News In Brief

The US

About 700 US troops will enter Bosnia within a few days to prepare for the 60,000-strong NATO force's December arrival, Defense Secretary Perry said. And as President Clinton left for a five-day swing through Europe, Congress and the public wrestled with whether to support the sending of 20,000 US troops to Bosnia. Senator Dole voiced tepid backing for the plan. But Senator Kerry doubts US forces can get the job done in one year. And Senator Nunn says a major unanswered question is how US troops eventually would leave Bosnia. The public warmed slightly to the idea after Clinton's Oval Office speech: In a CNN-Gallup poll, 46 percent favor sending troops, while 40 percent oppose it. On Nov. 6, 47 percent supported the move, and 49 percent were against it. (Story, Page 1; Opinion, Page 18; Editorial, Page 20.)

The reconciling of two distinct visions for the budget was set to begin as White House and congressional negotiators were to meet on Capitol Hill. The GOP has set Dec. 15 as a target date for a deal, which is also the day that the temporary spending bill to keep the government functioning expires. But some expect the wrangling to continue until Christmas. Separately, the IRS says that the GOP plan to put tax cuts in voter pockets before the the November 1996 election would cost $308 million in administrative expenses. The plan to give a $500-per child cut for 1996 and a $125-per-child credit for 1995 would include creating new forms and requiring taxpayers to file a claim by Aug. 15, in addition to the April 15 filing.

''Can a worker be a company's employee ... if, at the same time, a union pays that worker to help the union organize the company?'' wrote Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. In a victory for labor, the Supreme Court answered a unanimous ''yes,'' thereby protecting the practice - called ''salting'' - that many unions use to enter nonunion companies.

Two suburban Pittsburgh police officers, both white, were charged with murdering Johnny Gammage, who was black and the cousin of Steelers' player Ray Seals. Charges include involuntary manslaughter and official oppression. The incident, in which Gammage was pulled over while driving his cousin's Jaguar and beaten by five officers, has sparked outrage among many in the city. The police chief resigned in the wake of the event.

Media mogul Barry Diller finalized buyout deals with Home Shopping Network Inc. and Savoy Pictures Entertainment Inc., a TV-station owner and entertainment producer. He used newly issued shares from his Silver King Communications Inc., to finance the deals. Diller is tight-lipped about any plans to form a new network.

''Some clues were missed,'' Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said of the Fed's oversight of Daiwa Bank. Ballooning bond-trading losses at Daiwa's New York office - which began as early as 1992 and eventually totaled $1.1 billion - might not have gone undetected had the Fed been more ''robust'' in its follow up, Greenspan said, concluding that ''this event will stiffen our resolve.'' Specifically, the Fed will target banks with lax internal controls for outside audits.

The Senate Whitewater committee is delving into administration officials' response Arkansas Judge David Hale's 1993 charges that Clinton pressured him to give a $300,000 loan to Clinton's Whitewater partners. The committee will try to determine if the officials tried to interfere with the Whitewater investigations.

Toyota plans to locate its first US truck plant - a $1 billion operation - in Evansville, Indiana, Japanese papers say. But Toyota and Indiana officials would not confirm the reports.

Construction of new homes fell 3.7 percent in October, the largest drop in seven months. The declines occurred in every region except the Northeast.

The World

A Euro-Mediterranean meeting of foreign ministers ended in Barcelona, Spain, with adoption of a historic declaration pledging a new era of peace and prosperity. Included in the declaration: a call for political dialogue, cooperation to control migration, crime, and drug trafficking, enhancing EU economic aid to Mediterranean states, and the prospect of free trade areas for industrial goods in 2010.

Secret meetings between Israel and Syria to discuss resuming peace talks took place in Europe, the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported. Syria's foreign minister said his country is ready to make peace if Israel commits to a complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights and a border strip in south Lebanon, the report said. Meanwhile, Israel said it is willing to hand over most of the West Bank to the Palestinians while annexing areas where most of the 135,000 Jewish settlers live. And a Lebanese guerrilla rocket attack on northern Israel wounded at least six people, while Israeli jets blasted southern Lebanon.

