News In Brief

The US

French President Jacques Chirac, in a clear swipe at the United States, yesterday urged member states that owe the UN about $3 billion to pay up and resist isolation. He also called for a reform of the Security Council to give permanent seats to Germany, Japan, and some big states that he did not identify. On Sunday, Cuba's Castro, Zambia's President Chiluba, and Norway's Prime Minister Bruntland, among others, called for Security Council restructuring. Meanwhile, Japan and New Zealand urged France and China to end nuclear weapons testing and asked the UN to recommit itself to ridding the world of atomic arms.

Clinton and Russia's President Yeltsin met yesterday to ease growing tensions arising out of Russian concern over NATO's expansion and role in Bosnia. On Sunday, Yeltsin said the UN Security Council was bypassed in the US-led initiative to end the war in Bosnia. Yeltsin is also under increasing pressure at home from nationalists to take a tougher stance against the West.

California Gov. Pete Wilson was set to endorse Senator Dole's presidential bid yesterday in Washington. Dole, the GOP front-runner, was expected to name Wilson as his campaign's general chairman, sources said. Wilson withdrew from the presidential race last month.

Fidel Castro wasn't invited to Clinton's New York Public Library bash for world leaders, but, clad in fatigues, he received several standing ovations at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church Sunday night. ''We will never change, because we are right,'' he exclaimed as the crowd responded with chants of ''Fidel, si.'' Castro is set to leave the US today but will reportedly meet with the Council on Foreign Relations before departing. (Story, Page 3.)

Homicides in the US fell 8.2 percent in the past two years - from 25,470 in 1993 to 23,730 in 1994, a decreasing trend for the third straight year, the National Center for Health Statistics said yesterday. Also, births fell 1 percent - to the lowest rate since 1978; and the divorce rate remained the same at 4.6 per 1,000 people.

John Sweeney held an edge over Thomas Donahue before the AFL-CIO's first contested election Wednesday in New York. Intense lobbying is under way by both camps, and Donahue's representatives are said to be luring five construction unions with an offer of a third-ranking position to their leaders. Donahue opposes the idea. Clinton planned to address the group yesterday.

Governors and top officials from 40 states met at a ''Federalism Summit'' Sunday in Cincinnati to find ways to regain powers taken away by the federal government in recent years. Their rallying cry: the 10th Amendment, which reserves to states the powers not delegated to the US by the Constitution.

The GOP plan to cut spending and taxes has already incited some intense debate as Congress takes up the proposal this week. White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta said significant changes must be made to avoid a veto. But GOP leaders said there will be no compromise on the seven-year budget-balancing timetable.

The number of jobs in the US work force increased 4.5 percent in the past year. This despite that 50 percent of US companies cut jobs in the past year, up from 47.3 percent the previous year, says an American Management Association survey of 1,003 large and midsize firms. The divergent trends point to major reorganizations in which companies both cut and create jobs.

Chatting in cyberspace has come to outer space: Shuttle Columbia's astronauts can engage in near real-time cyber-conversations with ground controllers via the on-board laptop computer. Columbia is in the third day of its 16-day science mission.

US lawmakers are pushing legislation to reward sheriffs who turn in prisoners illegally claiming federal disability payments. The existence of the ''double-dippers'' came to light when Butte County, Calif., Sheriff Mick Grey discovered that 16 of 180 inmates were getting benefits.

The World

Evacuation of Israelis from the West Bank town of Jenin is expected to begin tomorrow under a PLO-Israel deal signed last month to expand Palestinian self-rule. Palestinian police cadets (above), hoisting a Palestinian flag atop an exercise ladder amid thick smoke during a graduation ceremony in Jericho Sunday, are likely replacements for Israeli troops there. Also, PLO Chairman Arafat returned to the UN Sunday after a 21-year absence ''with the olive branch hoisted over the peace of the brave.'' It was a stark contrast from his 1974 UN message - ''bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun.'' Jordan's King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Rabin said at the UN the next step in the peace process is economic development.

