News In Brief

The US

A six-wheeled rover left the Pathfinder spacecraft and rolled onto the frigid surface of Mars, leaving clear tracks in its salmon-colored dust. Photos showing the rover wheeling off the lander ramp brought a tense weekend to a triumphant finale for US space officials, after engineers fixed a software problem that apparently had prevented the rover's modem from transmitting properly.

Meanwhile, a supply craft was launched from Russia to deliver crucial repair gear and supplies to the Mir space station, a NASA official said. The Progress resupply ship blasted off Saturday and was scheduled to dock with the orbiting Soviet outpost today.

Representatives of the United Church of Christ decided to unite with three other Protestant denominations. A plan for "full communion" already has been approved by the Presbyterian Church USA and the Reformed Church in America. It still needs approval from the Lutheran Church. If fully adopted, it will create closer ties among nearly 10 million Protestants.

After watching Fourth of July fireworks in Washington, President and Mrs. Clinton spent a weekend on the Mediteranean island of Mallorca. They are scheduled to travel today to Madrid for a NATO summit that opens tomorrow. A 28-member US Senate observer group also is traveling to Madrid for the meeting.

Clinton said he did not recall ever meeting Paula Corbin Jones. In his first formal response to her legal claims, the president denied her assertion that he asked her to perform a sex act during a state economic conference in 1991 when he was governor of Arkansas. He asked US District Judge Susan Webber Wright, a former Clinton law student, to toss out the lawsuit. Wright was appointed by President Bush.

Hershel Gober is the president's nominee to succeed Jesse Brown as secretary of veterans affairs. Gober, who has been Brown's deputy, served as state director of veterans affairs in Arkansas while Clinton was governor.

The National Education Association approved a plan for teachers to rate the performance of fellow instructors and aid in their dismissal. The measure will allow states and local systems to set up peer-assistance and review programs. All beginning teachers and those identified as doing substandard work would be assigned mentors. Some would be encouraged to leave the profession. As a last resort, teacher panels would recommend dismissal. The nation's largest teachers union also embraced an affirmative-action policy that advocates the use of preferences to assure diversity among employees, not just to remedy past discrimination.

Half of American adults believe the government should restrict materials transmitted on the Internet, a poll published by the Chicago Tribune indicated. In a survey of 1,001 adults, 58 percent also said radio personalities who use implicit or explicit sexual expressions should not be allowed on the air, and 52 percent said groups advocating overthrow of the government should not be allowed to make their views known to the general public.

Lockheed Martin Corp. announced it is buying Northrop Grumman Corp. for $7.9 billion, further shrinking an industry struggling with decreased military spending since the end of the cold war. At the close of World War II, the Pentagon had 26 aircraft builders to choose from. If the proposed merger is approved, it will have only two.

A prosecutor in Memphis, Tenn., said James Earl Ray's lawyers will seek additional tests on the rifle believed to have fired the bullet that killed Martin Luther King Jr. USA Today reported last week that initial tests had not ruled out the possibility that Ray's rifle was the murder weapon.

Several high-profile accidents during the Independence Day weekend marred what had been an improving US record in fireworks safety. An alarming number of injuries and fatalities were reported on fireworks barges in Alton, Ill.; Falmouth, Mass.; and Bessemer, Mich. Last year the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported a 30 percent drop in fireworks-related injuries.

The World

Jeering and stone-throwing by angry Catholics failed to stop a Protestant march through the Garvaghy Road section of Portadown, Northern Ireland. The Orange Order parade took place silently and lasted about 15 minutes. Police and British troops fought with Catholic residents at dawn to establish control of the road in one of the largest security measures in 28 years of sectarian trouble.

Mexican voters headed to the polls for elections that could end 68 continuous years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). If opinion surveys prove accurate, President Ernesto Zedillo would be the first government head since 1913 to confront an opposition-dominated Congress. The PRI also appeared certain to lose the mayorship of Mexico City, the capital.

