News In Brief


Some 38 black ministers whose churches have been damaged by arson planned to meet with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin after meeting with Attorney General Janet Reno. Racial hostility is behind the attacks on the ministers' black churches, President Clinton said. Eleven more Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents were added to 125 ATF agents and 100 FBI agents already investigating the fires. Meanwhile, investigators searched for clues to an arson fire that destroyed a 93-year-old church in Charlotte, NC- the 30th fire at a Southern black church in a year and a half. And the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., filed a lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan for the burning of a South Carolina church a year ago.

Tomorrow is Senator Dole's last day in the Senate. Prospects for votes on the minimum wage and health reform bills are fading. Earlier, Dole's balanced budget amendment lost by two votes in the Senate. The House did pass a welfare reform bill that orders Clinton to grant a waiver allowing a Wisconsin welfare overhaul.

FBI Director Louis Freeh issued new rules on the release of confidential information to the White House after disclosure that the Clinton administration obtained the files of more than 300 Republicans in 1993 and 1994, The New York Times reported. White House officials said the files were sought as an innocent bureaucratic mistake. Among the files requested were those of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

Several Montana state legislators reportedly received a threatening letter signed by three jailed "freemen" leaders. The letters said liens would be levied against their property unless a grand jury was convened to investigate FBI actions against the freemen. Earlier, freemen and FBI agents held two hours of talks at the ranch. And a woman left the compound with her two children and common-law husband.

Hundreds of Vietnamese commandos sent into North Vietnam in the 1960s were declared dead by the US when many survived, The New York Times reported, citing declassified documents. Nearly 300 commandos who survived the ordeal are seeking $11 million in back pay, the Times said. Also, the number of Cambodians killed by the Khmer Rouge is double the accepted estimate of 1 million, a Yale University research team concluded. They uncovered thousands of official Khmer Rouge records meticulously documenting the killings.

San Francisco's gay community planned to protest Clinton's opposition to same-sex marriages today when the president gives a speech at the Presidio Army base. Clinton has said he will sign an anti-gay marriage bill in Congress. He also plans to visit Nevada and New Mexico on the three-day trip.

Conservatives praised Dole for saying he won't propose changing the GOP platform language on abortion. He also called for a "declaration of tolerance" in the platform to welcome those with different views on abortion. Some 72 percent of Americans, and two-thirds of Republicans, say the GOP platform shouldn't contain its plank supporting a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, a New York Times/CBS survey found.

A federal judge dismissed 2,000 damage claims against the Harrisburg, Pa., Three Mile Island nuclear plant. "The scarcity of evidence" supporting their claims, and legal standards governing the award of summary judgment, made dismissal of the lawsuits necessary, US District Judge Sylvia H. Rambo said. The suits blamed exposure to radiation released in March 1979 for health problems.

Alaska firefighters hope to contain a blaze north of Anchorage by tonight, before warmer, drier air moves in. The blaze has blackened 35,000 acres, destroyed about 350 homes, and done an estimated $9.9 million in damage. Firefighters are now battling a second blaze burning an unpopulated wilderness area south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula.

The UN passed a $1.3-billion peacekeeping budget, a decline of more than 50 percent from the previous year. The total number of peacekeepers fell from some 70,000 last year to 26,000.


Northern Ireland's peace conference was to open today in Belfast. Barring an 11th-hour IRA cease-fire, Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing, was to be kept out of talks, leading republicans to deride "all party" peace negotiations as stunted "some party" talks. Also, former US Sen. George Mitchell arrived in Belfast to chair the opening session of talks.

Russia and Chechen rebels resumed peace talks strained by accusations of bias by international mediator Tim Guldimann, and the murder of pro-Russian leader Yusup Elmurzayev. Pro-Russian officials in Grozny, Chechnya's capital, called for the removal of the Organization on Cooperation and Security in Europe, saying OSCE mission head Guldimann was biased toward the rebels. It was unclear what impact the accusations would have in Moscow.