Intense overnight negotiations brought a breakthrough in Britain-Ireland talks on the eve of President Clinton's visit, the Irish Times reported. Washington played a role in the turnaround, and the political wing of the IRA, Sinn Fein, attended the negotiations, the Times said.

US troops headed for Bosnia ''will find friends here,'' Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said about President Clinton's deployment plan. Also, Defense Secretary Perry flew to Brussels to work out final details of the NATO troop plan. He was to meet with Russia's defense minister at NATO headquarters to address Russia's demand that it have a substantial voice in political deliberations, even thought it is not a NATO member. (See also US in Brief; Opinion, Page 18; Editorial, Page 20.)

Quelling concerns that he might arbitrarily extend his term, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (above) announced he will step down Feb. 7. Under Haiti's Constitution, Aristide cannot be reelected. But supporters have been urging him to pursue another three years in exchange for time he spent in exile.

In an effort to head off another secession attempt, Canada proposed to recognize Quebec formally as a distinct society and offered to give it a veto over constitutional change. But the initiatives were rejected in advance by Quebec's separatist government.

The environmental group Greenpeace blamed US, Japanese, and British companies for at least half of the depletion of the ozone layer as a UN meeting on the topic began in Vienna, Austria. The hole in the earth's protective layer covered an area twice the size of Europe at its seasonal peak in October and grew at an unprecedented rate in 1995, the UN has said.

Critics are questioning Egypt's promise of free and fair parliamentary elections as 21 million Egyptians head for the polls today. Numerous members of groups opposed to the ruling National Democratic Party have been arrested recently, and the government has rejected any form of external monitoring.

UN and Rwandan officials denied claims by former Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu that the Tutsi-dominated government slaughtered more than 250,000 rival Hutus in revenge killings. Meanwhile, former US President Jimmy Carter met with four central African leaders to set a deadline for the return home of 2 million Rwandan refugees.

Fifteen Chinese dissidents petitioned China's legislature to release human rights activist Wei Jingsheng. Wei was formally charged last week with trying to overthrow the government.

Greek Premier Andreas Papandreou is still in the hospital after being hospitalized for pneumonia Nov. 20.


The Guinness Book of Records - that keeper of whatever is biggest, fastest, most bizarre - marked its 40th anniversary with a record of its own: With 77 million copies in 37 languages, it is now the world's best-selling copyrighted title. (The Bible is not copyrighted.) Record holders Tom Rodden of Britain, the fastest barber (above, left), poses with Ted Sedman, who sports a 63-inch moustache - the longest in the Britain.

Some merchants in Florence, Italy, are forgoing Christmas decorations for a second year in a row so they can give the city a present. This year it's the restoration of a 15th-century painting, Botticelli's ''Fortitude.'' The ''gift'' will cost them $62,500. The painting hangs in the city's Uffizi Museum. Last year, merchants sponsored the restoration of the church that houses the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo.

More Hot Toys for Tots

The Toy Manufacturers of America made a list and checked it twice to predict the most popular toys of the season. These more-expensive toys (over $10) could be the big ones under the tree. (See this space in yesterday's paper for the less-expensive toys.)

Barbie, Binney & Smith, $12

Pocahontas, Mattel, $15

Baby Tumble Surprise, Toy Biz, $16

Kitchen Center All-In-One, Mattel, $63

PreComputer Power Pad, V-Tech, $88

Ball Pit, Hedstrom, $100

Genesis with Sonic 2, Sega, $120

Virtual Boy, Nintendo, $170

Playstation System, Sony Computer Entertainment, $300

Sega Saturn, Sega, $400

- Toy Manufacturers of America (New York, NY)

'' We cannot stop all war for all time. But we can stop some wars. We cannot save all women and all children. But we can save many.... We must do what we can.''

- President Clinton, in his Oval Office address on why the US should send 20,000 troops to Bosnia.

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