News In Brief


Leaders from around the world are meeting in New York for the opening of the UN's annual World Forum. Today, the US and other nuclear world powers are expected to sign a global nuclear test-ban treaty. Also topping the agenda are the future of UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and the finances of the nearly bankrupt organization. The US is accountable for more than half the $2.9 billion owed the UN. And Washington threatened to use its Security Council veto to keep Boutros-Ghali from being reappointed. France, Russia, China, Arab, and African countries all support giving him a second term.

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole portrayed President Clinton as a liberal in conservative clothing in a speech in Springfield, Va. Dole pointed to the failed health-care reform of three years ago as an example of Clinton's impulse to grow the government. He said the measure would have cost $1.5 trillion dollars and claimed Clinton might try to resurrect the failed legislation if he was elected to a second term.

Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was to meet with Clinton in New York. He was expected to ask for continued cooperation in reducing US military presence on Okinawa.

Lobbyists spent at least $400 million trying to influence the federal government in the first half of 1996, according to an Associated Press estimate derived from reports made under a new disclosure law. The new law does not require spending reports on other forms of influence as political donations, state and local lobbying, and public relations.

The FBI has been called in to investigate the source of a Federal Reserve leak that eight of 12 regional banks recommended raising interest rates, The Washington Post reported. The move indicates how seriously the Fed regards the leak, which caused interest rates to jump and bond prices to drop. Fed policy-makers are to meet today to decide whether to raise interest rates.

Neither rain nor snow will keep the Postal Service from its appointed rounds. But private competition just might, The Washington Post reported. Unless it cuts prices and improves services, the Postal Service could end up losing out to private firms, a new Government Accounting Office report found. The Postal Service lost 85 percent of the overnight market when it was opened to private companies in 1979. The GAO warns the same thing could happen if Congress allowed competition for first-class mail delivery.

The Justice Department is investigating Citibank, the second-biggest US bank, for money laundering, The Wall Street Journal reported. Agents want to know how the bank handled $100 million for Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of Mexico's former president. Salinas is in a Mexican jail on charges of plotting a political assassination and "illicit enrichment."

Airline telephone companies are lowering prices for in-flight calls in an effort to lure non-business travellers this holiday season, USA Today reported. GTE Airfone is testing flat-rate pricing - $5 for one-minute calls and $10 for two minutes; In-Flight Phone will reportedly introduce a flat fee for weekend calls next month; and AT&T Wireless is considering cuts on off-peak and weekend rates.

Science Applications International Corp. is expected to announce it's buying Bellcore - the research arm owned by the seven Baby Bells. The $700 million sale would mark the end of years of cooperative research that began with the breakup of AT&T.

Women attending the Virginia Military Institute next fall will live in the same dorms, endure the same physical training, and have the same "buzz-cut" hair style as the men, Superintendent Josiah Bunting said. The only changes will be a separate bathroom for the women and curtains will be added to dorm windows for privacy's sake.


Police seized up to 10 tons of explosives and bombmaking equipment during a raid in and near London in which five people were arrested and one killed. Police said the explosives were to be used in an Irish Republican Army attack on Britain as early as yesterday or today.

Pakistani troops were deployed to quell unrest in the city of Multan after masked gunmen killed 21 people and wounded at least 33 others in a Sunni Muslim mosque. Local police said the attack may be linked to recent sectarian violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov called for Russian President Boris Yeltsin's resignation. He accused the Kremlin of deceiving the electorate by hiding Yeltsin's serious health condition during the campaign. Yeltsin beat Zyuganov in the election earlier this year.

The Lebanese Army sent 300 commandos to front-line positions to face Israeli forces in southeast Lebanon. Hizbullah rebel commander Sheik Nabil Kaouk claimed in a televised interview that Israel was preparing a massive attack against Hizbullah and Syrian troops.

Thousands of Panhellenic Socialist Movement supporters celebrated in the streets of Athens after Prime Minister Costas Simitis won reelection. With 99.4 percent of the vote counted, PASOK had a solid majority of 162 seats in Greece's 300-member Parliament. His conservative challenger, Miltiades Evert, resigned as head of the New Democracy party.

Bosnian Serb authorities gave a group of Muslims who returned to their home village of Jusici an ultimatum to leave. The refugees said they would not budge. Also, NATO forces confiscated about a dozen banned weapons from Muslims near Jusici, a NATO spokesman said.

Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan looked poised to capture a first-round victory in presidential elections marred by accusations of fraud. With ballots from eight of 11 regions counted, Ter-Petrosyan led his three challengers with 56 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, former Prime Minister Vazgen Manukian, won 37 percent, but also claimed victory.

Macau held its last legislative election before being turned over to China in 1999. Business leaders won four of the eight directly elected seats in the 23-seat parliament. Pro-Chinese candidates claimed three seats, and only one pro-democratic candidate was elected. The parliament is expected to hold office until 2001.

In their first major push against Tamil guerrillas in a month, Sri Lankan troops killed or wounded more than 200 rebels, the defense ministry said. At least 30 soldiers were killed in the fierce fighting around Kilinochichi, which the government tried to capture last July. Also, rebels attacked a military patrol in eastern Sri Lanka.

US Defense Secretary Perry and South Korea rejected North Korea's explanation for how its stranded submarine ended up in South Korean waters. North Korea demanded the return of the sub after claiming it drifted into the area after engine failure.

Some 14 Japanese patrol boats drove away three boats carrying Taiwanese and Hong Kong legislators headed for a disputed chain of islands in the East China sea. The three boats came within 231 feet of the Diaoyu islands, said an aide to Kin Chieh-shou, a Taipei County councilor who led the flotilla. The legislators had intended to tear down a lighthouse erected on one island by Japanese rightists.

Up to 20,000 soldiers backed by air power were sent into eastern Turkey to hunt down rebel Kurds and cut off their support before winter, the military said.


"It remains impossible to reconcile Sinn Fein's rhetoric for peace

with the IRA's preparations for murder."

-- British Prime Minister John Major, on up to 10 tons of explosives seized in a police raid on suspected IRA sites.

Ruth Gillespie received a momento of her first husband 52 years after he died in a military plane crash near Belfast. Alfred Montgomery found a wedding ring on a wooded hillside in 1994. The inscription read: "Ruth-Larry 10/21/39." He spent two years searching through military records before locating her and traveling 20 hours by plane to place the ring in her hands.

Nearly 35,000 people swayed their way into history with the largest known hula performance on Honolulu's Waikiki Beach.

Actress Dorothy Lamour, best known for her work on the "Road" with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, died. She played their sarong-wearing, straight-faced sidekick in six movies.

John F. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette on Cumberland Island, Ga.


The Price of Politics

Special interest groups spent at least $400 million lobbying the federal government in the first half of 1996. That's according to an analysis of the first disclosures under a new lobbying law. The figure is the most comprehensive estimate of amounts special interests spend on lobbying Washington, but experts say it is probably conservative. The biggest spenders?

Philip Morris $11.3 million

American Medical Association $8.5

US Chamber of Commerce $7.5

General Motors $6.9

Christian Coalition $5.9

General ElectriC $5.3

Chemical Manufacturers Association $4.5

AT&T $4.3

Pfizer $4.2

Citicorp $4.2

- Associated Press

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