Iraq is helping the UN dismantle a biological weapons factory near Baghdad, a UN official reported. The UN Security Council may want to consider easing sanctions if Iraq continues to cooperate, the official said.

Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia called for an Arab summit meeting to come up with a united front against Israel's new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The meeting, the first in six years, will be held in Cairo June 21 to 23. Also, Netanyahu will stick to a hard-line course on peace, defying Arab leaders to force him to make concessions, members of his Likud party said.

Muslim guerrillas ambushed two Israeli patrols in southern Lebanon,wounding two Israeli soldiers in separate bombings. Israel retaliated by shelling nearby guerrilla areas. No one has claimed responsibility for the first attack, but Hizbullah says it carried out the second one.

Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a Army camp in eastern Sri Lanka, killing at least 17 soldiers. Rebels have stepped up attacks in the east since they were forced from their stronghold in the northern Jaffna peninsula last month.

China's latest underground nuclear explosion on Saturday fueled world suspicion of its commitment to join a year-end test ban, but analysts said Beijing would forge ahead with one last test before September despite international criticism. Also, dissident Ren Wanding was freed after serving seven years in prison for his role in the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tianenman Square.

EU's patience with Britain's disruptive tactics is nearing an end, European Commission President Jacques Santer said in an interview with The Observer magazine. Santer warned Britain could be expelled if it continues its noncooperation policy, which is aimed at forcing the EU to lift a ban on British beef. British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind was set to block more legislation today, but said he won't stop the signing of an association agreement with Slovenia.

More than 50,000 Ethiopians have fled their homes for higher ground and at least 40 have been killed in the two days since the Awash River flooded its banks, international aid workers said.

Defying a government threat, Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi addressed about 5,000 supporters in two speech-es outside her home. The military junta's new public order laws ban Burmese from most political activity.

North Korea received $130 million in insurance compensation for crop damage in 1994 but has not used the funds to buy grain to alleviate hunger, South Korean newspapers reported.

Germany's Steffi Graf defeated Spain's Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the longest-ever women's final played at the French Open. Also, Yevgeny Kafelnikov defeated Germany's Michael Stich, becoming the first Russian to win the Open.


"They didn't burn down the church, they burnt down the building in which we hold church. The church is still inside all of us."

-- President Clinton, quoting the Rev. Terrance Mackey after his church in Greeleyville, S.C., was destroyed by arsonists.

C.C. Brown's ice cream parlor - birthplace of the hot fudge sundae - closed its doors in Los Angeles after 90 years of serving sweets to the stars. Owner Jo Ellen Schumacher says the famous hot fudge sauce will still be available through mail order.

If all goes well, Susie Maroney will become the first person to have swum the Florida Straits today. The Australian long-distance swimmer struck out from Havana Saturday on her 110-mile trek to Key West. In more than 50 tries, no one has been successful.

Lousiana State's Warren Morris smacked his first homer of the season to give the Tigers their third College World Series win since 1991. Morris's two-run slammer came at the bottom of the ninth with two outs. LSU defeated Miami 9 to 8.

Newborns are becoming stars in cyberspace just minutes after birth. Employees at the Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, N.J., download babies' images on the World Wide Web. Austin Lewis Wolf, born June 3, was the first baby to debut in cyberspace, allowing his Long Island grandparents to coo over his picture minutes after he was born.


Grand Slam Winners

With her fifth French Open win, Steffi Graff became the second woman in history to win 19 Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon and the US, Australian, and French Opens.) Here's a look at other top winners:


1. Roy Emerson 12

2. Rod Laver 11

2. Bjorn Borg 11

4. Bill Tilden 10

5. Fred Perry 8

5. Ken Rosewall 8

5. Jimmy Connors 8


1. Margaret Court 26

2. Helen Wills Moody 19

2. Steffi Graf 19

4. Chris Evert 18

4. Martina Navratilova 18

6. Suzanne Lenglen 12

6. Billie Jean King 12

- Associated Press

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