News In Brief

The US

President Clinton's planned jaunt to Paris for the Thursday signing of the Dayton peace accord is acting as a prod for Republicans and the White House. But negotiations need to be fast and furious to resolve wide differences before Friday's government-shutdown deadline. The GOP plan to give states control of Medicaid is the main sticking point. White House chief of staff Panetta met with GOP leaders, and Clinton may meet with Speaker Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Dole today. ''We don't want to shut down the government,'' Dole said after Clinton made a positive gesture by telephoning him and Gingrich. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office said its new upbeat economic forecast could give budget cutters as much as $100 billion more to work with.

Peace talks are again on Clinton's agenda: He was set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Peres in Washington. Peres reportedly envisions bringing more than 20 Arab states, including Syria, into the peace fold in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Also, Vice President Gore (above, left) joined Peres (right) and Leah Rabin for a memorial service in New York for Yitzhak Rabin.

In the Whitewater probe, Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief of staff, Margaret Williams, returned to testify for a third time before the Senate committee investigating circumstances surrounding White House lawyer Vince Foster's suicide. And the Clintons' lawyer, Robert Barnett, was to be asked why he went through folders of Foster's papers before they were removed.

Vice President Gore came to the defense of embattled Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary over allegations printed in the Los Angeles Times that she spent copious amounts on overseas trips. O'Leary reportedly stayed in pricey hotels and made one $560,000 trip to South Africa on a luxury jet sometimes used by singer Madonna. O'Leary ordered an inspector general's investigation and review after hearing about the news report.

New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman endorsed GOP candidate Dole. The Senator has actively sought support from Whitman, who is one of the most prominent Republicans.

NBC's talks with Microsoft about establishing a 24-hour news channel could lead to a bigger deal in which the software giant would acquire up to 49 percent of the network, the trade publication Weekly Variety said.

Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz scheduled a news conference in Salt Lake City to discuss her troubled personal and campaign finances. Even her most ardent supporters have threatened to jump ship if she doesn't adequately address the issue. Her husband is the subject of a federal probe into a $1.7 million check-kiting scheme involving the couple's bank accounts.

An internal row is rocking NOW. National President Patricia Ireland censured Los Angeles chapter head Tammy Bruce and asked her to apologize for statements made about race and the O.J. Simpson case. Bruce, host of a daily L.A. radio talk show, refused to apologize and claimed Ireland is jealous and threatened. Bruce is frequently quoted on domestic violence.

Winter is here. Watertown, New York, has seen 40 inches of snow. Oregonians are facing ice-covered highways and 70-mile-an-hour gusts. And record low temperatures were recorded in several southern cities.

Senator Bradley says he doesn't think a third-party candidate will run for president in 1996: It will be too hard to raise the money. In recent weeks, Bradley joined with seven other centrist politicians to explore the possibility of an independent candidacy in 1996.

Two men were arrested after allegedly squirting flammable liquid into a New York subway booth. The clerk was not hurt. It was the seventh such attack since the movie ''Money Train'' debuted. Harry Kaufman, who was hurt in a similar attack two weeks ago, has died.

The World

Military equipment trickled into the Balkans by air, road, and rail, a day after 22 US Marines landed in Sarajevo. And some 3,000 Sarajevans demonstrated for peaceful coexistence while Bosnian Serbs prepared for a referendum on the Dayton peace accord. The UN said the referendum will not affect Thursday's signing of the agreement in Paris. (Related story, Page 6.) Meanwhile, France's ultimatum for information about two missing French pilots expired with no word on their fate.

In a bid to end a longstanding strike that has paralyzed France, Premier Alain Juppe opened talks with union leaders and offered concessions on public-sector pensions and railroad reform. But Juppe refused to back down from his disputed plan to reform the indebted welfare system. And observers said the unions, sensing a weakening of the government's resolve, were defiant after Juppe's remarks.

The trial of Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng on sedition charges is open to Western reporters, a Beijing court official said. China watchers say it is an unusual move. Wei, widely viewed as a father of China's democracy movement, was jailed in the late 1970s. He served all but six months of a 15-year sentence for leaking secrets on China's brief war with Vietnam.

