News In Brief


The Senate voted to wrap up the 1996 budget - six months late and just in time to work on President Clinton's 1997 budget plan. The spending bill must now be reconciled with the House's more austere version. One more stopgap bill will probably be needed to keep the government running while the White House and Congress work on a compromise. Meanwhile, GOP leaders were set to meet with Clinton, who hopes to convince them to reach a balanced budget agreement before the election.

The House is debating a bill that would reform legal immigration and slow the wave of illegal immigrants to the US. The House added a proposal for counterfeit-proof social security cards, which opponents say is the first step toward a national identification card. Representatives also agreed to a provision to punish foreigners who illegally entered the US by barring them entrance permanently. While few complain about stiffer penalties for illegal aliens, some oppose measures to reduce the numbers of legal immigrants. Critics also decry combining legal and illegal immigration reform in the same bill.

The House endorsed a nonbinding resolution that says the US should defend Taiwan if it is attacked by China. The Senate is expected to take up the resolution soon. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Christopher will meet with the Chinese foreign minister next month in The Hague to discuss Taiwan and other matters straining US-China relations. And in an annual meeting between Taiwan and US military officials, the administration approved sale of Stinger surface-to-air missiles and an advanced targeting and navigation system for jets. But the US denied Taiwan's request for new submarines, The Washington Post reports.

Billionaire Ross Perot says he'll run for president if supporters of his Reform Party ask him to.

Senator Dole says he and Clinton have agreed that the line-item veto should be passed this year but not become effective until after the election. The line-item veto would allow the president to strike specific spending programs without vetoing entire legislation. A House-Senate conference to approve a compromise plan is expected this week, but the plan must still win endorsement from Congress.

The Supreme Court ruled that the government doesn't need to adjust the 1990 Census to make up for an acknowledged undercount of minorities.

The Senate unanimously agreed to repeal a law requiring discharge of service members diagnosed with the HIV virus. The measure was passed two months ago as part of a larger defense authorization bill and never came up for a separate vote in Congress. House and Senate negotiations were set to begin.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was criticized at a congressional hearing for verbal attacks he made about the US on his recent trip to the Mideast. The White House also came under fire for not investigating Farrakhan for possible violations of federal law during his visits to Libya, Iran, and Iraq. Hundreds of Farrakhan supporters crowded into the hearings. Two people were arrested for "disruption of Congress."

The military can't recruit at at University of Connecticut Law School, the Connecticut State Supreme Court ruled. The court upheld a ruling barring the military, saying Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy discriminates against homosexuals and violates state antidiscrimination laws.

The House passed a bill that would pay the legal bills of White House travel office employees fired in May 1993.

Cuba says it may close its airspace to US-bound planes. This would cost US airlines $69 million in extra fuel. And Cuba would lose $8.5 million annually in overflight payments.

Television broadcasters would stop transmitting in analog in 2005 and broadcast in a new digital format, under Clinton's budget plan. The White House would make broadcasters pay to convert the digital signal into analog for people who want to keep their current TV sets.


A suicide bomber blew himself up near an Israeli Army convoy in southern Lebanon, killing a soldier and wounding seven others. The Iranian-backed Islamic militant group Hizbullah claimed responsibility. Earlier, Prime Minister Peres warned Hizbullah that Israel will retaliate against any attacks on Jews. Separately, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers after the military blew up the West Bank home of a suicide bomber.

The hearing on the first ethnic-cleansing case in the Balkan conflict opened at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. Prosecutors accused fugitive Yugoslav Army officers Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic, and Veselin Sljivancanin in the 1991 massacre of 241 Croats in Vukovar. Serbia has refused to surrender the officers to the Tribunal.

Colombia's Foreign Minister Rodrigo Pardo resigned as prosecutors opened an investigation into charges he helped President Ernesto Samper win the 1994 elections with money from the Cali drug cartel. The resignation is "temporary," he said. Also, the panel investigating the charges postponed today's planned questioning of Samper to March 26.

An earthquake that measured 6.9 struck northwestern China, killing 24 people. Some 10,000 people were left homeless. Also, China ended nine days of live-fire war games in the Taiwan Strait.

Russian troops bombarded Bamut and Samashky in Chechnya, where separatists are resisting government attempts to oust them. And some 6,000 Russian troops were on their way to Chechnya, military sources said.

Raul Salinas, brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, was charged with illegal enrichment by Mexican prosecutors. They claim that most of the $24 million linked to Salinas in various bank accounts is from questionable sources. He also faces charges in the 1994 murder of his brother-in-law, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, a presidential candidate.

Benin's former dictator-President Mathieu Kerekou made a political comeback defeating President Nicephore Soglo in an election run-off, state-run radio said. Kerekou, accused of wrecking Benin's economy, was ousted at the polls by Soglo in 1991.

The cash-strapped UN lauded France for paying its 1996 contribution to the world body. It is the only permanent member of the Security Council to do so. So far, 41 of 185 member nations have paid their 1996 dues. Earlier this month, the US said it will pay the nearly $1 billon it owes if the UN continues to cut wasteful expenditures.

The Sri Lankan Army foiled a Tamil rebel raid on a military camp on the Kayts Island. At least 18 rebels and seven soldiers were killed during the shootout, a military spokesman said.

A South African judge threw out Winnie Mandela's claim to half of President Nelson Mandela's assets after she failed to appear in court. Earlier, she fired her lawyer after a judge granted Mr. Mandela a divorce, ending their 38-year marriage.

Christian fundamentalist Ugandan rebels killed 34 civilians and abducted 58 in an attack on a northern village. Some 30 heavily armed Lord's Resistance Army rebels attacked Pabbo, a village 230 miles north of the Ugandan capital, Kampala. President Museveni has vowed to crush the LRA.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Zia called in the Army to quell violent clashes between her opponents and police. The opposition wants her to annul last month's general election. Major opposition parties boycotted the vote.

A year after the gas attack in a Tokyo subway station, a crowd gathered there to commemorate the 12 who were killed. Aum Shinri Kyo group members confessed to carrying out the attack.


His tax cuts are a Cheshire tax cut. They vanish before your eyes,

and all that's left is the president's smile."

- Rep. Bill Archer on the family tax cut in President Clinton's new budget, which ends in 2000 if the deficit is too high.

The satellite-on-a-wire that broke loose from the shuttle Columbia plunged into the atmosphere and burned up somewhere between northeast Africa and southwest Asia. The half-ton satellite and about 12 miles of slender tether floated off on Feb. 25. They were part of a $400 million plus experiment to generate electricity in space.

Georgia lawmakers have given themselves the right to carry concealed weapons where other state residents can't - into schools, churches, and the state capitol. State Rep. Jay Snow says you never know when those "crazy people out there" are going to "come down" on those who make the laws.

The eighth version of that supermarket diva, Betty Crocker, was unveiled by General Mills. The latest incarnation is a computer-generated composite of 75 women. The new Mrs. Crocker is a little darker and more relaxed than previous versions, and she now has brown eyes for the first time. Her picture has appeared on General Mills products for 75 years.

Final Primary Results

Here's how the candidates fared in Tuesday's "rust belt" primaries.

Illinois*: Dole 65 Buchanan 23

Michigan: Dole 51 Buchanan 34

Ohio: Dole 66 Buchanan 22

Wisconsin: Dole 53 Buchanan 34

*97 percent of returns counted. All others are 100%

- Associated Press

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