News In Brief


The US will not send a large military force to Zaire, senior officials said. Plans to send 1,000 ground troops and up to 4,000 support personnel were changed after hundreds of thousands of refugees returned to Rwanda from Zaire. Officials said the US will send $140 million in aid - and may commit smaller groups of supply personnel - to assist the refugees.

The US followed through on its threat to veto the nomination of Boutros Boutros-Ghali for a second term as secretary-general of the UN. All 14 of the other members of the Security Council voted for him. Officials were conferring with the Egyptian diplomat to ask whether he wanted to be renominated. African nations insisted that their continent deserved two terms in the post, as has been UN tradition.

House Democrats reelected Missouri's Dick Gephardt to another term as minority leader by acclamation. Michigan's David Bonior will again be majority whip; California's Vic Fazio returns as caucus chairman.

White House budget director Frank Raines said he would meet with key Republican officials in Congress this week to seek an agreement to eliminate the federal deficit by 2002. Raines is following up on the president's recent meeting with GOP leaders.

Schools have made little progress toward meeting national education goals for the year 2000, said a bipartisan review panel set up after President Bush and state governors held an education summit in 1989. The report said a third of the states are making significant strides.

British officials knew as early as mid-1941 that Jews were being systematically slaughtered by the Nazis, The New York Times reported. Citing intelligence documents made public in Washington, the Times said British code breakers learned about the genocide from Nazi transmissions out of Ukraine and Belarus in the summer of 1941 - more than a year earlier than previously acknowledged.

President Clinton declared a state of emergency in Hawaii, freeing federal funds for areas struck by severe storms, mudslides, and flooding since Nov. 5.

St. Petersburg will receive federal aid to help it address economic, racial and other problems identified as underlying factors in twin race riots that recently wracked the city. The announcement came after a meeting in Washington that included Mayor David Fischer, White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, and Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros.

Democratic Party fund-raiser John Huang made 70 telephone calls to a bank controlled by his former Indonesian boss while working at the Commerce Department, a Republican House chairman said. Rep. Benjamin Gilman of New York said telephone records show Huang made the calls to the Lippo Bank in Los Angeles, controlled by billionaire James Riady. Huang, who worked for Riady before joining the administration, has been accused of soliciting improper foreign contributions for the Democratic National Committee.

The space shuttle Columbia was set to launch its twice-delayed 16-day mission. Weather conditions at the Florida launch site were said to be favorable.

Women in Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia are likely to fare better than than those in other states, the Institute for Women's Policy Research said. Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee were rated lowest overall in the study, which considered income, economic autonomy, political clout, and abortion rights.

Housing starts fell 5.1 percent in October to the lowest level in a year, the Commerce Department said. It was the second straight month of housing-start declines.

General Motors workers ratified a new labor contract by a wide margin. It guarantees at least 95 percent of union jobs will be maintained over the next three years, promises a $2,000 bonus the first year, and provides 3 percent wage increases in the second and third years.


Rwanda argued that an international intervention force was no longer needed in central Africa because of the massive and voluntary return of Hutu refugees from Zaire. But in Geneva, the UN urged that plans for the force go forward because 500,000 refugees remained scattered in Zaire. Meanwhile, the UN said it would rethink its policy of humanitarian intervention after documents found in an abandoned refugee camp showed how Hutu extremists used the agency's cover to plan political assassinations in Rwanda.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher arrived in Beijing for meetings with Chinese leaders amid warnings that criticism of the country's human-rights record would not be welcome. Christopher said the recent jailing of political dissident Wang Dan, which the US has condemned, would not be an impediment to future summits.

At the Vatican, Pope John Paul II held a historic first meeting with Cuba's Communist President Fidel Castro and accepted an invitation to pay a return visit. Both sides said they hoped the papal trip could take place next year.

Israel arrested two of its own policemen after a TV broadcast showed them beating and kicking Palestinian laborers. The workers were caught attempting to sneak into Israel. Police officials called the action unusual and reprehensible, but human-rights activists said such beatings were commonplace and designed to instill fear in Palestinians.

Labor union organizers in the Philippines vowed to protest next week's Asia-Pacific summit by calling a massive one-day strike. Leaders of 200 unions said the walkout would be in retaliation for the arrest of a protester opposed to the summit. Critics say the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum's goal of eliminating trade barriers would weaken poorer countries, like the Philippines.

President and Mrs. Clinton were greeted by a 21-gun salute on their first visit to Australia. They plan a four-day stay en route to the economic summit in the Philippines. But Prime Minister John Howard vowed to complain about US trade practices that, he said, cost Australia heavily in jobs and export earnings.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's appeal of her dismissal from office was denied by the country's Supreme Court. The official government news agency said her petition was found "irrelevant and scandalous" and that the court had not heard oral arguments in the case.

Lawmakers in Belarus spent all night inside parliament to head off any move by President Alexander Lukashenko to seize the building. Eighty members signed a petition to begin impeachment proceedings against Lukashenko, who seeks broader powers through a national referendum. Prime Minister Mikhail Chigir resigned in protest against the vote, scheduled for Sunday.

Freedom of the press in South Africa was not under threat, President Nelson Mandela told a foreign correspondents' dinner in Johannesburg. But he warned that as long as most of the country's news outlets remain under white ownership "debate on the issue will continue for many years."

Nigeria's military government opened discussions with a delegation from the British Commonwealth on speeding up restoration of democracy and respect for human rights . The talks in Abuja, the capital, came as the UN released a report detailing arbitrary arrests, torture, and executions since the Nigerian Army annulled a 1993 presidential election that would have established democratic rule.


''There is only one thing worse than catching a spy that has penetrated one's intelligence service. And that is not catching the spy."

-- CIA director John Deutch, after one of his agency's employees was arrested for passing US secrets to Russia.

The Guinness Book of World Records has finally qualified for its own listings. The latest edition, out this week, calls itself the world's largest-selling copyrighted book. Guinness says its annual publication has sold in every language from Icelandic to Macedonian since the first printing in 1955.

Researchers have confirmed that a jaw bone found in 1994 is the earliest positively dated fossil in the human family. The New York Times and Los Angeles Times reported that the 2.33 million-year-old bone extends the age of the genus by about 400,000 years. The jaw was found near a scattering of crude stone tools in northern Ethiopia.

A watchdog group in Brazil is up in arms because of what it considers an especially demeaning human-rights abuse: the lack of a legal identity. Reacting to a report that 50 million Brazilians never had their births recorded and thus do not officially exist, the National Human Rights Program said it was "unacceptable in a serious country at the end of the 20th century." If correct, the number of people without birth certificates would be almost a third of Brazil's population.


CIA Employees Caught Spying for Other Nations

*Harold Nicholson, charged this week with passing secrets to Russian agents, is not the first CIA official to face such accusations. Others include:

*Counterintelligence official Aldrich Ames (and his wife, Rosario), who pleaded guilty in 1994 to spying for the Soviet Union from 1985-94.

*Retired translator Larry Wu-Tai Chin, convicted in 1986 of spying for China since 1952.

*Former officer Edward Lee Howard, who fled the US in 1985 while being investigated for spying for the Soviet Union.

*Former clerk Sharon Scranage, who pleaded guilty in 1985 to disclosing names of US agents to a Ghanaian friend.

*Former agent David H. Barnett pleaded guilty in 1980 to spying for the Soviet Union from 1976-79 while based in Indonesia.

- Associated Press

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