News In Brief


The US got the go-ahead to deploy more troops to Kuwait, White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry announced. Kuwait approved stationing the additional troops after a weekend delay that embarrassed the Clinton administration. He declined to say how many troops would be deployed.

The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off to retrieve astronaut Shannon Lucid. A mechanical glitch may cause the mission to be curtailed, but they definitely plan to pick up Lucid and deliver her replacement, John Blaha, to the Russian space station Mir. Lucid, who will likely spend 188 days in orbit, holds both the record for the longest time spent in space by a woman and the US space endurance record.

The Pentagon and a key field commander must share blame for placing US troops at risk in an urban apartment complex in Saudi Arabia that left them exposed to terrorism, an investigative report says. The special commission report is highly critical of security failures prior to the June bombing in Dhahran that killed 19 US servicemen. It cites confusion in the chain of command, a lack of clear guidance from the Pentagon, and uncertainty over what steps local commanders can take to protect troops. The investigation already prompted the relocation of most US forces in Saudi Arabia.

A bill to curb illegal immigration is in danger of being derailed, because of Bob Dole's insistence while Senate majority leader that it contain an amendment denying schooling to children of illegal immigrants, The Wall Street Journal reported. Democratic senators are threatening to filibuster if the amendment emerges from conference intact, and Clinton has vowed to veto it.

Negotiators for Ford and the United Auto Workers returned to the bargaining table for marathon contract talks. Ford's old contract expired midnight Saturday, but talks are continuing under an unofficial extension and there has been no threat of a strike. A source close to the UAW said the union has scheduled a board meeting for today to approve a deal, The New York Times reported.

Whitewater prosecutors subpoenaed the diaries of Sherry Rowlands, the prostitute whose relationship with Clinton's former political adviser Dick Morris led to his resignation, The New York Post reported. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr is reportedly interested in her claim that Morris told her Hillary Rodham Clinton was behind the FBI files scandal, in which the White House improperly obtained files on hundreds of top Republicans. Morris has denied the allegation.

All children need two years of high-quality preschool. So says a report by a Carnegie Corp. task force that is proposing a blueprint for universal preschool. The report found that ages 3 to 10 are critical for educational growth. And it says preschools should work to better prepare children for elementary school.

Navy divers resumed a final push to retrieve wreckage from TWA Flight 800. Rough seas caused by hurricanes have interrupted the search three times this month. A third of the plane is still missing, as are the remains of 17 passengers.

At least 300 people were arrested at a demonstration in northern California protesting the logging of dead and diseased trees in the world's last virgin stand of privately owned redwoods. Environmentalists say logging will injure live trees and harm wildlife habitat. About 4,000 people attended the protest, among them singers Don Henley and Bonnie Raitt -- who was one of those arrested for trespassing on private land.

Striking members of the Philadelphia Orchestra set up picket lines, forcing the cancellation of tonight's gala opening and performances through Sept. 24. The musicians voted to conduct their first strike in 30 years after rejecting an offer they said amounted to a pay cut. A key issue is a request for a $6,000 annual share of orchestra income from radio performances and recordings.


US Defense Secretary William Perry left Turkey after winning only limited support for the US military buildup against Iraq. Also, the US began flying the first of hundreds of Iraqi Kurds to a US air force base on the Pacific island of Guam. The Kurds, who worked for US military and civilian groups in northern Iraq, will then be flown as refugees to the US. And contrary to earlier reports, Iraq didn't fire six missiles at US planes over southern Iraq on Saturday.

President Alija Izetbegovic led with 75 precent of the vote to former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic's 25 percent as the new Bosnian Muslim president. In eastern Bosnia, Momcilo Krajisnik, candidate of the ruling Serb Democratic Party, held 83.6 percent. First results showed Kresimir Zubak favored to win the Bosnian Croat seat. UN officials said only 13,500 Muslims voted in or near villages they were driven from during the war - far fewer than previously thought. No more than 1,200 Serbs went into Muslim and Croat territories to vote.

