News In Brief


Bob Dole briefly abandoned the Republican convention in San Diego to speak about his tax-cut plan to a group of workers at a solar turbine plant. Speeches by keynote speaker Susan Molinari and House Speaker Newt Gingrich are the highlights of today's events. Also, Pat Buchanan ended his long-shot campaign on a conciliatory note, urging his followers to stick with the GOP rather than striking out on their own. But Buchanan stopped short of endorsing Dole.

Democrats and Republicans were the primary targets at the first-ever Reform Party convention in Long Beach, Calif. Party founder Ross Perot and former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm, who are both vying for the nomination, trumpeted themes of campaign reform, a balanced budget, and limits on immigration. True to form, Perot's speech was accompanied by graphs and charts. Reform Party members are casting their ballots by telephone, computer, and mail. The winner will be announced Sunday at a second convention in Valley Forge, Pa.

President Clinton planned to hike in Yellowstone National Park with his family after announcing a land-swap with a mining company. New World Mines reportedly will ax plans for a gold mine near the park, and further bargaining is expected to determine which lands the company will receive. Environmentalists said toxic waste from the mining venture could pollute the park's water supply, harming fish and wildlife. the

Investigators into the downing of TWA Flight 800 said they seriously doubt a bomb exploded in the front cargo hold after all four cargo bins recovered showed no sign of an explosion. They're now considering carry-on luggage or a food cart as a possible hiding place for a bomb. Also, preliminary inspections of three of the plane's four engines offered no clues to the cause of the explosion. And FBI agents were expected to arrive in Israel today to question an Israeli-held Lebanese terrorist in connection with the downing. Hussein Mikdad, who worked for the Iranian-backed Hizbullah, was severely injured when a bomb he was preparing went off in a Jerusalem hotel in April. His target was meant to be a plane leaving Israel, media reports said.

A poor corn harvest is likely to fuel the biggest food price increases this decade, the Agriculture Department announced. With grain stockpiles dwindling to their lowest levels in a quarter-century, analysts said a crop of around 9 billion bushels was needed to keep pace with demand and stabilize prices.

Some 400 people were evacuated from areas north of Spokane, Wash., as a fire burned five homes and threatened dozens more near Fairchild Air Force Base. In Oregon, dozens of residents were evacuated near the small town of Spray as a blaze destroyed 14 homes. In Utah, firefighters had almost contained lightning-sparked fires that scorched about 140,000 acres.

The US is about to beef up 21,000 US troops based in the Persian Gulf: Some 5,000 soldiers, airmen, and other military specialists are on their way to join them for military exercises. Pentagon officials say the maneuvers are evidence of US resolve to maintain peace in the area. Iran called them "provocative acts." Iran also accused US warplanes of violating its air space twice last week.

Dole may have received a boost in the polls from picking Jack Kemp as his running mate. A Gallup Organization poll for USA Today and CNN found him still trailing Clinton, but the gap has narrowed to nine points.

Houston Industries, an electric utility based in Texas, said it's acquiring NorAm Energy, the nation's third-largest natural-gas distributor. The $3.8 billion deal follows other electric-gas combinations, including Enron's July 22 buyout of Portland General, and Texas Utilities' deal earlier this year to buy Enserch.


NATO implemented a stringent security plan in Serb-held Bosnia, pulling troops back to defensible bases and urging civilian staff to withdraw immediately from Serb territory. Observers said the precautions would free NATO to take military action against Bosnian Serbs who have been violating the 1995 Dayton accord by blocking NATO inspection of a military site in Han Pijesak, east of Sarajevo.

Russian security chief Alexander Lebed said Chechen rebels agreed today to withdraw from the capital Grozny and to try again to negotiate a lasting cease-fire with the Russian government. Lebed met secretly with rebel commanders in the breakaway republic after a week of fierce fighting that killed at least 169 Russian troops and embarrassed Moscow. Also, a bomb exploded on a train in southern Russia, killing one person and injuring several in the latest attack on the transport network. No one has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks, but officials suspect links with Chechen rebels.

US Secretary of State Warren Christopher is in Brussels today to try to clear the way for free and fair elections in Bosnia. Christopher is to consult with NATO civilian and military commanders and European mediators before meeting with the presidents of Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia in Geneva tomorrow.

Iran plans to sue the US at a claims tribunal in The Hague over reported US funding of covert action against Tehran, state-run Tehran radio said. A foreign ministry spokesman said the suit would charge the US with interfering in Iran's affairs by allocating $20 million for covert action. The plan violated international law and the 1981 Algiers Accords, the radio said. US officials said Congress, in closed meetings, authorized for fiscal year1996 about $18 million for covert action designed to boost democracy in Iran.

Cyprus protested to the UN about the killing of a Greek Cypriot by a Turkish mob on the divided island. More than 50 people were injured in some of the worst violence in many years. The clashes began when a group of Greek Cypriot motorcyclists broke through Turkish barricades and rode across the cease-fire line to protest Turkey's 1974 invasion of the island.

African National Congress leaders in Cape Town, South Africa, called for a state of emergency in the province after Muslim vigilantes declared a holy war on drug-dealing gangsters. Police used tear gas and stun grenades on the crowd of 5,000, who tried to march on the house of an accused drug dealer.

An Indonesian activist and nine of his People's Democratic Party colleagues have been arrested for last month's riots in Jakarta. The government is trying to decide whether to charge PRD leader Budiman Sudjatmiko with subversion - a crime punishable by death. The PRD is accused of spreading hatred against President Suharto and the government. The government claims subversives were responsible for the July 27 riots, which erupted after police raided the opposition party headquarters.

India said it would not bow to international pressure to stop threatening to block a global nuclear test ban treaty, saying 900 million citizens were behind it. Also, Indian officials were baffled by a food poisoning outbreak in Bombay that has killed 32 people and affected more than 110 people who ate at a community kitchen.

About 1,000 South Korean student protesters threw firebombs at police in Seoul after they were prevented from demonstrating for a reunification of North and South Korea.


"I went to the White House, I said, 'Fellows, this is like a bridge halfway across the river. Who wants it? It never balances the budget ever.' "

-- Ross Perot, speaking at the Reform Party convention in Long Beach, Calif., on President Clinton's 1993 tax increase.

If you drive and drink, you'll be seeing pink is the motto of Santa Fe, N.M., Judge Fran Sena Gallegos. She makes drunk driving offenders don bright pink hats while doing outdoor community service. Gallegos chose "shocking pink" for the hats because drunk driving is a "shocking crime."

Relax. People don't notice your appearance as much as you think. So concluded researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., after a two-year study. One experiment: College students donned Barry Manilow T-shirts. Students thought 46 percent of their classmates would notice the fashion faux pas. Only 23 percent did.

David Sims gave his family's 1975 Honda a new paint job - with his crewcut. "Look, Ma! No hands!" he yelled as he spread on green paint while doing a handstand. Sims took first prize in the wild-and-crazy competition in Albuquerque, N.M.

The nation's longest school-bus ride just made its last stop, thanks to volunteers who helped build a high school in Terlingua, Texas. A daily 160-mile commute to Alpine, Texas, that's been taking place since the 1960s is now history.


US Parks Pack Them In

If you're planning a trip to one of the national parks this summer, the following had the most visitors in 1995:

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee 9 million

2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 4.5

3. Yosemite National Park, California 3.9

3. Olympic National Park, Washington 3.9

5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 3.1

6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 2.8

6. Acadia National Park, Maine 2.8

8. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming 2.7

9. Zion National Park, Utah 2.4

10. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky 1.9

-- National Park Service

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