News In Brief

Monitor Writer Heads Home After Release in Belgrade

Two days after his release from a Bosnian Serb prison, Monitor writer David Rohde was expected to arrive in Boston today to be reunited with his family.

Mr. Rohde spent 10 days in captivity and was released after the intervention of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic under pressure from US officials at the Bosnian peace talks in Dayton, Ohio. Serbian forces delivered him to US officials in Belgrade Wednesday after they took him out of Bosnian territory. A US Embassy physician found him in good health. Rohde said he had been treated fairly well during his captivity.

He told his family and editors that he was eager to write about his investigation and experience. Rohde entered Bosnian Serb territory Oct. 29 to further investigate the July massacre of thousands of Muslim civilians. In August, he reported the first on-the-ground evidence of the massacre.

The US

''There are no chances'' of avoiding a government shutdown next week, the White House said yesterday. President Clinton is not satisfied with a stopgap measure passed by the House Wednesday to put the government on a diet - with most programs operating at 60-percent strength - through Dec. 1.

''Thursday will be a decisive day,'' a senior Balkan official at the Dayton, Ohio, peace talks said. Mediators were set to unveil key elements of a possible accord to the warring parties. To be addressed in the documents: a constitutional structure for a postwar unified Bosnia, redrawing the map, and the status of the capital, Sarajevo.

The White House was successful in passing through 1995 Whitewater hearings unscathed because then-White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler had help from the Treasury Department, said the Senate Whitewater Committee yesterday. Treasury provided the White House with testimony from its own Whitewater probe, which, GOP senators say, enabled presidential lawyers to tailor their witnesses' messages for self-protection. But Cutler said yesterday that the Treasury-White House cooperation was made public at the time, thereby, he said, proving there was nothing to hide. (Above Treasury Department inspector-general team members testify Wednesday.)

And then there were 10. The GOP presidential hopefuls reacted with barely contained elation to General Powell's decision Wednesday not to run and sought to woo Powell supporters into their own camps. ''I will actively seek his advice and counsel,'' front-runner Senator Dole said. Senator Gramm's response: Now ''the choice is between Bob Dole and me.'' (Op-ed Page 18)

CBS Inc. lawyers ordered ''60 Minutes'' to drop an on-the-record interview with a former tobacco-company executive who criticized the industry, a network spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday. The network substituted a revised report examining how cigarette makers try to keep information from getting out. CBS was reportedly concerned because the executive had an agreement with the company not to disclose internal information.

Twenty American war veterans flew to Cuba illegally to protest US travel restrictions on the Communist nation. They plan a Veterans Day vigil tomorrow outside the Guantanamo Bay US naval base to protest the 32-year US economic embargo of Cuba.

A line-item veto may be in President Clinton's future: After months of dithering, congressional negotiators are close to bridging the gap between House and Senate versions. A House-proposed deal would allow the president to veto all or part of any budgetary item in a spending bill or repeal any tax benefit targeted for a small group. Overriding the veto would require a two-thirds congressional vote.

A drunken Navy enlisted man allegedly sexually harassed a female sailor during a commercial airline flight last month. And despite the woman's screams of protest, 20 sailors seated nearby didn't intercede, The Washington Post said yesterday. The man has not been charged, but the Navy says he is under investigation.

Abortion-rights lawmakers delayed Senate action on a ban on so-called ''partial birth'' abortions until after hearings, which the Judiciary Committee begins on Nov. 17. The legislation has already passed the House. (Story, Page 3.)

If shuttle Atlantis blasts off tomorrow, as scheduled, it will head toward a rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir - the second shuttle-Mir meeting. (Story, Page 3.)

Rep. Cardiss Collins of Chicago is the 14th Democrat to decline a 1996 reelection bid. She served for 22 years.

