News In Brief

The US

The Senate is expected to pass the $8.4 billion disaster relief bill today. Earlier, it voted 100-to-0 to cut off debate on the bill, but left undecided how the White House and Republican leaders will deal with GOP-backed language that would eliminate the possibility of another government shutdown. President Clinton said he would veto the bill if it includes the provision.

Former Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney was charged with sexual misconduct and indecent assault involving four women. The Army's top enlisted man also was charged with adultery, making threats, and obstruction of justice. He was suspended from his post in February after being accused of sexual harassment by retired Sgt. Maj. Brenda Hoster. Also, an Army drill sergeant at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland was sentenced to 25 years in prison for raping six female trainees and for 34 other offenses, including sexual misconduct. Staff Sgt. Delmar Simpson had faced life in prison.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to adopt a plan allowing schools to receive discounts of up to 90 percent of the cost of bringing the Internet computer network into classrooms. The plan would provide virtually all elementary and secondary schools - public and private - with discount rates. Part of the money would come from raising a federal monthly charge on more than one telephone line in homes and businesses.

Clinton and Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo signed a drug-fighting agreement in Mexico City that includes stationing more US agents at the border, broader cooperation on money-laundering inquiries, and more US funds for training Mexican drug agents. The US and Mexico also agreed on 11 other issues.

Switzerland prolonged World War II and supported "Germany's capacity to wage war" by taking a "business as usual" attitude in dealing in gold looted by the Nazis, according to an 11-agency, 200-page study released by the US government. The report also cited conclusive evidence that gold, jewelry, coins, and melted-down dental fillings of concentration camp victims were taken by the Germans, mixed with plundered bank gold, and made into bars traded abroad. But no evidence was found that neutral countries knowingly accepted the bars.

More than two dozen witnesses were expected to testify about a prepaid telephone call in the trial of Timothy McVeigh. Prosecutors hope it will link him to preparations for the Oklahoma City bombing. Earlier, McVeigh's sister testified in the Denver courtroom about incriminating letters her brother sent to her.

The Boston Celtics and Rick Pitino agreed to a 10-year deal thought to be worth about $70 million - reportedly the richest coaching contract in sports history. Pitino is leaving the University of Kentucky, whose basketball team he led to one NCAA championship and two other appearances in the "Final Four."

A drunk and drugged driver who killed two college students was sentenced to life in prison without parole by a jury in Winston-Salem, N.C. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Thomas Jones. Under the state's law, anyone who kills another while committing a separate dangerous felony can be prosecuted for first-degree murder, whether the death was intentional or not. Prosecutors said he committed two felonies: reckless driving while impaired and assault with a deadly weapon - his car.

FBI chief Louis Freeh advised Attorney General Janet Reno to seek an independent counsel to investigate Democratic fund-raising abuses in the 1996 presidential campaign, the Justice Department said. He was concerned that former White House officials may be involved in the case, and the Justice Department could have a conflict of interest in conducting the probe, it said. Reno asked for his opinion earlier, but then followed the recommendations of department prosecutors.

A former Heaven's Gate cult member committed suicide while another failed in his attempt in a Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., hotel room. They left messages saying they expected to be taken aboard a spaceship trailing the comet Hale-Bopp. Their actions copied those of 39 cult members who committed suicide March 26.

The World

Speculation was rife in Zaire that President Mobutu's trip to Gabon for meetings on the crisis in his country would be his last official act as head of state. But aides denied that Mobutu would use Gabon only as a stop on his way to exile and said he intended to return to Zaire tomorrow. His resignation has been demanded by rebel leader Laurent Kabila. Meanwhile, Kabila's forces blam-ed "bad UN coordination" for delays in repatriating Hutu refugees to neighboring Rwanda. The UN now has fewer than two months to meet a rebel deadline for sending 80,000 refugees home.

