News In Brief
President Clinton was to fly to Mexico on the first leg of a week-long Central America trip designed to promote democracy and trade. Before leaving Washington, he said US-Mexican relations hold the promise of mutual prosperity and had strengthened in recent years. Clinton also will attend a Central America summit in Costa Rica and a Caribbean summit in Barbados.
Rep. Dan Burton (R) of Ind. threatened to seek a contempt citation if the White House refuses to hand over pertinent documents to his House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. He wants files relating to fund-raiser John Huang, Indonesian businessman James Riady, and Webster Hubbell, a former associate attorney general. The White House said it wants to cooperate, but that some of the files are protected by attorney-client privilege.
The White House denied a published report questioning assertions by the Clintons that they did not know Webster Hubbell was facing possible criminal charges when their associates started lining up work for him. Two of the president's close confidants understood the seriousness of accusations against Hubbell before he resigned from the Justice Department, The New York Times said. One warned the Clintons that Hubbell had to go, the paper said. Clinton has dismissed suggestions that aides and friends helped Hubbell to keep him from telling what he knew of the Clintons' affairs.
Environmentalists expressed anger that Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska had attached legislation that would make it easier to build roads through federal parks and wilderness areas to an emergency relief bill for victims of floods and other disasters. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt called for a presidential veto if the road provision were not removed.
Cigarette makers and state attorneys general were scheduled to resume negotiations in Dallas. The attorneys general, who have sued the industry to recoup the Medicaid costs of smokers, reportedly are agreed that any settlement would exclude total immunity from lawsuits. So the two parties are seeking other ways to reach an accord. One proposal would allow individual lawsuits, but would set a ceiling on the liability of the companies.
Shots were fired at dogs tracking two members of the "Republic of Texas" separatist group in the Davis mountains, law-enforcement officials said. One dog was wounded, but police officers had not been shot at and had not returned fire, they reported. Authorities are looking for Richard Keyes and Mike Matson, who fled before fellow separatists surrendered on Saturday.
Calm was restored in Boulder, Colo., after two nights of violent clashes between police and college students demanding the right to consume alcohol. Hundreds of students broke windows and lit bonfires before throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. Police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Twenty-six people were arrested, 14 of them University of Colorado students. Six students and six police officers reportedly were injured.
World chess champion Garry Kasparov was scheduled to duel an IBM supercomputer again today in the third contest of a six-game series. The chess master and computer split two games over the weekend.
Charlton Heston might run for first vice president of the National Rifle Association, a spokesman for the actor said. Heston was elected to the NRA board over the weekend in Seattle. He might run against first vice president Neal Knox, a former NRA chief lobbyist. Knox and his allies have accused NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre of mismanagement and violation of board policies - charges that LaPierre denies. Officers were to be elected in a two-day board meeting that ends today.
Union leaders recommended that 12,000 employees ratify a six-year contract with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Workers from nine plants, on strike since April 20, will vote Thursday. Details of the agreement with the United Steelworkers of America were not made public.
US envoy Bill Richardson shuttled among parties involved in the Zairean conflict to try to prevent bloodshed when rebel forces arrive in the capital, Kinshasa. Richardson met with rebel chief Laurent Kabila and with the leaders of Uganda and Rwanda, two of Kabila's key backers. The rebels reportedly are only two to three days from Kinshasa, with US, French, and Belgian troops poised to evacuate Western residents in the event of violence. Meanwhile, the UN said it stop-ped using trains to ferry Rwandan refugees to a collection point for flights home after 91 of them died and 47 others were injured in cramped boxcars. Kabila has given the UN 60 days to repatriate all refugees.
Saying the tampering of dril-ling samples was "without pre-cedent in the history of mining," an independent testing company found no evidence of gold worth digging on the Indonesian island of Borneo. Strathcona Mineral Services Ltd. released a report in Toronto that appeared to end claims of a find in the Busang region that contained 70 million ounces of gold worth $70 billion. It did not indicate who may have doctored samples drilled from the site to make them appear valuable. Estimates of Busang's potential were first reported by the Canadian mining firm Bre-X in October 1995. The Toronto stock exchange was expected to suspend trading in Bre-X shares.