Mystery shrouded reports that Mexico's alleged No. 1 narcotics trafficker, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, died following surgery to alter his appearance. Despite claims by his mother that Carrillo was dead, government officials refused to provide confirmation. US antidrug experts also expressed skepticism but said, if true, Carrillo's death likely would set off an underworld war for control of cocaine smuggling in Mexico.

Despite reports that Cambodia's two rival premiers had agreed to end fighting between their forces, shooting continued in Phnom Penh. Telephone access to the capital was cut and the airport was closed. At least nine people were killed in the weekend clashes. Thousands of others were seen fleeing neighborhoods where the fighting was taking place.

UN security advisers reported no signs of improvement in Brazzaville, capital of the Congo Republic, despite the announcement of a new truce. Shelling was heard in the city, although Mayor Bernard Kolelas was trying to mediate an end to the month-long tribal and political dispute between President Pascal Lissouba and former dictator Dennis Sassou Nguesso.

The US warned Bosnia's Serb legislative assembly of "extremely serious consequences" if it continued to defy elected president Biljana Plavsic. Lawmakers loyal to her predecessor, indicted war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, amended a Serb sub-state law to allow Plavsic to be ousted by a majority vote. They also voted to strip her of command over the sub-state's Army. The legality of the moves was not clear because Plavsic ordered the assembly dissolved last week.

Explosives experts removed seven plastics charges from a public monument in Moscow that leftist radicals said they planted to protest the planned burial of Vladimir Lenin's remains. The leader of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution died in 1924, and calls for interring his body have caused heated debate. Communists call the proposal to remove the body from its mausoleum in the Kremlin wall "sacrilegious."

Runoff elections in Albania were to decide races for 34 seats in parliament that ended inconclusively last week. Not in doubt was the outcome of the first round of voting, which was won by the Socialist Party, formerly the Communists. Party chairman Fatos Nano said he would return as prime minister, a post he held twice before.

American Pete Sampras won his fourth Wimbledon singles title in five years, defeating Cedric Pioline of France, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. Teenager Martina Hingis of Switzerland won the women's title over Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Muslim rebels opened skirmishes with Philippine Army troops on two fronts after preliminary peace negotiations were suspended. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front said it would not resume the talks until the Army ceased operations around Pagalungan and Pikit on Minda-nao, more than 800 miles south of Manila. At least 158 people have died in recent fighting.


"We've got some great images, and all the scientists are

in red heaven."

- Pathfinder mission manager Richard Cook, on the landing of the first rover on the surface of Mars.

For almost 10 minutes, Robey Morgan of Wendell, N.C., yelled at the president of the United States over the telephone. But he wasn't being disrespectful, and Bill Clinton didn't mind a bit. Clinton called to offer congratulations on winning the National Hollerin' Contest and asked him to perform a couple of his championship routines. Morgan did "Amazing Grace" and a traditional neighborly greeting.

Before China assumed control of Hong Kong last week, the Beijing government would argue that the economic dynamo had long since outgrown its colonial status. That turned out to be true in more ways than one. No sooner was the transfer complete than the State Council officially redrew Hong Kong's territorial limits, extending both the southwestern and northeastern boundaries.

For seafood gourmands who can't get enough of their favorite crustaceans, a chain of New England eateries has just the answer: lobster ice cream. Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium sells as many as 25 gallons of the stuff a week during the summer at its Bar Harbor, Maine, shop alone. But, like other lobster dishes, it's expensive.

The Day's List

Baseball Writers Select All-Time All-Star Team

Just in time for tomorrow's All-Star Game in Cleveland, a panel of 36 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America has chosen its No. 1 player at each position. The lineup:

First base: Lou Gehrig

Second base: Rogers Hornsby

Third base: Mike Schmidt

Shortstop: Honus Wagner

Left field: Ted Williams

Center field: Willie Mays

Right field: Babe Ruth

Catcher: Johnny Bench

Starting pitchers: Walter Johnson (right-handed); Sandy Koufax (left-handed)

Relief pitcher: Dennis Eckersley

Designated hitter: Paul Molitor

Manager: Casey Stengel

- Associated Press

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