News In Brief


Democrats planned to unveil their "Families First" agenda in five cities. The agenda calls for educational tax breaks, expanded health insurance for children, and welfare reform, sources say. Also, President Clinton and Vice President Gore were to host a two-day conference in Nashville on family-friendly policies in the workplace.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich said House Republicans are willing to deliver a contempt of Congress vote against the Clinton administration for refusing to turn over documents needed for an investigation into the travel office firings. The White House has until Wednesday to deliver the documents to avoid the Thursday vote, he said. Also, a judicial panel authorized Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr to look into whether laws were broken when the Clinton administration received FBI files on former White House employees.

For the first time, federal investigators are merging computer files on 216 attacks on churches since May 1990 with hopes of finding a pattern. Also, a fire that destroyed a white Baptist church in rural southeast Missouri is being investigated as arson. And a white teenager was arrested and confessed to starting a fire at the black Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church in East Howellsville, N.C. No motive was given for the arson.

Clinton told the US Conference of Mayors in Cleveland, Ohio, that he asked Attorney General Janet Reno to report in 60 days with a plan to get a national tracking system for sex offenders into the hands of police. Presidential hopeful Bob Dole accused Clinton of stealing the idea from the GOP platform.

Security is expected to be tight in Sacramento, Calif., tonight for the arrival of Theodore Kaczynski. He is being transferred from Helena, Mont., to face Unabomber charges.

US troops may have unknowingly been exposed to chemicals when they destroyed an Iraqi ammunition depot in March 1991 that contained rockets armed with chemical agents, a Pentagon spokesman said. The Pentagon plans to conduct a new study on possible troop exposure, he added. Almost 9,000 Gulf War veterans have filed disability claims for illnesses they say are related to the conflict.

Justice Department investigators probing transactions involving the brother of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas discovered 70 bank accounts containing money allegedly gained through bribes, "60 Minutes" was to broadcast. Mexican officials told the news show that the accounts linked to Raul Salinas de Gortari could hold more than $300 million.

An attorney for one of two bankers on trial in Little Rock, Ark., backed down after suggesting Hillary Rodham Clinton be called as a witness. Attorney Dan Guthrie made the comment after prosecutors were allowed to introduce evidence about $180,000 in personal loans that the Clintons took out in connection with Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign.

Clinton is preferred over Dole 2-to-1 by 18-to-29-year-olds, a Newsweek poll found. Some 51 percent of 380 "generation-Xers" interviewed would vote for Clinton if the election were held now, compared with 26 percent for Dole, the magazine says. Another 17 percent would vote for possible third-party candidate Ross Perot. Some 44 percent said Clinton understood their concerns, Only 16 percent said Dole understood them.

Female employees were being harassed at its Illinois auto plant, Mitsubishi admitted in a response filed to a government lawsuit. But the company claimed it punished the offenders when people complained. This could be the largest harassment case in the agency's history, both in the number of victims and the size of penalties, officials say.

Seven suspected arms sellers pleaded innocent to being involved in a smuggling operation that shipped 2,000 Chinese-made assault rifles to the US. Along with the automatic rifles, the Chinese arms dealers had proposed shipping rocket launchers, antiaircraft missiles, silenced machine guns, and tanks, the US Customs Service said.


Arab states will "reconsider steps taken in the context of the peace process vis--vis Israel," if Israel does not stick to a land-for-peace format and honor previous commitments, Arab leaders said at the conclusion of a summit in Cairo. And they said a full settlement depends on Israel pulling out of all occupied land and creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli officials said the statement could be construed as a threat and violated the spirit of peace talks.

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will resign within days but will retain power as head of the controlling Serb Democratic Party (SDS), Bosnian Serb sources said. Karadzic will likely be replaced by Foreign Minister Aleksa Buha. The sources said the SDS was pressured to make the change by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who was under threat of renewed sanctions from the West. The move is largely a symbolic one, since Karadzic "will still be calling all the shots," diplomats said. Richard Holbrooke, the main architect of the Dayton accord, said Bosnian elections should go ahead as planned even though they may be flawed.

Ending months of squabbling, the EU voted in Florence, Italy, to gradually lift a ban on British beef exports. Britain pledged in return to take steps to eradicate "mad cow" disease - including slaughtering more than 100,000 at-risk cows - and quit vetoing EU business. Also, the EU put off a plan to spend $1.5 billion for infrastructure projects aimed at tackling Europe's 11 percent unemployment. Leaders instead referred the matter to EU finance ministers, who many believe will block it. And the EU denounced US efforts to punish foreign companies that do business with Cuba, Libya, and Iran.

Japan's Prime Minister Hashimoto apologized for his country to South Korean women forced into sexual slavery during World War II. Hashimoto exchanged autographed soccer balls with South Korean President Kim Young-sam during a "soccer summit" on Cheju Island, South Korea. The two neighbors, who will co-host the 2002 World Cup soccer tournament, agreed to work together for regional peace.

China said it scrapped a July visit by German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel to protest a German parliamentary resolution accusing China of human rights abuses in Tibet.

Iraq handed over what it said were complete files on banned weapons programs - information the UN has demanded for five years. Also, UN Special Commission head Rolf Ekeus said he expects a full disclosure on Baghdad's nuclear program, possibly by the end of the month.

Greece's former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, the country's first Socialist prime minister and founder and leader of the country's ruling party, died. He served as prime minister from 1981 to1989 and from 1993 until January, when he resigned for health reasons.

Awami League leader Hasina Wajed was sworn in as Bangladesh's new prime minister.

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels agreed to establish a guerrilla-led council that will serve as a forerunner of an autonomous Muslim government in the south. President FidelRamos praised the agreement and said he hoped it would lead to a final settlement ending the 24-year-old Muslim insurgency.

Megawati Sukarnoputri said she will ask Indonesian courts to nullify a military-backed congress that ousted her as leader of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party. Party rebels elected Suryadi, vice-Speaker of parliament, as the new leader. Mega-wati said the congress violates both the constitution and party rules. Her supporters have taken to the streets in rare protests.

"At no other time has women's honor and dignity been hurt more than in this case."

- Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, apologizing for the enslavement of South Korean women forced to serve as so-called "comfort women" during World War II.


Archaeologists for the first time discovered a royal Mayan tomb untouched by looters. Located in Belize's ancient city La Milpa, the tomb dates from AD 450 and contains some spectacular jewelry, including a jade necklace with a vulture pendant - a Mayan royal symbol.

Sandy Lee Johnson was crowned Spam Queen by the Order of Manly Men at their annual event in Roslyn, Wash. The 1,000-member group was formed five years ago by R.M. Crane after his wife ribbed him about an all-male camping trip.

Lucy the moose, who ran loose for a day on the streets of Boston, is moving to Wisconsin. Lucy and an orphaned moose calf will join "Melrose" - a moose captured last year in Melrose, Mass.- in Milwaukee.


Flying the Friendly Skies

Airline rankings above the industry average for customer satisfaction, according to a survey by J.D. Power and Associates and "Frequent Flyer Magazine."

Long Flights (500 miles and greater)

1. Continental

2. Northwest

3. American

4. TWA

4. United

Short Flights

1. Northwest

2. Continental

2. Delta

2. TWA

5. America West

5. Southwest

- J.D. Power and Associates

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