News In Brief


President Clinton's lawyers asked a federal judge to restrict use of his videotaped testimony given in defense of his former Whitewater business partners. Snippets could be used in cheap- shot political ads, they said. In the 4-1/2 hours of statements, Clinton said he never pressured Arkansas businessman David Hale into granting an illegal loan, according to a source familiar with his testimony. Also, fingerprints on Whitewater-related documents missing for two years reportedly belong to Hillary Rodham Clinton. The White House cited a January statement by her lawyers that said it was possible she handled the records during the 1992 campaign.

Former Green Beret colonel James "Bo" Gritz planned to return to the "freemen" antigovernment militia compound after emerging with a document from the group in his last meeting. The 26-page paper restated the belief that the group follows no other laws but its own, and challenged the constitutionality of the FBI, IRS, and other federal agencies.

Coast Guard crews continued to search Maryland's Wicomico River for former CIA director William Colby. He was reported missing after the canoe he was using was found capsized near his home. Colby headed the CIA from 1973 to 1976 under Presidents Nixon and Ford.

Clinton planned to announce a new drug-control strategy during a talk at a Coral Gables, Fla., high school. The five-part program will emphasize preventing drug use among young people, according to the White House's new drug policy chief Barry McCaffrey. Cocaine use has dropped 30 percent in the last 3 years, but marijuana use among young people has risen sharply.

The Supreme Court let stand a ruling that struck down a South Dakota law that required most young girls seeking abortions to first notify one of their parents. The court also ruled trial judges can't grant acquittal to convicted criminals who miss the deadline for requesting such an order.

Clinton lifted a 23-year-old ban on exporting Alaskan oil, but imposed conditions aimed at protecting the environment. Tankers now must travel outside the 200-mile exclusive economic zone during the export route to prevent spilled oil from reaching land. The lifting of the ban primarily affects British Petroleum - the only company active in Alaska that wants to export oil.

Israeli Prime Minister Peres plans to return to Washington today for talks with Clinton after a jaunt to New York City. He said Israel would consider helping rebuild Lebanon. Also, the US agreed to share with Israel intelligence warnings of enemy rocket assaults and pay $200 million to help it deploy a new laser weapon to shoot down rockets.

The Wall Street Journal's full contents became available on the World Wide Web - for a fee. The Journal has provided free stock market and investment information updates on the Web since last fall. Also, Procter and Gamble - the largest advertiser in the US - reportedly wants to pay only for the number of people seeking more information on their products on the Web, not for those who just see the ads.

The University of South Florida shut down after a letter sent to a student newspaper threatened to bomb a campus building and kill a professor. Affidavits unsealed this month in an unrelated investigation indicate federal agents believe an Islamic think tank once connected with the school was a front to bring terrorists to the US.

A fire six miles from New Mexico's Los Alamos National Lab is no cause for concern, officials at the site said. Nuclear materials are safely stored there, they added. The fire has charred some 12,000 acres of forest that has ancient Indian cliff dwellings.

Retail prices of fresh vegetables are likely to increase, but not as much as last year's 12 percent increase, the Agriculture Department said. And gasoline prices jumped nearly 5 cents per gallon in the last two weeks, according to the Lundberg Survey of 10,000 gas stations.


Serbia asked the World Court in The Hague to throw out Bosnia's genocide suit against Belgrade. Serbia says it was a civil war and therefore not in the jurisdiction of the World Court. Bosnia says Serbia violated the 1948 Genocide Convention and armed and supported Bosnian Serbs.

Australian police arrested Martin Bryant in the slaying of 34 people in Tasmania in the worst massacre in Australia's recent history. The gunman was arrested after he fled a guest cottage he'd set on fire with three hostages inside. Two of the hostages' bodies were recovered, and the third is also feared dead.

Russia will repay $40 billion in debt over the next 25 years under new terms announced by the Paris Club, a group of creditor countries. The club says this is the largest rescheduling agreement it has negotiated. Separately, Russia's and Japan's defense chiefs met to discuss regional security issues and the nations' improving relations. It was the first such military meeting between the two countries.

Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiev was killed in a clash between rival rebel groups after only a week in command, ITAR-Tass reported. A Chechen leader has denied the report, saying Yanderbiev's nephew was killed, Interfax reported. Former leader Dzhokhar Dudayev was killed in a Russian airstrike last week.

Israel will pull most of its troops out of Hebron by the end of next month, an Israeli Cabinet minister said. Hebron is the last West Bank town still under Israeli occupation. Also, 10,000 Palestinians can return to work in Israel, Israel radio reported.

Costa Rican police arrested Cesar Vegas Rojas, a Nicaraguan suspected of belonging to the gang that kidnapped two European women New Year's Day and held them for 10 weeks in the jungle. The women were released unharmed after relatives reportedly paid a $200,000 ransom.

The US threatened to scale back its offers in a multibillion dollar telecommunications trade deal, causing an uproar at negotiations in Geneva. The deal, which has a deadline of midnight tonight, would gradually ease monopolies of many national telephone services that keep prices artificially high. The US wants to reject license applications from countries whose telecom markets are considered too closed and has threatened to pull satellite services out of the deal.

South Korean prosecutors demanded jail terms of up to seven years for four aides to former President Chun Doo Hwan. Chun, whose corruption trial just ended, now faces a mutiny-treason trial for a 1979 putsch that brought him to power and a 1980 extension of martial law. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Prosecutors haven't yet sought punishment for Chun on corruption charges.

Iran's Parliament approved a law that bans smoking in public places, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The law will go into effect after implementation rules are drawn up and approved by the Cabinet.

The trial of Brazil's Candelaria massacre was to begin in Rio de Janeiro, three years after gunmen opened fire on street children, killing eight. Three policemen and a metalworker are accused in the massacre.

There is no room for discussion about China's decision to scrap Hong Kong's elected legislature in 1997, the Chinese foreign minister said. Britain had asked China to reconsider. Also, China and Central Asia agreed to join forces to combat the spread of fundamentalist Islamic movements in their countries.

German Chancellor Kohl was in London on a one-day visit for talks with British Prime Minister Major on the EU ban of British beef.


The rice is cooked, what is done is done." -- Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen on China's decision to get rid of Hong Kong's elected legislature when the island reverts to mainland rule in July 1997.

Four French Army endurance specialists reached the North Pole after a 55-day trek on skis. The four, pulling sleighs weighing up to 290 pounds, cross-country skied about 600 miles to the pole from the northern edge of Siberia.

Surfers in Huntington Beach, Calif., lined the highway as the Olympic torch was carried past them. It was the second day of a 15,000-mile relay to the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

The Nevada State Museum has on display what test data now show is a 9,400-year-old mummy, the oldest ever discovered in North America. Found in a Nevada cave in 1940, it was initially thought to be 2,000 years old.

Most Expensive Homes

Here are the the 15 least-affordable US housing markets in the fourth quarter of 1995. The percentage is for homes sold in an area that were within reach of the median income.

1. San Francisco 21.4%

2. Santa Cruz, Calif. 27.8

3. Laredo, Texas 29.7

4. New York 34.6

5. Santa Rosa, Calif. 35.7

6. Portland, Ore. 36.5

7. Salinas, Calif. 36.6

8. El Paso, Texas 36.8

9. Provo, Utah 37.5

10. Honolulu 39.2

11. San Luis Obispo, Calif. 39.7

12. San Jose, Calif. 40.7

13. Jersey City, N.J. 40.9

14. Albuquerque, N.M. 41.5

15. New Bedford, Mass. 44.6

- National Association of Home Builders/AP

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