News In Brief


Senator Dole planned to announce his resignation from the Senate to devote more time to his presidential campaign, GOP sources said. Assistant majority leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, will most likely take over the duties. Also, Dole won Republican primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia. He has enough delegates to guarantee his nomination at the Republican convention.

China retaliated tit-for-tat after the Clinton administration targeted about $3 billion in Chinese goods.Clothing and electronic products were the main targets in what would be the largest trade sanctions in US history. The products will be subject to punitive tariffs of 100 percent or more starting June 17 unless China does more to enforce a 1995 agreement cracking down on rampant piracy of US movies, records, and computer programs.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved a package of tax breaks for businesses 33 to 3. The bill offers $7.05 billion in breaks through 2003, including liberalized equipment writeoffs, simple pension plans for businesses with 100 or fewer employees, and renewal of a $5,250 exemption for employer-paid tuition. The bill is expected to reach the House next week.

Federal investigators say an explosion may have downed a ValuJet DC-9 in Florida's Everglades. The plane was carrying old oxygen generators, and soot damage was found on recovered parts. Oxygen is highly flammable. Details from the jet's data recorder were released, but the last 50 minutes of the flight wasn't recorded for unknown reasons. Also, the plane crashed five days before an FAA order to US airlines to inspect wires in aging DC-9s to prevent potential fire and "uncontrolled smoke through the cockpit." The plane reported smoke in the cockpit before the crash. And a memorial service was to be held near the crash site for relatives of the plane's 110 passengers.

UN-Iraq oil-for-food talks in New York reached a "satisfactory outcome," Britain's UN Ambassador John Weston said. Negotiators are waiting for word on whether Baghdad will accept the deal of selling $1 billion in oil every 90 days.

House Republicans blocked the Democrats' fifth attempt to force a vote on raising the minimum wage. Earlier, Dole pulled his plan for a temporary cut in gasoline taxes from the Senate floor after Democrats blocked the measure. Senate minority leader Tom Daschle said the Democrats wouldn't free the gas tax cut without a guarantee that the House won't add unrelated provisions to the minimum wage bill.

Ambassadors of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and France resumed talks in Washington with Mideast envoy Dennis Ross to work out arrangements to monitor the cease-fire in Lebanon. A monitoring group was called for in the US-brokered truce between Israel and Hizbullah guerrillas. The five-nation talks started Friday.

The FBI found a nine-digit identifying number used by the Unabomber on correspondence in the cabin of suspect Theodore Kaczynski. And Kaczynski's cabin was moved to Malmstrom Air force Base in Montana, per his lawyer's request.

A jury acquitted Jack Kevorkian of assisted-suicide charges. It was the third court decision in two years in his favor. Kevorkian admits to attending 28 deaths since 1990.

Former Labor Secretary Lynn Martin held a press conference with Mitsubishi Motors chairman Tsuneo Ohinouyeafter touring a Normal, Ill., assembly plant. Mitsubishi hired Martin to investigate allegations of widespread sexual harassment. The government is suing the company, saying management permitted harassment of female workers.

The US government will spend $227 million to support the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Vice President Gore, in announcing the figure, said it's a conservative number that takes into account expenditures that wouldn't have been made if Atlanta hadn't won the right to host the games.

The B-2 stealth bomber, the most expensive warplane ever built, is temporarily grounded. After a training flight, a routine inspection turned up a broken clamp in the tailpipe assembly.


Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma invited the Bharatiya Janata Party to form a coalition government. BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee is to be sworn in as prime minister today. The Hindu nationalist party, which took the most seats in inconclusive elections, has until May 31 to prove it has Parliament's support or lose its first chance ever to govern.

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said he dismissed Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic. Karadzic said Kasagic's policy of cooperating with the UN threatened the vital interests of the Bosnian Serb republic. The move suggests Karadzic - a suspected war criminal - is not giving up power. Also, Bosnian Muslims and Croats agreed to combine their armed forces and permit refugees to return home at talks in Washington. And the World Bank approved $40 million in loans to help Bosnia's ravaged economy.