Mexican government and Zapatista leaders claimed success in peace talks yesterday in Chiapas. The rebels achieved a non-binding agreement for autonomy for Mexico's 96 Indian groups. Talks are to resume in three weeks to discuss creation of autonomous regions for the groups.

The lira tumbled against the German mark and stocks plummeted yesterday as concerns grew that the Italian government might fall. Several political leaders tried over the weekend to talk Prime Minister Lamberto Dini into resigning. He faces a no-confidence vote later this week.

Japan welcomed remarks and said it is working on a proposal after US Secretary of Defense Perry said Sunday the US would consider requests from Tokyo to reduce its 30,000 troops in Japan. He was responding to the rape of a Japanese girl allegedly by three US servicemen. Also, criticism of Japan's Finance Ministry increased as a former top Daiwa bank executive said a Ministry official advised him against alerting the US to Daiwa's $1.1 billion bond-trading loss.

About 1,000 Muslim refugees tested Bosnia's truce by venturing home to three front-line towns, while Bosnian Serb leaders met in the northeastern town of Bijeljina Sunday night to plan their strategy for upcoming peace talks Oct. 31 in the US.

In Berlin elections, the feuding Social Democrats obtained only 23.3 percent of the vote. Chancellor Kohl's Christian Democratic Union captured 37.4 percent. The Free Democrats, Kohl allies, failed to get 5 percent of the votes needed to remain in the city-state parliament.

Concerned about European unity, Swiss voters are divided on what to do about it.The big winners in Sunday's Parliamentary elections were the Swiss People's Party, which advocates adhering to the tradition of neutrality, and the Social Democrats, who say neutrality is outmoded in a rapidly changing Europe.

How South Korean president Kim Young-sam handles allegations that a close ally, Roh Tae-woo, managed a $63 million slush fund could determine how Kim's Democratic Liberal Party fares in next April's elections. Kim's pledge to end corruption is being tested in the scandal.

The wife and sister of ailing Chinese dissident Chen Ziming were arrested Sunday after holding a sit-in at a Beijing park. And President Clinton was expected to meet with China's President Jiang in New York today.

Ivory Coast President Henri Konan Bedie won a second term with more than 90 percent of the vote in Sunday elections. Despite efforts, opposition forces failed to disrupt the voting.

French President Chirac said Sunday that Algerian President Liamine Zeroual cancelled a controversial meeting with him in New York after Chirac refused to agree to a joint photo opportunity. Zeroual's office blamed ''malevolent'' remarks by French officials. Also, a car bomb exploded in Algiers Sunday, killing eight people and wounding 82.


Tourists flocked to some of Asia's most magnificent sites to watch today's rare total eclipse. Thousands were set to experience daytime darkness as the moon blocked the sun. The eclipse was the first in the area since 1955 and the last until 2070.

A St. Louis-based holding company has a new way to cash in on the Internet. Starting yesterday, Mark Twain Bancshares began offering select customers a way to transfer payments on-line.

Maxine Andrews, who died Saturday, was one of the Andrews Sisters who gained fame singing ''Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'' and other songs in the 1940s.

Learning American Lingo

The new Lonely Planet travel guide to America advises Britons to brush up on words and expressions needed upon crossing the Atlantic. Here's a sampling:

Notwork: A network that is not operating properly.

Byte-bonding: When computer nerds discuss things no one else understands.

Gedoutahea: An expression of disbelief; the equivalent of ''You're pulling my leg.''

Go Richter: To lose one's temper, after the Richter scale that measures earthquakes.

Adam and Eve on a Raft: Two sausages on a pancake.

Fill ya up?: Have you had enough to eat?

Hayul: Southern pronunciation for Satan's lair.

Yo!: A catch-all with meanings from ''Hi'' to ''Watch it!''

- Associated Press

'' Quiet, quiet, quiet, quiet.''

- Maj. Miriam Sohacki, a UN spokeswoman, on the military situation in Bosnia Sunday.

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