News In Brief


Polls showed President Clinton holding onto a solid but shrinking lead over Bob Dole, his Republican challenger, as they stumped their way through a hectic final day of campaigning. Clinton was scheduled for stops in New Hampshire, Ohio, Kentucky, and Los Angeles. Dole was to visit San Jose, Calif., Los Angeles, and Albuquerque, N.M. A Reuters daily tracking poll showed Dole within four percentage points of Clinton. ABC had the president 11 points ahead. Gallup put the lead at 13 points.

Four to six Cabinet secretaries are likely to announce plans to leave office soon, if Clinton wins reelection, aides to the president said. Officials said the announcement would come after a Cabinet meeting later this week. One aide said White House chief of staff Leon Panetta would also be leaving.

Republicans and a former CIA director criticized Democrats for inviting Russian businessman Grigory Loutchansky to a Democratic National Committee dinner in 1994. Former CIA director R. James Woolsey said current director John Deutch had identified Loutchansky's company, Nordex, as an "organization associated with Russian criminal activity" during congressional hearings in April.

A US F-16 fighter jet fired a missile at an Iraqi antiaircraft missile site after the pilot received an indication he was being targeted from the ground, the Pentagon said. It was similar to an incident Saturday, after which the Pentagon said Iraqi radar in the no-fly zone over southern Iraq had not actually targeted the US jet, despite aircraft-instrument indications targeting had occurred.

The Supreme Court let stand a lower-court ruling striking down a 1994 Mississippi law that would have allowed student-led group prayers in public schools. And the court rejected arguments of California almond growers and marketers that federal regulation of their industry amounts to property taking for which compensation is required.

Senior Texaco executives were caught on tape using racial epithets against minority workers, The New York Times said. On tapes recorded in August 1994 by a former executive, Texaco officials also reportedly discussed destroying documents related to a suit brought by African-American employees in the oil giant's finance department. The workers say Texaco denied them promotions and advancement opportunities because of their race.

The US space agency prepared for tomorrow's launch of an unmanned rocket probe to Mars. The Mars Global Surveyor is the first of eight unmanned missions to the planet NASA has scheduled over the next 10 years.

The Federal Reserve will almost certainly vote to keep interest rates unchanged when it meets Nov. 13, The Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper quoted a number of federal officials who said inflation has been held in check despite a relatively low unemployment rate.

Construction spending rose 1.9 percent in September, the largest advance in six months, the Commerce Department reported.

New York City police chief Howard Safir visited Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, for talks on setting up an outpost to deal with drug traffickers. Safir estimates 400 drug traffickers wanted by his department are in hiding in the Caribbean nation.

Local United Auto Workers employees ended a five-day strike against a General Motors plant in Indianapolis. And striking workers at a GM plant in Janesville, Wis., said they were optimistic that negotiations would soon return them to work. The strikes have curtailed operations at other GM plants for lack of key production parts.


Tutsi rebels in eastern Zaire declared an immediate three-week cease-fire to allow for repatriation of refugees to Rwanda. Rebel spokesmen said their troops had captured Goma, the former center of relief efforts for the estimated 1.1 million refugees. The truce announcement came as African leaders prepared to meet in Kenya on the crisis - a conference Zaire's government said it would boycott because Rwandan troops were on its soil. Zaire accused the US of supplying military hardware used by the Rwandans.

Afghan rebel leader Rashid Dostum's fighter planes bombed Herat, one of the country's few major cities. It was the first direct attack on Herat since the Taliban Islamic movement seized it more than a year ago. The raid damaged an airport control tower, cancelling flights, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Syria and Iran prevent attacks by Islamic Jihad. The group is widely believed to be planning retaliation in one of Israel's largest cities for the assassination a year ago of its leader, Fathi Shqaqi. Tight security measures snarled traffic around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, and kept many shoppers off the streets.

Two new Jewish cities were proposed for the West Bank by Israeli Infrastructures Minister Ariel Sharon. If built, they would almost double the region's Jewish population, now about 145,000, making it increasingly difficult for Palestinians to establish their own state there. A Netanyahu spokesman said the prime minister had not yet seen the proposal.

Rejecting opposition claims of massive vote-rigging, President Slobodan Milosevic's Communist Party claimed victory in Serbian general elections. The Communists said they won about 50 percent of the vote, with the united opposition capturing about 30 percent. In Montenegro, where about 92 percent of the vote was counted, Milosevic's sister party was headed for a sweeping victory. Milosevic himself was not a candidate.

Bosnia will dismiss deputy Defense Minister Hasan Cengic at the behest of the US, President Alija Izetbegovic said. Washington insisted on the move before it would deliver $100 million in military aid to the Sarajevo government. Cengic's boss, Defense Minister Vladimir Soljic, is also under fire from the US, but his fate was not announced. Both men are suspected of having close ties to Iran. A US official said the military hardware would remain in storage until Cengic has formally left office.

Bulgaria's Socialist premier, Zhan Videnov, vowed to seek a vote of confidence from his party and resign if it isn't favorable. The Socialists (formerly Communists) were headed for massive defeat in the country's presidential election. The post is largely ceremonial, but likely winner Petar Stoyanov has pledged to lead Bulgaria into membership in NATO and the European Union.

In Romania, ex-Communists also appeared likely to lose control of both houses of parliament in Sunday's elections. Meanwhile, President Ion Iliescu held only a narrow lead over rival Emil Constantinescu, virtually ensuring a runoff later this month.

Former Central African Republic leader Jean-Bedel Bokassa, one of Africa's most ruthless dictators, died. Bokassa ruled as self-proclaimed "emperor" from 1966 to 1979. After being ousted by French troops, he spent seven years in exile before returning in 1987 to become the first deposed African chief of state tried for murder, torture, and cannibalism. Bokassa was convicted of murder and spent six years in prison. His sentence was commuted in 1993.


''We can have all the talk in the world about going to Mars ... but in my mind, there is only one issue: What is the NASA budget going to be?"

-- National Aeronautics and Space Administration chief Daniel Goldin, on the bottom line in US space exploration.

Not sure what to do with those leftover Halloween pumpkins? Lewes, Del., rid itself of unwanted gourds at its 11th annual Punkin' Chunkin' contest. Contestants used catapults and sling shots to send the orange orbs skyward. The winning team from Morton, Ill., propelled one more than 1/2-mile with its Aludium Q36 Pumpkin Modulator.

Naty Avila of St. Paul, Minn., used some horse sense to get out of traffic court after she nearly hit two mounted police officers in a crosswalk. Avila argued she didn't need to yield because the officers were equestrians, not pedestrians. Minnesota law defines a pedestrian as "any person afoot or in a wheelchair." The charges were dismissed.

Searchers in Egypt have found the ruins of the city where one of history's most famous love affairs took place. French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio says his team located the palace of Cleopatra, the home and temple used by Roman Mark Antony, and paved streets where they may have walked together 2,000 years ago. But the historic find is 16 to 20 feet under Alexandria's old harbor.


Following the Election Via the Internet

Internet users in at least 11 states can access continuously updated vote tabulations after polls close tonight:









New Mexico


South Carolina

- Associated Press

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