News In Brief


Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan was expected to present an upbeat picture of the US economy in an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee. He also was expected to push for higher interest rates.

The House voted to cancel its pay raises and those scheduled for the vice president, Cabinet, and federal judges. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved about $20 billion for energy and water programs for 1997. The Senate committee also approved a $12.65 billion bill for the Interior Department and other natural resources programs. The spending bills fall short of White House requests. And the House Commerce Committee was to consider a pesticide bill some say would end an unworkable law while still giving protection to infants and children. It would create a single standard for regulating pesticides in foods, ending a multiple-standard system.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to subpoena Anthony Marceca, a former Clinton White House employee who gathered hundreds of FBI background files on Republicans. Earlier, Marceca refused to testify or to produce documents relating to the case.

White House aide Bruce Lindsey acknowledged during a Whitewater-related trial in Little Rock, Ark., that campaign finance reports didn't fully explain how President Clinton's 1990 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign spent large cash withdrawals. But he denied scheming with the two Arkansas bankers on trial to hide the withdrawals from the IRS.

The Justice Dept. is expected to announce the settlement of a two-year investigation of major Nasdaq dealers. The investigation looked into whether Wall Street firms created artificially high "spreads" between buy and sell prices on Nasdaq stocks.

Time Warner Inc. announced that Federal Trade Commission officials agreed to approve its $7.5 billion purchase of Turner Broadcasting System. The merger will create the world's largest media and entertainment company. FTC commissioners must still vote on the officials' recommendation. The approval is the last major hurdle to completing the deal.

The Clinton administration overruled the Secret Service and granted White House passes to employees with a history of drug use, Secret Service agent Arnold Cole said in an interview with House investigators. A voluntary drug-testing program was set up to allay the service's concerns, he added. A Senate subcommittee plans to hold White House background-checks hearings.

Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian is buying Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Inc. - for the third time. The $1.3 billion deal leaves French bank Credit Lyonnais, which acquired the company through default, with a $700 million loss. While recent hits "The Birdcage" and "Stargate" have helped resuscitate MGM, the studio lost an estimated $159 million last year.

At least five states rejected a Lloyd's of London settlement designed to cut US investors' losses by about $62 million. The states plan to pursue their legal cases against the British insurance market. While Arizona and Utah have regulators that are leaders in the group that negotiated the deal, their refusal won't scuttle it entirely. Lloyd's reported that states representing 84 percent of investors had either signed the deal or agreed to do so.

The US needs the equivalent of the "Manhattan Project" - which developed the first atom bomb - for cyber security, the Clinton administration said. A drive is needed to protect computer networks and critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks, said Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. Clinton had requested that a blue-ribbon panel recommend measures to safeguard telecommunications, power systems, and water supplies.

The military raised more concerns about racism in its ranks when red swastikas were found on eight doors inside a Ft. Bragg, N.C., Army barracks. Investigators are trying to determine if the vandalism was racially motivated and if someone outside the unit entered the building.


US envoy Richard Holbrooke said NATO fully endorses the effort to oust Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Holbrooke met with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, the only regional leader strong enough to deliver Karadzic to the UN War Crimes Tribunal. Such a move is unlikely because of a possible backlash by Serbian nationalists. Also, UN investigators excavating a mass grave near Srebrenica have uncovered the remains of 86 people believed to have been killed in last year's massacre. And 50 indicted war criminals are believed to have found sanctuary in the so-called Bosnian Serb Republic, 15 in the Muslim-Croat federation, and three in Yugoslavia, a UN report said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a surprise meeting with Jordan's Prime Minister Abdul-Karim Kabariti - his first with an Arab leader since his election. After the meeting, Kabariti said he was reassured about Netanyahu's commitment to peace. Netanyahu, whose hard-line stance has dismayed Arab leaders, is to meet with Egypt's President Mubarak today. Also, Foreign Minister David Levy said he may meet with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in the next few days. And a German-brokered prisoner swap between Israel and Hizbullah guerrillas was postponed, but may take place today, sources said. Israel is trading 200 prisoners and two Shiite Muslim leaders for the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in Lebanon.