France held a ceremony to scrap 18 nuclear missiles kept in concrete silos in the French Alps. Dismantling the missiles, each 50 times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, is expected to take two years.

Militants attacked polling stations and protesters mounted strikes as India's Kashmir and Jammu state held the second phase of four-stage assembly elections - the first since 1987. More than 20,000 people have died in a six-year separatist revolt in the state since 1990. Authorities reported normal polling in most of the 34 constituencies conducting elections.

Russian security chief Alexander Lebed was to fly to Chechnya today to meet with Russian and Chechen military leaders. He plans to discuss the exchange of prisoners, deployment of Russian forces, and other disputes threatening the peace agreement. Also, President Boris Yeltsin was to remain hospitalized for more health-related tests.

Romania and Hungary signed a treaty to end a centuries-old rift, opening doors NATO and European Union membership. In exchange for minority rights, Hungary agreed to drop demands for ethnic autonomy, which fueled Romanian concerns of a Yugoslav-type succession.

Indonesia's election committee barred opposition leader Megawati and her supporters from running in the 1997 parliamentary elections. The group plans to file a lawsuit against the decision. Five people were killed and 74 are missing after violence erupted with a government-backed ouster of Megawati as the Democratic Party leader.

Some 200 Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers, who kept them from reopening a vegetable market in Hebron in the West Bank. Israel sealed the market, a hot spot for Arab-Jewish violence, in 1994 when a Jewish settler killed 29 Palestinians at a mosque. They organized the protest after Jewish settlers seized their shops and started renovating them for use as entrances to a Jewish synagogue. They also protested Israel's reneging on an agreement to pull troops out of Hebron.

As many as 35,000 girls and women are being kept as religious slaves in west Africa, Australia's Anti-slavery Society reported. "Fetish slaves" are given by their parents to holy men to perform domestic chores and sexual acts, it said. The practice occurs principally in Ghana and also in Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.

Heavy rains continued over much of Vietnam's central provinces after tropical storms left at least 17 people dead and thousands homeless.


"You can be assured, John, I'm not going to be on the wrong side

of the hatch when they close it."

-- Astronaut Shannon Lucid, speaking to her replacement John Blaha, about her eagerness to return home to Earth.

The folks in Lefors, Texas, have brought new meaning to the word neighborly. The town is giving away 12 vacant lots in an effort to attract new families. The free land will be awarded at an Oct. 14 drawing. Winners must pull up a trailer on the lot or begin building a house within six months.

A pair of climbers from Burma and Japan became the first to scale Khakaborazi, Southeast Asia's tallest mountain. Nama Johnson and Takashi Ozaki reached the 19,296-foot peak, Burma's media reported.

Belgian Axel Ewbank set off on a year-long, 12,400-mile odyssey in a three-wheeled Thai "tuk-tuk" taxi. Ewbank is journeying from Bangkok to his home in Brussels in what is described as a "golf cart on steroids." The taxis are named for the sound their engine makes.

It's a comic book collector's dream: Marvel Comics is reviving 13 superheroes - Captain America, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and Iron Man - who met their doom this summer in the largest wipeout in comic history. But the overhauled heroes - complete with new origins - are being reborn this month, each with a new No. 1 issue.


Europe's Work Week

Britons work the longest hours in Europe, according to a new study by Sweden's central statistics bureau. Here's the average European work week in 1995, excluding overtime.

1. Great Britain 43.8 hours

2. Portugal 41.9

3. Sweden 40.7

4. Greece 40.8 (including overtime)

5. Spain 40.6

6. Ireland 40.1

6. France 40.1

8. Germans 39.9

9. Luxembourg 39.8

10. Netherlands 39.6

11. Denmark 39.5

12. Norway 38.8

13. Italy 38.6

15. Finland 38.4

15. Belgium 38.4

- Associated Press

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