News In Brief


President Clinton said Palestinian President Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet in Washington this week to kickstart stalled peace talks after uprisings in Jerusalem and the West Bank. King Hussein of Jordan will also attend, and Egyptian President Mubarak was invited but has not said if he will come. Also, the US abstained from a UN Security Council resolution - which passed 14 to 1 - calling for the closure of the Israeli tunnel that sparked the riots.

The Senate is to vote today on a last-minute spending bill funding much of the government for fiscal 1997. The House overwhelmingly approved the package, and Clinton said he'll sign it. The agreement preserves $6.5 billion of programs the president considers essential. Included in the bill is a measure clamping down on illegal immigration that would bar illegal immigrants from receiving Social Security and make it tougher for them to obtain driver's licenses. The bill also limits benefits available to legal immigrants, though not as many as Republicans wanted.

The Group of Seven industrialized nations agreed in Washington to a measure that would relieve up to $7.7 billion in debts of as many as 20 of the world's poorest debtor countries. Under the plan, the G-7 countries pledged to forgive up to 80 percent of their debt - up from a former cap of 67 percent.

The Senate failed to override Clinton's veto of a bill that would have banned certain late-term abortions. The override failed 57 to 41. Also, it's not clear if the Senate will vote on a scaled-back parks bill that passed the House. The stripped-down bill removes measures the Clinton administration considered detrimental to the parks system. It would establish a trust for preserving the Presidio, a former Army base in California, and creates the first federally protected tall grass prairie in Kansas.

A bill that would establish a national registry to track convicted sex offenders is on its way to the White House. Clinton is expected to sign it. Also, the House approved by voice vote a measure to impose tough penalties for stealing trade secrets for foreign governments or companies. The Senate passed it earlier.

ValuJet was to return to the skies today. The discount airliner was grounded in June after a plane crashed in Florida's Ever-glades. The Association of Flight Attendants filed an emergency petition to block the flights, saying ValuJet is still unsafe.

The House ethics committee dismissed charges against House minority leader Dick Gephardt concerning income from vacation properties. The panel will investigate whether House Speaker Newt Gingrich received prohibited gifts and illegal campaign contributions while head of a conservative political action committee. Accusations that Gingrich violated bribery and gratuity statutes were dismissed. Also, committee members voted to expand a separate investigation to determine if Gingrich misled them over charges he improperly used tax-exempt funds for political purposes.

Richard Allen Davis, the convicted murderer of Polly Klaas, was sentenced to death in San Jose, Calif.

Crews recovered more than 60,000 gallons of heating oil spilled into a Portland, Maine, harbor. A tanker plowed into a bridge, dumping 170,000 gallons of heating oil and its own heavy fuel into the harbor. The harbor will be off-limits to seafood-harvesting until tests prove it's safe.

America's last privately own-ed stand of virgin redwoods won a reprieve - two days before logging was to begin. State and federal governments will obtain the 3,000-acre Headwaters Forest in California, along with 4,500 additional acres. In exchange, Pacific Lumber Company received $380 million and agreed not to do any logging while the deal is finalized.

California Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law a measure to create a $10.5 billion publicly run authority to sell earthquake insurance to homeowners.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to meet with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Washington to discuss Mideast clashes that killed nearly 70 people last week - mostly Palestinians. Also, the reopening of a tourist tunnel sparked more Palestinian unrest in Jerusalem after it was closed temporarily for the Jewish Sabbath. And a third Egyptian soldier was killed when gunfire between Palestinians and Israelis strayed over the Egyptian-Gaza border.

UN special envoy Norbert Holl held his first talks with leaders of Afghanistan's Islamic Taliban. The meeting in Kabul came as the Taliban militia consolidated its hold on the capital, imposing strict Islamic law. The UN Security Council deplored the execution of former Afghanistan President Najibullah, who was abducted by Taliban rebels from a UN compound where he sought asylum.

Northern Ireland peace talks were to resume today. Also, an unarmed Irish Republican Army suspect killed by British police last week planned to blow up the electricity supply to the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France, the Sunday Times said. Four other men were charged with terrorist offenses in connection with earlier police raids that netted a cache of explosives.

Tens of thousands of Indian paramilitary troops were deployed to guard three-phase elections today in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Clashes between Hindus and Muslims have left scores of people injured ahead of the crucial state assembly polls.

Demonstrators and city officials in Sarajevo blocked construction of a protective wall around new quarters being prepared for American troops. Local residents expressed concern that the street in front of the building would be blocked by the wall.

Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan received 51.75 percent of the vote in last week's election, according to final figures released by the Central Election Commission. Vazgen Manukyan, who disputed the count, was credited with 41.29 percent. International observers said there were problems with the balloting, but stopped short of calling it unfair.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev called on Russian President Boris Yeltsin to step down for health reasons and prepare the country for fresh presidential elections, even if his prospects for recovery are good. Also, Russians in the Leningrad and Rostov regions cast ballots in gubernatorial elections.

Sri Lankan troops captured the Tamil Tiger stronghold of Kilinochchi, according to Sri Lankan military officials. They said at least 660 rebels and 229 government troops were killed in the eight-day offensive.

Burma's military blocked approaches to the home of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her of trying to provoke riots. It was the first time the Nobel Peace Prize winner had been prevented from delivering a Saturday talk since her release in July 1995 from six years of house arrest. It also prevented a scheduled congress of the National League for Democracy.

North Korea and a US-led consortium agreed on details for construction of two nuclear reactors in the North, South Korean officials said. If signed, the accord would remove the last obstacle to starting work on the reactors, which would replace an existing nuclear program suspected of developing bombs. Also, another North Korean infiltrator from a grounded submarine was killed by South Korean troops. Four of an estimated 26 intruders are believed to be still at large.


"If successor governments forget or renege on promises made by previous governments,

then there will be no security for anyone."

- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, accusing Israel of trying to renege on the 1993 peace deal with the Palestinians.

Citizens of Paris and Lyon, France, raided their shoe racks to participate in a "shoe-in" protesting land mines. Mountains of old shoes were piled high in both city centers before an international conference on ridding the planet of antipersonnel mines, to be held Oct. 3-5 in Ottawa, Canada.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Great Dome sported an unusual chapeau after pranksters dressed it up in a red-and-white beanie with a spinning, blue propeller. MIT police received a diagrammed, 15-page report on how to remove the headgear. It was the latest in a long tradition of pranks that includes turning the dome into a giant jack-o-lantern and depositing a campus police car complete with dummy police at its peak.


Poverty in America

States with the highest percentage of households living in poverty in 1995, as reported by the Census Bureau. Nationally, 13.8 percent were in poverty last year, down from 14.5 percent in 1994.

New Mexico 25.3

Mississippi 23.5

Washington, D.C. 22.2

Alaska 20.1

South Carolina 19.9

Louisiana 19.7

Texas 17.4

Oklahoma 17.1

California 16.7

West Virginia 16.7

New York 16.5

Florida 16.2

Arizona 16.1

Tennessee 15.5

Montana 15.3

- Associated Press

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