The News in Brief


The Supreme Court gave appeals courts more power to reverse lower courts on the admissibility of evidence seized without warrants. The ruling, made in relation to two drug convictions, sets a precedent for countless criminal cases in state and federal courts. The court also agreed to decide whether states may bar candidates from running under the banner of more than one political party. It turned down an appeal by tobacco companies to withhold computer databases from Minnesota officials suing to recover Medicaid costs incurred by treating ailing smokers.

Investigators continued deciphering the murky tape from the ValuJet voice cockpit recorder recovered from Florida's Everglades. The tape indicates that about six minutes after the DC-9 took off from Miami International Airport, the cockpit door opened and someone said there was a fire in the passenger cabin and problems obtaining oxygen, the National Transportation Safe-ty Board said. It will be days before more information can be gathered from the tape, NTSB vice chairman Robert Francis said.

President Clinton is refiling a Supreme Court appeal to clarify a misperception that he is relying on his status as commander in chief to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit, the president's lawyer announced. "At no time have we relied on" the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act of 1940 to argue the harassment suit by Paula Jones should be delayed, Robert Bennett said. Under the law, some lawsuits against soldiers and sailors must be delayed until they leave the military. The GOP has criticized Clinton, who avoided the draft during the Vietnam War, for referring to the act.

Space shuttle Endeavour is due back on Earth today after a successful mission. The US-Canadian crew wrapped up science experiments, including one with a self-stabilizing probe that could lead to cheaper, longer-lasting satellites.

Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange will get medical benefits from the Veteran's Affairs Department for two diseases, officials said. And Clinton is urging further research into suggestions that Agent Orange is linked to deformities among offspring of Vietnam War veterans.

National health care spending in 1994 grew at the slowest pace in more than three decades, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report. The US spent $950 billion on hospital visits, doctors' and dentists' fees, nursing homes, and other health care - a 6 percent increase over the previous year. One of the biggest hikes was in Medicare, a nearly 12 percent increase.

This year, 19 state legislatures debated tobacco industry-sponsored legislation to preempt city and county tobacco ordinances that are more strict than state laws, antismoking activists said at a Chicago meeting. For example, a Pennsylvania bill would shift responsibility for ensuring stores don't sell to minors from local to state inspectors, who would visit stores once a year. Local inspectors fight illegal sales through frequent, surprise inspections. Also, R. J. Reynolds planned to announce it will begin large-scale testing of sales for its smokeless cigarette in Chattanooga, Tenn., next week.

Yale University graduation ceremonies were disrupted by 3,500 union protesters who have been without a contract since Feb. 7. Yale wants more flexibility to hire outside workers. The clerical, maintenance, dining hall, and custodial workers say that would erode job security. While the Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke to union workers outside the campus gates, singer/songwriter Paul Simon received an honorary doctor of Music degree from Yale's president Richard C. Levin

Consumer confidence dipped three points in May, weakened by lower expectations about business conditions and job prospects. It was the first time the barometer of consumer spending fell this year. Also, sales of previously owned homes rose 0.5 percent in April, the third consecutive advance.

Cleanup crews contained an oil slick in Texas's Galveston Bay before it caused serious damage. A 27-year-old barge buckled, dumping as much as 5,000 barrels of oil into the Houston Ship Channel.


Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee resigned moments before he was voted out of power and 13 days after his Bharatiya Janata Party took power. H.D. Deve Gowda, the head of United Front, a coalition of socialist and lower-caste parties, was invited to form the next government.

China said it needed to look into and verify charges that two of its top arms merchants smuggled AK-47 rifles to the US, and vowed to punish illegal arms exporters. Also, China rejected Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui's proposal to hold high-level talks and said relations between the two won't improve until Lee abandons separatist plans.

The race for prime minister was too close to call as Israel voted today. Two major polls gave Prime Minister Peres a three percentage point lead over Likud Party candidate Benjamin Netanyahu. But Peres's lead was identical to the polls' margin of error.

