News In Brief


The White House considered possible retaliation as Iraqi troops withdrew from a Kurdish safe haven in northern Iraq. An administration official said the White House was not impressed by the withdrawal reports. It appears that Iraq simply moved its forces to just outside the city. US troops in the Gulf region were on high alert, and the Air Force assembled an "air expeditionary force" of up to 40 planes that could be deployed to the Middle East. Meanwhile, Republican nominee Bob Dole criticized Clinton for not taking action before Iraqi troops invaded the town of Arbil. It was Baghdad's largest act of military aggression since the end of the Gulf war in 1991.

Clinton was to make two campaign stops in Wisconsin, as part of his effort to bolster support in the Midwest. Recent polls give the president about a 21-point lead over Dole, despite a sex scandal that prompted the resignation of Clinton's top political adviser, Dick Morris.

Dole said he would expand the National Guard's role in the fight against illegal drugs. He also said he'd consider using the military, if other efforts proved unsuccessful. Dole told The New York Times he's campaigning on a broad message on the economy, drugs, crime, and liberal judges - rather than the GOP's conservative social positions.

Hurricane Edouard soaked beaches and washed out Labor Day cookouts in the northeast before decreasing in intensity. The storm veered eastward, sparing the mainland and causing only slight property damage. Massachusetts' Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket islands took the brunt of the storm, reporting power outages and some flooding.

The 15 states suing cigarette makers may be talking about settling their cases. Mississippi's attorney general told CBS's "Face the Nation" that seven of his colleagues were appointed to come up with a proposed settlement. But he said the states, which are suing to recover millions of dollars spent on smoking-related illnesses, will settle "only if it makes good sense for everybody." A Phillip Morris executive said there are no negotiations in progress.

There's good news this Labor Day: Most Americans are satisfied with their jobs, a Gallup poll found. But 1 in 4 workers feel angry on the job, and a similar number say they are concerned about losing their jobs. Also, a report by the Economic Policy Institute found that wage stagnation has worsened in the 1990s. The liberal think tank found that in 1995, average hourly earnings were 3 percent lower than in 1989, after adjusting for inflation. And median family incomes are down more than 5 percent.

Companies cited for violating health and safety regulations won $38 billion in federal contracts in 1994, the General Accounting Office found. And 261 companies that were assessed significant fines on workplace safety complaints received about 22 percent of government contract dollars. Democratic Sens. Paul Simon and Edward Kennedy are working on legislation to tie federal contracts to companies' safety records.

A US District Court of Appeals rejected cable television companies' claims that a number of government regulations put inappropriate limits on the kind of programming they can offer. The court upheld the constitutionality of all but one of 11 rules. A decision on the final rule was delayed because it is under separate litigation. That rule instructs the Federal Communications Commission to decide whether to limit cable distributors' ability to create and produce their own programs.

NationsBank of Charlotte, N.C., plans to buy Boatmen's Bancshares Inc. of St. Louis for about $9.5 billion. The deal would create the nation's fourth-biggest banking company.

California legislators approved a plan to open its electricity market to competition. The law, seen as a possible model for other states, would allow consumers to choose among power suppliers, and aims to cut rates by at least 20 percent by 2002.


Iraqi troops withdrew from Arbil, a UN safe haven in the Kurdish north that they captured Saturday, UN officials said. Kurd rebels based in Turkey maintained that troops remained in the city and were carrying out mass executions. Meanwhile, as the US sought support for retaliatory strikes against Iraqi forces, Egypt and Turkey offered implicit support to Baghdad. And China threatened to veto any measure for foreign military intervention.

Russian President Yeltsin went over the Chechen peace deal struck by security chief Alexander Lebed, but made no comment. The endorsement of the Kremlin is considered crucial for the deal to hold. Lebed's aides said Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin was satisfied with the pact. Meanwhile, the truce appeared to be holding, newspapers reported.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators failed to agree on a date for a summit between their leaders. Norwegian Terje Larsen, a senior UN official who played a key role in bringing Israel and the PLO together for secret contacts in 1993, is hosting the new round of talks. A key sticking point, sources said, is the extent of an Israeli troop pullout from Hebron, the last West Bank city under Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, Egypt gave Israel three weeks to start implementing the PLO-Israel peace deal or face cancellation of a Middle East economic conference planned for Cairo in November.

Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and his allies won 14 of 19 seats in the third leg of a five-stage national ballot. It gave Hariri and his supporters 55 of 82 seats already decided in the 128-seat Parliament. Analysts say the rout of Muslim fundamentalists is a mandate for Hariri to continue rebuilding Beirut.

Helmer Herrera, the last free Cali drug cartel kingpin, surrendered to Colombian authorities. Six of the seven top leaders of the cartel were arrested last summer in an unprecedented crackdown. Experts say Herrera turned himself in to take advantage of current legislation on drug prosecution, which is expected to be rewritten in this session of Congress to ensure tougher sentences.

A hand grenade was thrown into the Belfast home of the parents of Alex Kerr, a Northern Ireland militant ordered to leave the country by his former associates. No one was injured in the attack and no one claimed responsibility. Kerr, who is in prison, and Billy Wright, another Protestant militant, face death threats from their Loyalist colleagues for opposing their cease-fire strategy.

Muslim rebels and the Philippine government signed a peace pact ending 24 years of civil war that killed 125,000 people. Muslim nations, which helped broker the accord, pledged investment funds to promote development of the mostly-Muslim south. Thousands of Christians demonstrated against the accord that offers the Muslims regional autonomy in 14 provinces and nine cities, some with Christian majorities.

Mexican troops in Atayaquillo were searching for rebels who launched a 15-minute firefight as President Ernesto Zedillo introduced new social programs aimed at eradicating poverty, considered the underlying cause of the violence. The speech followed uprisings by the rebel Popular Revolutionary Army which killed at least 16 people last week.

Confusion marked the debut of the hryvna, Ukraine's new currency, which removed a string of zeros in prices. Most cashiers demanded complex documentation to exchange money. Stores were also closed as shopkeepers put new prices on their goods. The hryvna traded at 1.75 to the US dollar while the interim currency, the karbovanet, traded at 175,000 to the dollar.


"We just need to keep pounding the message and pounding the message."

-- Presidential nominee Bob Dole told The New York Times. Dole says he's campaigning on a broad message on the economy, drugs, and crime.

Some 33 lbs. of tapioca and 1,000 pieces of gold leaf went into Thailand's first-ever entry in the 19th Culinary Olympics to be held in Germany from Sept. 8 to 12. The 770-lb. candy statue is a rendition of Thailand's legendary "Hanuman," the monkey general. The competition is held once every four years.

Twelve people are touring California's coastline the hard way - on foot. They are hiking 1,100 miles to promote a continuous Coastal Trail. In their three months of walking, they've dodged cars on the Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur and dealt with angry property owners in the Malibu beach area.

A single grape was all David Feimster needed to get the "Racing Stinkers" off and running at the Great Stoneboro Fair in Pennsylvania. Feimster claims to be the only person in the world doing skunk-racing.


TV Shows For the Family

Only five of 34 new shows previewed by US News & World Report were rated as suitable for all ages, according to a survey by the magazine. And a poll of parents showed that 62 percent want a TV ratings system like the one used for movies. Hereare the shows that passed the family values test:

"Life With Roger" (WB)

"Nick Freno" Licensed Teacher," (WB)

"Cosby" (CBS)

"Promised Land" (CBS)

"Clueless" (ABC)

- US News & World Report/AP

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