak,'' (Warner)

3. ''Kiss of Death,'' (Fox)

4. ''Just Cause,'' (Warner)

5. ''Major Payne,'' (MCA-Universal)

6. ''Nobody's Fool,'' (Paramount)

7. ''The Quick and the Dead,'' (Columbia TriStar)

8. ''Circle of Friends,'' (HBO)

9. ''Hideaway,'' (Columbia TriStar)

10. ''Billy Madison,'' (MCA-Universal)

- Billboard Publications Inc.

'' Sometimes I wish I could throw a hundred miles per hour like Randy Johnson.''

- Boston Red Sox knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield, after losing decisive third playoff game to Cleveland.

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