Red Cross officials from North and South Korea broke off talks in Beijing on food aid, but agreed to meet again soon. Sources close to the talks said the North refused to discuss how shipments would be moved from South Korea, insisting on clear indications first about how much food would be coming and when. The South Koreans said those were not possible until they knew how much cash is raised in public donations.
Police in western Bosnia did nothing to stop the torching and ransacking of abandoned houses belonging to Serbs, the UN said. The incident took place in the town of Drvar, whose mostly Croat residents are known for harassing ethnic rivals. Displaced Serbs, who once were in the majority in Drvar, have vowed to return. The harassment may disqualify the town's mayor and other officials from running in internationally supervised local elections in September.
Italy sent 180 Albanians back home one day after they arrived aboard a freighter crammed with 1,229 refugees. Authorities said the returnees - all of them men - were "undesirable," meaning that they apparently did not have legitimate reasons for asylum. More than 13,000 Albanians have crossed the Adriatic Sea to Italy since Albania descended into chaos over the winter.
Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi was denoun-ced by an estimated 35,000 demonstrators at a government-backed rally in Burma's No. 2 city, Mandalay. Speakers criticized the democracy activist for advocating, then praising, economic sanctions imposed by the US against the military junta that rules Burma. Similar demonstrations were expected in other cities, analysts said.
Supporters of a Muslim-based political party in Indonesia again defied a ban on street parades, marching past police in the city of Yogyakarta as campaigning resumed for the May 29 elections. More of the United Development Party's followers blocked streets in the capital, Jakarta, in another rally. Senior military commanders threatened "firm action" if the demonstrations continued.
Secretary of State Albright and Guatemalan President Arzu had a "frank talk" about new provisions in US immigration law that are unpopular in Central America. She said the US would not engage in "mass deportations" of illegal immigrants but that "every nation has the right and the need" to regulate who may enter.
"We share the dismay of our stockholders ... that the gold we thought we had at Busang
now appears not to be there."
- Canadian mining executive David Walsh, after a testing firm found his company's holdings in Indonesia to be worthless.
Figuratively speaking, former British Prime Minister John Major melted into the crowd last week after losing reelection. Within hours of the vote, Major also lost his place of pride in the hall of leaders at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London. Tourists quickly lined up to be photographed with a life-size model of his successor, Tony Blair.
And on the subject of life-size models, guess which one will greet visitors to the International Wrestling Museum when it opens next year in Newton, Iowa. US Olympic star Bruce Baumgartner? Legendary University of Iowa coach Dan Gable? Hulk Hogan? No: Abraham Lincoln, who, at 210 pounds and hardened by splitting rails on the frontier, was known as a pretty good country grappler.
Montague, N.Y., got what you might call a snow job from the National Weather Service. It has ruled that the town's 77 inches of accumulation in a 24-hour period back in January is not a US record. Reason: The fellow who measured it took six readings over that span instead of the allowable four. So the standard still belongs to Silver Lake, Colo., which got 75 inches one April day in 1921.
The Day's List
Top 12 States in Terms of Per Capita Income
Nationwide, per capita income grew 4.5 percent last year, the Commerce Department says. The states reporting the highest per capita incomes and the percentage change compared to 1995 for each:
1. Connecticut, +4.3% $33,189
2. New Jersey, +4.1% $31,053
3. Massachusetts, +5.0% $29,439
4. New York, +4.3% $28,782
5. Delaware, +5.1% $27,622
6. Maryland, +3.3% $27,221
7. Illinois, +5.1% $26,598
8. New Hampshire, +3.6% $26,520
9. Minnesota, +6.8% $25,580
10. Nevada, +4.6% $25,451
11. Hawaii, +1.7% $25,159
12. California, +4.4% $25,144
- Associated Press