Yitzhak Rabin's confessed assassin, Yigal Amir, said he had permission from rabbis to kill the prime minister, according to published police transcripts. He refused to name the rabbis but said they ''fear for the fate of the land of Israel and the state of Israel.'' Also, well-known Palestinian social worker Samiha Khalil said she may challenge Yasser Arafat in Palestinian elections.

The head of US Defense contractor Lockheed-Martin's Seoul office, Kim Yong-ho, was questioned by South Korean prosecutors. They discussed allegations that former President Roh Tae Woo accepted $150 million in kickbacks from General Dynamics on a huge F-16 warplane deal. General Dynamics was bought by Martin-Marietta, which recently merged with Lockheed.

Foreign Ministers of ASEAN nations agreed to final terms of a nuclear-free zone treaty to be signed Dec. 15. The US and China oppose the treaty, which will ban possession, manufacture, and acquisition of nuclear weapons but allow ''innocent passage'' of other nations' ships or planes carrying nuclear weapons.

In a third-round of voting in Belarus, 59 candidates were elected - for a total of 198 - 24 more than the 174 needed for a quorum. In Ukraine, only seven candidates were elected in runoff elections to fill 45 empty seats. The law requires a voter turnout of more than 50 percent, and the winner must capture more than 50 percent of that vote.

Two members of the Aum Shinri Kyo sect pleaded guilty Monday to releasing poison gas into the Tokyo subway system in March. And a US serviceman accused in the rape of a Japanese schoolgirl apologized in court.

Nigeria set up a commission to conduct elections under a three-year transition to civilian rule. It will register political parties and draw up guidelines.

Some 3,000 Chechens staged a noisy, defiant protest on the first anniversary of Russia's violent offensive into Chechnya. And a five-day hunt for a Russian commercial plane that disappeared with 97 people aboard revealed no clues. (Story, Page 6)

Wars in the last 10 years have killed 2 million children, a UNICEF report said. And in 1995, 77 percent of eligible children worldwide were enrolled in primary school, compared with 48 percent in 1960.


British amateur astronomer George Sallit has discovered a 20-mile-in-diameter planet between Mars and Jupiter. Sallit spotted the tiny planet with a telescope rigged up in his garden shed. It is one of several thousand minor planets in the solar system and has been verified by scientists. When Sallit told his wife Jennifer of his find, she said, ''That's nice, dear.''

About 120 hardy people went for a dip in Lake St. Clair in the name of charity. Braving a wind chill of minus 17 F., they cut a hole through two inches of ice on the lake near Windsor, Ontario. Brrrh!

Stars on the World Map

1995 additions to UNESCO's list of the world's top natural or cultural heritage sites. Yellowstone Park was the only site to be added to the ''red list'' - sites in imminent danger of environmental decay.

Canada: The old city of Lunenburg

Chile: Huge stone figures in Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island

Colombia: Santa Cruz de Mompox historic center; Tierradentro and San Agustin archaeological parks

Czech Republic: Kutna Hora historic center

Denmark: Cathedral of Roskilde

France: Avignon, the 14th-century papal seat

Germany: Grube Messel, a fossil-rich quarry near Darmstadt

Hungary, Slovakia: Aggtelek caves and Slovakian Karst

Italy: Siena and Naples historic centers; Ferrara and Crespi d'Adda

Japan: Gokayama and Shirakawa-go villages with their unique double-thatched roofs

Laos: Luang Prabang old royal city

The Netherlands: Schokland, an ancient settlement

The Philippines: The Cordillera steep rice terraces

Scotland: Edinburgh, for its mix of medieval and classic architecture

South Korea: Chongmyo Confucian shrine in Seoul; Pulguksa and Haeinsa Changgyong P'ango Buddhist temples

Sweden: Viking settlement at Visby

Russia: The Komi virgin forest in the Ural Mountains

US: Mineral deposits at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico; Yellowstone

US, Canada: Glacier and Waterton international peace parks

Britain: Huge sea-bird colonies on Gough Island

Uruguay: The historic quarter of Colonia del Sacramento


'' Now maybe we can conclude the circle by making peace with Syria and Lebanon. If we shall succeed, this will be the end of war in the Middle East.''

- Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who met with President Clinton in Washington.

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