News In Brief


It's a shoo-in. The Republicans are expected to endorse Bob Dole today as their presidential nominee at the GOP convention in San Diego. Earlier, Pat Buchanan endorsed Dole, and in a speech Gen. Colin Powell called Dole "a man of strength, maturity, and integrity." Powell also drew some "boos" when he reaffirmed his belief in affirmative action and abortion rights. Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the convention center to protest a California ballot initiative that would end affirmative action.

Investigators looking into the downing of TWA Flight 800 are now hoping the center fuel tank may hold clues to the cause of the crash. If a bomb or missile downed the jet, the tank should show where the initial explosion occurred, officials said. The way the tank is bent also should reveal if an explosion occurred from the inside, indicating mechanical failure. Also, divers recovered the fourth engine and the remains of another victim, raising the total to 199.

Consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in July, the Commerce Department said. Falling energy costs failed to offset price jumps in food and housing. The report is not likely to influence Federal Reserve policymakers when they meet Aug. 20, analysts said. Also, retail sales rose 0.1 percent in July despite a drop in demand for cars and building materials.

Ashwood, Ore., braced for a possible evacuation as a wildfire threatened seven 40-gallon drums of toxic calcium cyanide. Two fires that burned 40,000 acres are converging near the town. Wildfires fanned by winds burned 95,000 acres in nine Oregon counties and destroyed at least 14 homes. In Utah, firefighters contained a huge blaze and were close to snuffing out several others that have burned more than 170,000 acres.

Freon, the refrigerant said by scientists to be destroying the Earth's ozone layer, has emerged as the No. 2 smuggling problem behind drugs along the Mexican border, US customs agents say. Since a Jan. 1 ban in the US, Texas customs agents have seized 4,380 pounds of freon worth about $110,000. That's minor compared with a scheme cracked in Florida that involved $52 million of freon, they say. International laws allow Mexico and other developing countries to produce freon until 2005.

Lawyers resolved their differences over The Citadel military school's plans to admit women. They agreed that pregnant cadets must leave when their pregnancies interfere with training but can return after giving birth. They also agreed that latches could be placed on women's doors for security purposes.

Veteran political correspondent David Brinkley told TV Guide he's retiring from ABC's Sunday morning news series "This Week With David Brinkley" in January after the inauguration. The show has aired for 15 seasons. Brinkley joined NBC News in 1943 and reported with Chet Huntley on the 1956 political conventions.

Inner-city elementary students in the first US school-voucher program scored higher on math and reading tests after four years than youngsters who stayed in public school. That's according to a study of the Milwaukee program by Harvard University and University of Houston researchers, which contradicts an earlier study. The controversial program gives tax-free tuition vouchers to low-income children to attend private, secular schools.

The Justice Department defended its efforts to protect federal land managers in the West. An advocacy group for the employees sent a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno that said incidents of violence against the land managers have gone unresolved. The group cited 58 incidents of violence since the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. They include three bombings at US Forest Service offices, two arson fires at Bureau of Land Management buildings, physical assaults of five federal workers, and shots fired at six others.


Chechen rebels and Russian troops continued fighting in Grozny, Chechnya, a day after Russian security chief Alexander Lebed said the rebels agreed to future talks on a cease-fire and rebel withdrawal from the capital. Rebels reportedly controlled about 80 percent of the city center. More than 221 Russian soldiers have been killed in the latest week-old offensive. There was no way to determine rebel and civilian casualties.

US Secretary of State Warren Christopher met with NATO leaders in Brussels on elections next month in Bosnia. While elections are regarded as a key step for lasting peace in the Balkans, the State Department increasingly accepts that voting won't be up to Western standards. Christopher is to meet with the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia today in Geneva. Also, a NATO commander inspected a key Bosnian Serb military site in Han Pijesak, effectively averting a potential military conflict. The presence of former Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic in Han Pijesak may have caused Bosnian Serb troops to block NATO from the site, NATO said.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat slammed an Israeli decision to place 300 mobile homes in Jewish settlements, saying the move violated interim peace deals. Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the deals did not bar settlement building, and said Israel had not yet decided whether to allow new settlements or to build new roads to existing ones.

Burundians and foreigners scrambled to get aboard the last two commercial flights out of the sanction-riddled country, as Bujumbura imposed strict gas rationing on the central African country. The UN and embassies have been urging all nonessential personnel to leave the country due to sanctions imposed after a July 25 military coup. Also, Tanzania has agreed to allow humanitarian aid into Burundi, despite its embargo on the country.

Germany officially filed an extradition request for former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke to stand trial for war crimes committed during World War II. Priebke was recently freed by an Italian military court, before being swiftly rearrested.

Sri Lanka's Army ended a three-week blockade to allow a convoy of trucks to deliver food aid to about 200,000 Tamil refugees in the north. The civilians have been trapped by fighting between the Army and Tamil Tiger rebels for the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi. The rebels are fighting for an independent homeland in the north and east.

Marshal Antonio de Spinola, the war hero who served briefly as Portugal's first president after the 1974 revolution restored democracy, passed on.

Flooding caused by seasonal rains has exacted a tremendous toll in China, and the government is distributing money to ensure a swift recovery from the disaster. More than 2,700 people have been killed and damage is estimated at about $6 billion, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

The lead prosecutor investigating Mexico's most important assassination in decades was dropped from the case. The move to oust Pablo Chapa Bezanilla came amid public outcry to solve the 1994 slaying of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio less than a week after a judge freed a suspect, citing a lack of evidence.

Colombia's national weather service declared an aviation alert through today because of a "gigantic cloud" of volcanic ash that is closing in on the country. The ash, from a volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, was expected to engulf Colombia's Caribbean coast and could pose a hazard to air traffic.


"It is our party, the party of Lincoln, that must always stand for equal rights and fair opportunity for all."

- Retired Gen. Colin Powell, speaking at the Republican convention in San Diego.

A classical solution: Bernie Naiman didn't like gangs and vagrants hanging around his Denver building, so he cranked up the classical music. Nearby merchants don't mind the symphonic sounds, but the music drives away street toughs.

Move over, Jack: John Rosseau says he didn't plant any magic seeds to grow a 70-foot, two-story squash plant that blocked his front door and climbed up the side of his Hopkinton, Mass., house. He expects the vine to produce 40 squash by fall.


Top Movies in the US and Canada by Per-Location Revenue, Aug. 9 to 11

Per-location revenue gauges movie popularity by community response to a film. Movie titles are followed by per-location revenue, number of locations, and weeks in release.

1. "Emma;" $13,373; 105 locations; two weeks

2. "Jack;" $6,545; 1,710 locations; one week

3. "A Time to Kill;" $4,650; 2,313 locations; three weeks

4. "Escape from LA;" $3,855; 2,312 locations; one week

5. "Trainspotting;" $3,721; 357 locations; four weeks

6. "Independence Day;" $3,353; 2,589 locations; six weeks

7. "Matilda;" $2,500; 2,006 locations; two weeks

8. "Courage Under Fire;" $1,964; 1,666 locations; five weeks

9. "Phenomenon;" $1,921; 2,086 locations; six weeks

10. "Twister," $1,658; 949 locations; 14 weeks

- Exhibitor Relations/AP

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