The World

Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres assured PLO leader Yasser Arafat yesterday that Israel's withdrawal from West Bank would go ahead as planned. Meanwhile, investigators yesterday said Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassin did not act alone. Two suspects belonging to the right-wing Eyal group were arrested yesterday. And, the Muslim militant group Hamas denounced Arab leaders who attended Yitzhak Rabin's funeral, calling them ''puppets.'' (Story, Page 6.)

Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev agreed yesterday that the embattled minister would get a new first deputy. Analysts say the move indicates that Yeltsin would not replace Kozyrev as he had threatened to earlier.

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague yesterday indicted three senior Serbian Army officers. They are charged with crimes against humanity in the mass execution of 261 men near Vukovar in eastern Slavonia in November 1991. And the US will give the tribunal all the pertinent information it has on the crimes, including top-secret intelligence data, the White House said Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Major said he was confident of reaching a settlement in Northern Ireland, despite a stalemate over terms on which the IRA's political arm, Sinn Fein, will join the all-party talks. Meanwhile in Auckland demonstrators protested Major's (above) support of the French nuclear policy.

The UN Security Council agreed to continue economic sanctions against Iraq Wednesday, because Iraqi compliance with the council's demands has been ''less than fully satisfactory.'' And Baghdad again refused to accept a UN plan to sell limited oil to buy food and medicine. Iraq says the plan infringes on its sovereignty.

A Fokker F-27 Argentine Air Force plane crashed during a rainstorm in a mountainous area of central Argentina. Police said yesterday all 53 people on board were killed.

Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday he will visit Rwanda and Burundi later this month to help find a solution to the region's refugee crisis. And the UN appointed Aziz Hasbi of Morocco its special representative in Burundi on Wednesday.

Commonwealth nations yesterday were considering a united appeal for clemency to spare the life of Nigerian minority rights leader Saro-Wiwa. Yesterday, Nigeria's military government upheld the death sentence. Many Commonwealth leaders who gathered in Auckland for today's opening of the Commonwealth summit are threatening Nigeria with sanctions.

An American correspondent, Aliza Marcus of Reuters, was acquitted yesterday in Turkey of charges of inciting racial hatred among the country's Turkish and Kurdish populations. She could have received three years in jail. In reaching its decision, the court cited lack of evidence and intent. Marcus is the first foreign journalist to be so charged. Hundreds of Turkish journalists have been tried. (Reporters at Risk, Page 1.)

Mexico's peso plunged to a new all-time low in early trade yesterday with frantic investors dumping pesos on renewed fears of a change in the government's monetary policy.


The Asian elephant is threatened by economic expansion, the World Wide Fund for Nature said yesterday. A report by the Swiss-based group noted that less than 50,000 of them remain. Millions of the beasts once roamed from Syria to China.

One mass of stars in a photo from the Hubble Space Telescope looks like ''bees swarming to their hive,'' said astronomers who know the cluster as M15. What they see, they said, may be a ''core collapse'' of stars caused by the gravitational pull of many stars jammed into a tiny bit of space.

The State of Prisons

Number of prisoners for every 100,000 US citizens: 519

Number of prisoners for every 100,000 Japanese citizens: 36

Number of prisoners for every 100,000 Mexican citizens: 97

Number of US states that have been under court orders in 1995 to correct overcrowding: 39

Average US probation/parole officer's caseload in 1994: 118

Proportion of black males under the supervision of the US criminal justice system on any given day: 1 in 4

Percentage of US prisoners who have finished high school: 33

Percentage of all those arrested and charged with crimes in 1993 who were between the ages of 13 and 29: 60

Estimated annual cost of housing an inmate: $19,500

Estimated annual cost - including health care - of housing an inmate over age 60: $69,000

Proportion of violent crimes to nonviolent crimes committed by those entering state prisons in 1992: 27 to 73

- ''Seeking Justice,'' by The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (New York, N.Y.)

'' It was a bad trial, a bad judgment and an unjust sentence, and the Commonwealth

will make that point very clear to Nigeria when it asks for clemency.''

- British Prime Minister John Major on the death sentence for Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian human rights activist.

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