News In Brief


President Clinton said more work is needed on welfare legislation he can support. The comment came after three-quarters of the Senate passed a welfare reform bill. The House passed a similar bill earlier. Clinton said the version was better than the last two previous welfare bill he vetoed, but he remains concerned about the bill's impact on children. Also, the Senate Agricultural Committee was scheduled to vote on a pesticide bill that would create a single standard for raw and processed foods and expand the safety factor for health risks. The bill won unanimous House approval earlier.

Clinton is likely to sign a measure mandating sanctions against foreign companies that trade with Iran and Libya, the White House said. The House passed the tougher Senate version of the legislation requiring the president to impose the sanctions. Among other House approvals: restoration of some funding to legal services for the poor, partly to head off the threat of a veto, $60 million in military aid to help Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic prepare for NATO membership.

More divers were brought in to search the ocean floor off Long Island for bodies and wreckage from TWA Flight 800. Crews continued to scan the submerged wreckage with cameras and sonar for clues to the cause of the crash. Officials disputed earlier reports that chemical residues were found on a piece of the plane's wing. Nothing in the debris or victims' bodies showed traces of explosives, they said. The Pentagon said there's no evidence on radar tapes or high-altitude photographs of a missile or anything else that might have exploded the plane.

The Clinton administration approved a $120-million package of government loans and loan-investment guarantees for private US investments in black-owned businesses in South Africa. The agreement was signed by Overseas Private Investment Corp., a US agency that makes and guarantees loans and insures US investors abroad.

A Washington federal appeals court ruled that the government must begin accepting tons of used fuel from the nuclear industry by 1998, even though a permanent disposal site may not be ready until 2010. The Energy Department's most likely option is developing a temporary storage site near Nevada's Yucca Mountain, even though the idea is opposed by Nevada's senators.

Jurors in Little Rock, Ark., were to begin deliberating a verdict in the trial of Arkansas bankers Robert Hill and Herby Branscum Jr. And the Justice Department plans to ask a federal judge to deny public access to Clinton's videotaped testimony in the trial, citing potential for commercial and political exploitation.

The bond market rallied and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 44 points Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's addressed the House Banking Committee. Greenspan didn't indicate an immediate increase in interest rates - essentially the same message he gave the Senate Banking Committee last week.

A federal judge gave tentative approval for the New York-based PaineWebber Group Inc. to pay about $200 million to settle investors' claims that the company sold them risky limited partnerships over a 12-year period. The deal would reimburse thousands of investors almost all of the money lost when their PaineWebber investments soured.

President Clinton is expected to sign legislation for a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to aid taxpayers in their dealings with the IRS. Under the bill, when the IRS loses a lawsuit, it must reimburse plaintiff lawyer fees. The bill also creates an in-house taxpayer advocate to order the IRS to issue refund checks and meet deadlines for resolving disputes.

"Anonymous" author Joe Klein is reportedly taking a leave from Newsweek magazine after it was disclosed he authored the book "Primary Colors." Newsweek wants him to stay, but is undecided whether it would be as a reporter or columnist.


EU officials administering the divided Bosnian city of Mostar are considering whether to end their two-year mission after Bosnian Croat deputies refused to sit on a recently elected city council, an EU spokesman said. The Croats claim election irregularities in the June 30 vote, which was narrowly won by Muslim parties. The EU declared the election legal. An EU pullout could undermine upcoming elections in Bosnia, analysts said.

Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy said he's ready for peace talks with Syria. His comments came a day after an ice-breaking meeting with Palestinian President Arafat. Israel's leading peace group, Peace Now, hailed the meeting, while right-wingers in the ruling Likud party bitterly criticized Levy. Also, some 2,000 Palestinian workers returned to jobs in Israel after it eased a five-month-old blockade.

The Sri Lankan government came under fire from the opposition for a news blackout on the country's on-going civil war as two powerful bombs exploded aboard a rush-hour commuter train in a Colombo suburb. At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 wounded. Earlier, the Sri Lankan Army said it recaptured the strategic Mullaitivu base from Tamil rebels. The rebels claim to have killed 1,200 soldiers.

An Australia-US security pact will be signed this week, officials in Canberra said. The pact - similar to the security declaration between the US and Japan signed earlier this year - indicates a push by Australian Prime Minister John Howard for closer ties with the US, analysts said.

The Turkish prison crisis deepened when an inmate on a hunger strike died, the third this week, and 61 others joined the fast. Some 1,900 political prisoners are on a hunger strike for nearly 70 days, demanding access to legal defense, medical treatment, and an end to transfers and alleged torture. Justice Minister Sevket Kazan said the demands will not be met.

Burundi President Sylvestre Nitibantunganya took refuge in the US embassy as thousands of youths marched in the streets of the capital, Bujumbura, demanding his ouster. The president, a Hutu, had come under pressure following the recent massacre of more than 300 Tutsis refugees. And Burundi stopped the forced repatriation of Rwandan Hutu refugees.

France and Spain joined forces to crack down on Basque separatists. French police arrested seven ETA members, including Julian Egurola - one of its top leaders - in the French town of Pau. Three members of ETA were detained in Pontevedra, Spain, and Spanish police said the breakthrough could lead to more arrests. ETA is seeking independence for seven Basque provinces in Spain and France.

An understanding between the US and Russia breathed new life into a proposed nuclear test-ban treaty. At the ASEAN conference in Jakarta, US Secretary of State Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov agreed to work together and complete a treaty, negotiations for which resume in Geneva next week. Also, China, Russia, and India were inducted as full-dialogue partners in the ASEAN.

A meeting to arrange new peace talks between Chechen rebels and the Russian military was postponed when the separatists failed to show up, a mediator said. And the resurfaced Chechen leader Salman Raduyev said he was responsible for placing a powerful bomb that failed to explode last week in a train station in Voronezh, Russia.

Japan's Cabinet held an emergency meeting to mull over recent cases of food poisoning, the cause for which is unknown. It led to early school closings for summer vacation.


"You can put wings on a pig, but you don't make it an eagle."

-- President Clinton, referring to a welfare bill passed by the Senate that still does not meet his expectations. The pending bill would limit welfare assistance to five years per family and require recipients to work after two years.

Move over Disneyland! Concerned its tourist attractions are passe, Singapore announced a multimillion-dollar project to turn the nation into a vast theme park. The plan involves 11 theme neighborhoods including "rustic charm," "night zone," and "ethnic Singapore."

The Mexican government announced creation of 12 "tortoise camps" along Mexico's western coast of Michoacan state for the imperiled sea turtle. Military personnel will safeguard the nesting sanctuaries. The sea turtle is poached for its prized eggs, meat, and shells.

Steven Spielberg received a $1 million federal grant for his Holocaust documentation project, which will include interviews with more than 50,000 survivors. The information will be available to museums and schools "to teach teachers to teach tolerance," he said.

Russia's superheavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin won his third consecutive Olympic gold. He remains unbeaten in nine years. Armen Nazaryan gave Armenia its first Olympic gold by winning the 52-kg Greco-Roman wrestling. And US swimmers won three more gold medals.


1790s Head Count

The Census Bureau's new report, "Population of States and Counties of the United States," includes for the first time pre-1800s counts.

Population of US: 3,929,214 (President Washington claimed the count was too low.)

Number of states: 13

Most populous state: Virginia

Second most populous state: Pennsylvania

Third most populous state: North Carolina.

Number of counties: 292

Population in New York City: 33,131

New York's most populous locale: Dutchess County, which easily outstripped New York City

-- Associated Press

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