Defendant Dusan Tadic was found guilty on 11 counts of committing atrocities against Muslim prisoners in a Bosnian internment camp run by Serbs. The UN war crimes tribunal's ruling came exactly a year after Tadic's trial began in The Hague. None of the convictions were for murder, which could have led to a life sentence in prison, and Tadic was cleared of nine other charges. His lawyer vowed to appeal the findings.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Arafat were due to meet separately with visiting US special envoy Dennis Ross for what all sides hoped would be a break in the impasse in peace negotiations. Israeli newspapers said Ross would bring a "new initiative" that was likely to include a tradeoff: an Israeli freeze on housing construction for Jewish settlers for Arafat's pledge to cooperate with Israeli intelligence units. Israeli President Weizman, who met with Arafat earlier, said security coordination already had been agreed to.

The US, Japan, and South Korea wound up meetings in Tokyo with a message for North Korea: expect little help in coping with famine until you commit to full participation in peace talks. Japan said it would offer no aid to the struggling communist nation until diplomatic relations between them were normalized. North Korea has yet to agree to join the rival South, the US, and China in negotiations to end the state of war on the sensitive peninsula. (Related story, Page 7.)

NATO and Russian negotiators neared completion of work on final terms of the future relationship between the two sides once the alliance begins expanding into eastern Europe. What differences remain are said to be in the area of concessions by NATO on building up its forces in the sensitive region. Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, meeting with NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana in Luxembourg, said he hoped the agreement would be ready for a May 27 signing ceremony in Paris.

Cambodia's feuding copremiers met for the first time since early March and agreed to end their public war of words. Sparring between Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh has stalled their coalition government and is believed to have been behind a March 30 grenade attack on a political rally in Phnom Penh that killed or injured more than 100 people. Analysts questioned whether the truce would last until national elections are held next year.

Pakistan is prepared to discuss settling its dispute with India over Kashmir as part of overall talks on improving bilateral relations, Ambassador Ash-raf Jehangir Qazi said in New Delhi. His words were seen as a conciliatory gesture before next week's meeting between their respective prime ministers - the first of its type in four years. Previously, Pakistan has insisted that the Kashmir dispute would have to be settled before there could be progress in other areas.

Four of 238 candidates - all of them men - won approval to seek the presidency of Iran in this month's election. They were chosen by the Guardian Council, the Muslim clerics who run the country's government. All of the finalists are current or former senior government office-holders and staunch backers of the fundamentalist establishment in Tehran. The top vote-getter will succeed President Rafsanjani, who is forbidden by law to seek another term.


"The goal of the ... chamber was first and foremost to provide the accused with a fair trial. This, we believe, has been done."

- Presiding judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, on the UN war crimes tribunal's verdicts against Bosnian Serb Dusan Tadic.

Imagine the reaction in Lima, Peru, when someone contacted the police to report a bunch of armed people preparing to storm another embassy - only 11 days after the hostage drama ended at the Japanese ambassador's residence. But that's just what happened, and in the same part of town where leftist Tpac Amaru rebels had held their captives for 126 days. The apparent rerun turned out to be only a scene for a TV series, but it nearly got the actors killed because no permit had been obtained for the filming.

The municipal debt in little Kiefer, Okla., had grown to the point where it sent police chief James Poulin right through the roof - literally. He took a lawn chair and sat atop the town hall, pleading with passersby for donations to help put a dent in the $150,000 that Kiefer owes to its creditors. Poulin's efforts were not entirely in vain. In 10 hours he raised $5,000, some of it from a six-year-old who emptied his piggy bank for the cause.

The Day's List

Corporate America's 10 Highest-Paid CEOs

Compensation for US corporate chief executives jumped an average of 24 percent last year, Forbes magazine reports. Much of the rise came on exercised stock options, courtesy of Wall Street's bull market. The magazine found that the typical CEO earned about $1.9 million in salary, bonuses, stock options, and the like. Half earned less; half earned more. The 10 highest-paid CEOs in '96, their companies, and total compensation (in millions) as listed in the May 19 issue:

1. Millard Drexler, Gap $104.8

2. Lawrence Coss, Green Tree Financial $102.4

3. Andrew Grove, Intel $97.9

4. Sanford Weill, Travelers Group $91.5

5. Theodore Waitt, Gateway 2000 $81.3

6. Anthony O'Reilly, H.J. Heinz $64.6

7. Stephen Hilbert, Conseco $51.3

8. John Reed, Citicorp $46.1

9. Daniel Smith, Cascade Communications $35.5

10. Casey Cowell, US Robotics $33.9

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