Russian President Yeltsin flew in and out of the breakaway republic of Chechnya, fulfilling a campaign promise to do so. His four-hour visit comes one day after rebel leader Zelimkhan Yanderbiev signed a cease-fire agreement.

Burma's National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi announced plans to draft an alternate constitution to one being debated by a panel stacked by the military government. The announcement comes at the close of a three-day congress, which the government had tried to stop by arresting nearly all the delegates. Other resolutions demanded the immediate release of those arrested, and called for the seating of parliament and a dialogue with the military junta.

A gunman in a Bosnian-Croat uniform shot and seriously wounded a Bosnian Muslim man in central Bosnia, a UN spokes-man said. Croatian police say the suspect has been arrested but did not provide the UN any details.

Britain stepped up its "beef war" against the EU, sending three ministers to Brussels to block EU business in protest over the ban on British beef.

North Korea has drawn up a plan to capture South Korea within a week and has massed hundreds of war planes along the border, Li Chol-su, a North Korean Air Force captain who defected to Seoul, said. But analysts say war is not imminent: North Korea has had a war plan for many years, and the current one may have been designed to tighten domestic control and focus attention away from internal problems, such as the growing food shortage.

Turkey's parliament considered debating an Islamic Welfare Party's censure motion that would dissolve the coalition government. The motion came days after former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller announced she was pulling her True Path party out of the coalition. Ciller says her party will support the motion.

Albanian police beat opposition party leaders holding a demonstration in Tirana's Skanderberg Square protesting alleged manipulations of general elections, and hauled them off to jail. Also, irregularities in the elections could threaten Tirana's attempts to forge stronger links with the EU, a European Commission spokesman said.

The Sudanese government and its allied militia kidnap, enslave, and shoot children, Amnesty International said, urging the UN to deploy human rights monitors. Separately, Sudan asked Muslim militants to leave the country in an effort to end UN sanctions.

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma named close political ally Pavlo Lazarenko the new prime minister. Kuchma fired former Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk yesterday, he had spent too much time building his political career instead of Ukraine's economy.


Graduation is one of the five great milestones of life. The others are birth, marriage, death, and the day you finally pay off your student loan."

-- UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright, speaking to Brandeis University graduates in Waltham, Mass..

Mustard plants and sunflowers can safely extract lead and other heavy metals, as well as radioactive substances, from soil and water, researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey say. And the metals may be able to be recycled safely. Separate research in California found that carvone, a nontoxic chemical in spearmint, breaks down PCBs.

Rescued footage - mostly unaired - of events surrounding President Kennedy's assassination was turned over to the Assassination Records Review Board, the agency compiling the public record. Dallas's KTVT staffer Roy Cooper Jr. pulled the 45 minutes of black-and-white 16-mm film out of the station's garbage. The footage was hidden under a house for years and was nearly destroyed in a fire last year.

A 36-foot copper statue of Nicholas II, Russia's last czar, by sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov was unveiled on the outskirts of Moscow on the 100th anniversary of his coronation.


World's Most Populous Metropolitan Areas

The 10 most populous areas in 1994, followed by the projected top 10 for 2015, according to the World Bank.

In millions

1. Tokyo 26.8

2. Sao Paulo, Brazil 16.4

3. New York 16.3

4. Mexico City 15.6

5. Bombay, India 15.1

6. Shanghai, China 15.1

7. Los Angeles 12.4

8. Beijing 12.4

9. Calcutta, India 11.7

10. Seoul, South Korea 11.6

Projected for 2015

1. Tokyo 28.7

2. Bombay, India 27.4

3. Lagos, Nigeria 24.4

4. Shanghai, China 23.4

5. Jakarta, Indonesia 21.2

6. Sao Paulo, Brazil 20.8

7. Karachi, Pakistan 20.6

8. Beijing 19.4

9. Dhaka, Bangladesh 19.0

10. Mexico City 18.8

-- Associated Press

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