The EU said it may still impose sanctions against the US even though President Clinton imposed a six-month delay on an anti-Cuban bill that would hurt foreign companies.

Talks on the Northern Ireland peace process expanded to London, Strasbourg, and Dublin in an attempt to strengthen peace talks after a week of rioting by both Protestants and Catholics. But chairman George Mitchell of the US said that, despite much name-calling and finger-pointing, the Northern Ireland peace process remains on track.

Chechen rebels accused Russian troops of carrying out attacks on peaceful villages. Both sides scheduled meetings to plan new action in the breakaway republic, which has erupted in new fighting after a shaky seven-week cease-fire. Also, Russian President Yeltsin appointed Gen. Igor Rodionov as the new defense minister. Rodionov, best known for suppressing a pro-independence rally in Soviet Georgia, was new security head Alexander Lebed's first choice. He replaces Gen. Pavel Grachev, who was fired last month.

Three Australian states refused to agree to a ban of semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, dealing a blow to government efforts to tighten gun laws after April's shooting massacre in Tasmania. Queensland, Northern Territory, and Western Australia proposed, instead of a ban, limiting the capacity of the guns - a move the other states opposed. Under Australia's federal system, gun laws can't be enacted unless all eight states and territories agree.

The time has come to commit to the fight against global warming, the US said at a conference in Geneva. Brushing aside objections by oil-producing countries, the US called for a world targets within 18 months to cap carbon gas emissions caused by burning fossil fuels. The Conference on Climate Change ends today.

The Philippines is allowing about 1,000 Vietnamese boat people to remain indefinitely. Most Asian countries repatriated - often forcibly - the Vietnamese, who fled their home in 1975. UN funding for Vietnamese refugee camps ran out in June.

Recent elections in Albania, won by the ruling Democrats and boycotted by the opposition, don't meet democratic standards, US-backed election monitors said.


"What would happen to these wonderful sale prices: $12.98, $7.99, $5.46? That's supposed to make you think you're paying less than you are actually paying."

-- Consumer Janice Heller Bass of Silver Spring, Md., on a congressional hearing that debated eliminating the penny.

A mystery baffling Washington insiders for months may be solved. The Washington Post says "Anonymous," the best-selling satire of Clinton's 1992 campaign, was written by Newsweek columnist Joe Klein. The Washington Post hired a handwriting expert to compare Klein's writing with notes jotted on the manuscript.

The latest trend among the outrageously hip? Dyeing your hair with Kool-Aid. The neon hair-dye mania is a growing rage among teens and college students, who say the color lasts more than a week, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Before you shell out big bucks for an African hedgehog or Japanese fighting fish, consider the newest pet trend: sugar gliders. The diminutive cousins of the Koala are like miniature flying squirrels. But price isn't proportional to size: The chipmunk-sized pets average $225 apiece.


Pennypinching Reps

The 10 most frugal House office spenders last year, according to the National Taxpayers Union, a nonpartisan group. Reps receive a spending allowances for geographical variations in office rent and travel costs to and from Washington. Republicans made up 38 of the 50 most frugal spenders, but the top pennypincher was Democrat Andy Jacobs of Indiana. If all House members had spent as little as Jacobs, office spending would have been slashed 35 percent.

1. Andy Jacobs (D. of Ind.) 57.98% $494,041

2. C.W. Bill Young (R. of Fla.) 60.6% $538,673

3. John Shadegg (R. of Ariz.) 64.3% $608,196

4. Bob Stump (R. of Ariz.) 65.12% $632,415

5. George Gekas (R. of Pa.) 65.73% $551,712

6. Charles Canady (R. of Fla.) 66.03% $591,184

7. John McHugh (R. of N.Y.) 66.15% $563,257

8. Karen McCarthy (D. of Mo.) 68.31% $589,586

9. Mark Sanford (D. of S.C.) 68.48% $590,454

10. Wayne Allard (R. of Colo.) 68.62% $619,160

-- National Taxpayers Union

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