Britain ordered urgent reexamination of about 12 terrorism cases after finding equipment at its forensic explosives lab was contaminated with a component of Semtex. Many alleged IRA members have been convicted of using the explosive. Also, EU veterinary officials were to meet to vote on easing a ban on British beef. Chances for the proposal, which would allow the export of beef fat, gelatin, and bull semen, were uncertain.

Ghana and Sierra Leone began setting up camp for thousands of Liberian refugees. Ghana will host the 1,849 refugees from the Nigerian freighter Bulk Challenge, while Sierra Leone hosts about 1,000 Liberians from the Victory Reefer fishing boat.

A supporter for Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres was shot in the legs as he put up Labor Party posters. Police say the gunmen drove a car rented by the Likud Party. Both Peres and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the incident. This is the first violence in the campaign for May 29 elections.

Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov reassured voters that he backed a multiparty system, and private property would be safe if he were elected president. His statements conflict with excerpts from a draft of a Communist economic program published in Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. The draft said they plan to freeze prices, confiscate private property, and prohibit Russians from traveling abroad. The Communists' failure to clarify their economic plans concerns voters.

Indonesian soldiers rescued nine hostages in the New Guinea jungle who had been held by rebels for more than four months. The soldiers were pursuing the rebels, who still held two Indonesian hostages. The hostages - three Indonesians and six Europeans, including a Dutch woman who is seven months pregnant - were part of a scientific research team that was abducted Jan. 8 by rebels who want independence for the Indonesian-ruled half of New Guinea.

Thirty countries opened a review of a European disarmament treaty in Austria that has led to the destruction of some 50,000 armored vehicles and combat aircraft since 1990. It represents the "largest multilateral and voluntarily coordinated destruction of military arsenals in the history of mankind," German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said.

Some 19 Ogonis who oppose Shell oil company operations in Nigeria have been held for two years under extreme prison conditions, the Times of London reported. Also, about 200 demonstrators protested at a stockholder meeting in London. Critics say the oil company doesn't enforce environmental standards in Nigeria.

Climbers scrambled to safety down Mt. Everest in Nepal after the end of a blizzard that killed at least eight people, including two Americans.


''Next month the voters of Russia will vote, and ... will not be satisfied with a failed sitcom." -- Retired Gen. Colin Powell, speaking at Northern Virginia Community College's commencement, on why he believes Russia will continue its path to democracy.

Rep. John Lewis of Georgia won House approval of a bill designating the march route from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., a national historic trail. As a young civil rights leader, Lewis was clubbed by police during that milestone 1965 demonstration. The bill now goes to the Senate.

A 544-mile horseback relay by members of the National Pony Express Association carrying the Olympic torch ends today in St. Joseph, Mo. Also, on the torch's route in South Carolina, Spartenburg County challenged officials to take the flame elsewhere by passing an antigay resolution.

Magic Johnson said he's retiring - again. This time he says he wants to pursue business interests. Johnson, who has been diagnosed with the AIDS virus, led the Los Angeles Lakers into the playoffs this season.


Top 10 Movies, May 10-12 (per-location revenue)

Per-location revenue gauges movie popularity by community response to a film and word-of-mouth publicity. Titles are followed by per-location revenue, number of theaters, total revenue, and weeks in release.

1. "Twister," $17,009 (2,414 locations), $41 million, one week.

2. "Original Gangstas," $2,442 (474 locations), $1.1 million, one week.

3. "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," $2,351 (1,651 locations), $20.2 million, two weeks.

4. "The Craft," $2,050 (1,762 locations), $12.2 million, two weeks.

5. "Flirting With Disaster," $1,550 (323 locations), $12.5 million, eight weeks.

6. "Fargo," $1,368 (394 locations), $20.2 million, 10 weeks.

7. "Primal Fear," $1,275 (1,887 locations), $48.4 million, five weeks.

8. "The Birdcage," $1,254 (1,281 locations), $115.3 million, nine weeks.

9. "The Pallbearer," $1,225 (829 locations), $3.9 million, two weeks.

10. "The Quest," $1,025 (2,092 locations), $16.3 million, two weeks.

- Exhibitor Relations/AP

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