News In Brief


Traces of explosive material were found on a piece of wing from the wreckage of TWA Flight 800, but the results must be confirmed by an FBI lab, an investigator told the Associated Press. The search for more bodies resume off Long Island with the help of an underwater robot brought in by the US Navy. Earlier, divers pulled six bodies from a 60-by-30 foot piece of fuselage on the ocean floor. An estimated 40 other bodies will be pulled from the wreckage before it's brought to the surface, officials said. And the FBI, investigating a theory that a surface-to-air rocket exploded the plane, seized the records of a Long Island marina where two men rented a boat the night before the crash, the New York Daily News said.

The Senate was expected to vote on a welfare bill that would impose a lifetime limit on welfare recipients of five years, and would force able-bodied recipients to go to work after two years. It would also cut benefits to legal immigrants. The GOP says it would save $60 billion over six years, but Democrats say the measure is too harsh on children. The House passed a similar bill last week.

The House was set to approve a Senate-passed measure that would punish firms investing in Libyan or Iranian oil and gas fields. The bill would slap sanctions on companies investing $40 million or more in one year in such projects. Earlier, the House approved a $5.1 billion District of Columbia 1997 spending plan that orders the city to tighten its belt and reduce its deficit by $59 million. It also gave final approval for a nine-member commission to study gambling's effects on society.

Clinton was expected to present an initiative to help police respond more effectively to domestic abuse during a campaign stop in California. He also urged states to post "Wanted" lists on the Internet and in post offices to track down "deadbeat" parents refusing to pay child support.

The Justice Department decided not to prosecute former Sen. Bob Packwood over allegations he altered his diaries to obstruct an investigation into sexual and official misconduct, his lawyer said. Packwood resigned from the Senate last year amid charges of sexual misconduct.

ValuJet's top officers should be removed by the Transportation Department, says the union representing the airline's flight attendants. The Association of Flight Attendants alleged ValuJet's management team is either unable or unwilling to run a safe airline. The carrier was grounded after a May crash.

The first estimate of $194 million in insured property damage from Hurricane Bertha was reduced to $135 million, an industry trade group said.

A New York courtroom began focusing on information stored in a laptop computer, including flight schedules and lists of explosives, in the trial of three radical Muslims accused of plotting to bomb a dozen US passenger planes. The judge, responding to media speculation that the defendants may have some link to the explosion of TWA Flight 800, warned jurors to disregard news about the crash.

Robert Hill testified in a Whitewater-related trial in Little Rock, Ark., that $15,000 in campaign checks he gave Clinton at a 1990 meeting weren't connected to Clinton granting a political post to Herby Branscum Jr. Hill and Branscum are charged with misapplying bank funds and conspiring to use the money to reimburse political donations.

GOP lawmakers accused White House of a cover-up and requested it release the names of 200,000 citizens it keeps in a database. The White House refused, saying the list is used for invitations and to keep track of Clinton supporters. It said it will send letters to those listed, telling them they are on file.

A NASA-backed study will use satellite images to determine why fish stocks are dwindling in New England. The images will help scientists determine whether the problem has more to do with pollution, overfishing, or cyclical ocean patterns.


Palestinian President Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy met in Gaza, just across from the Israeli border. It was first high-level meeting between Palestine and Israel since Benjamin Netanyahu won the Israeli elections. Levy and Arafat were expected to broach contentious issues like Israel's redeployment from Hebron and new Jewish settlements in Gaza.

For the first time since 1992, delegates from Bosnia's Muslim-led government met with Serbian officials, including President Slobodan Milosevic, in Belgrade. Diplomats hailed the visit as a first step towards re- conciliation. In another sign of easing tensions, telephone links from Belgrade to Sarajevo were re-established for the first time since the war started.

Asian ministers expressed concerns at Burma's human rights abuses at the ASEAN forum in Jakarta, but rejected a US proposal for sanctions. And Britain and France applied for membership of the ASEAN Regional forum, a vehicle for security talks in Asia. They qualify as former colonial powers maintaining security interests in Asia.

The UN dropped food at two remote Sudanese villages, after the government yielded to international pressure and lifted a 10-month ban on the use of Hercules C-130 transport planes to deliver food. Heavy rains have made many roads impassable to deliver supplies by trucks. Also, the government has used its authority to exclude food deliveries to rebel regions.

Russian officials aired optimism that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will resume its $300 million monthly payment. The IMF suspended the monthly tranche from a $1.2 billion loan after an unprecedented plunge in tax revenues ballooned the budget deficit. The loan comes with stringent conditions based on economic performance.

Tamil rebels thwarted an intensified assault by Sri Lankan forces to regain control of the strategic Mullaitivu base. In the first eyewitness account of the rebel assault, a survivor said he saw the rebels driving away truckloads of weapons and ammunition. And Colombo was put on security alert on the 13th anniversary of the separatist war.

The Czech republic's three-week-old minority government faces a vote of confidence this week that analysts say could go either way. The coalition, which has 99 of 200 seats in parliament, has been hit by bitter infighting and disagreement on the controversial issue of returning confiscated church property.

Pakistan acknowledged security lapses after a bomb blast at the Lahore airport and asked US bomb experts to help in the investigation. No one claimed responsibility but police arrested 127 militant Islamic suspects.

Albania's new government received a vote of confidence from the parliament. Prime Minister Alexander Meksi said his government's priorities will be to continue market reforms and secure Albania's integration into NATO and the EU.

Incumbent Manuel Trovoada was reelected President of Sao Tome and Principe, a two-island West African nation. Trovada captured 52.7 percent of the vote, while former Marxist ruler Manuel Pinto da Costa obtained 47.3 percent.

Shahabuddin Ahmed was elected unopposed as Bangla- desh's president. He will replace Abdur Rahman Biswas, whose term ends in October. As acting president in 1991, Ahmed held Bangladesh's first free elections.


"My clothes are still in the closet, and the crackers are still in the cupboard."

-- Mindy Patterson of Eugene, Ore., describing a benefit in relocating her 105-year-old Victorian home out of its drug-infested neighborhood instead of moving to another home. It cost $58,000 and took eight hours to move it five miles.

Want to reach out and touch a soldier in Bosnia? There's now a web site run by soldiers awaiting your messages. The address is: http://interoz. com/army.

Goodbye pink flamingos. Hello Lawn Buddy! Bill Killian of Philadelphia hopes to put an end to unanswered doorbells with animated plastic lawn animals. His squirrels, gnomes, chipmunks, etc., rise out of flower pots and holes to greet visitors with the query "Can I take a message?"

Some 3,000 Italians ate what organizers called a world record-breaking 662 lbs. of pasta prepared in one pot. Fifteen chefs slaved over a 20-foot cauldron in Albissola Marina, Italy, to prepare 440 lbs. of sauce.

Vermont Royster, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who helped shape the Wall Street Journal, passed on. Royster received the 1986 Presidential Medal of Freedom - the nation's highest civilian award.

Turkey's Naim Suleymanoglu, nicknamed the "Pocket Hercules," became the first weightlifter to win gold medals in three successive Olympics. He lifted 413 1/4 pounds. Russian swimmer Alexander Popov, unbeaten in five years, won the 100-meter freestyle by seven-hundredths of a second from American Gary Hall.


Olympic Firsts

The last nations to win their first Olympic gold medal:

Algeria 1992

Indonesia 1992

Lithuania 1992

Suriname 1988

China 1984

Morocco 1984

Portugal 1984

Zimbabwe 1980

South Korea 1976

Trinidad 1976

-- "The Top 10 of Everything 1996," by Russell Ash, Dorling Kindersley

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