News In Brief
The Democratic Party's former finance director was lead-off witness in Senate hearings into campaign fund-raising abuses. Richard Sullivan said two calls from President Clinton's deputy chief of staff prompted the party to hire controversial fund-raiser John Huang. Sullivan also testified that in 1995 he warned against hiring Huang to raise money from Asian-Americans because of concerns about Huang's fund-raising practices. Sen. John Glenn (D) of Ohio said Huang, the focus of many allegations of abuse during the 1996 campaign, offered to testify if granted limited immunity.
The White House has decided to reject a key element of the proposed $368 billion tobacco settlement, The Washington Post reported. It quoted senior officials as saying the accord would impose new restrictions on regulating nicotine in cigarettes and roll back the administration's campaign to give the Food and Drug Administration jurisdiction over tobacco. Aides to Clinton indicated he will walk away from the settlement if he cannot amend it to his satisfaction.
Clinton is willing to consider raising monthly premiums for relatively affluent Medicare recipients as part of a budget-balancing bill, administration and congressional officials reported. But they said Clinton still opposes another part of a Senate measure that would gradually increase the eligibility age for the program from 65 to 67.
The first Martian rock examined by the Sojourner rover is thought to be about one-third quartz because it contains so much silica, US space officials reported. They said its "chemical fingerprints" are identical to 12 meteorites found on Earth and believed to have originated on Mars billions of years ago. The latest evidence also reportedly hints that water may have existed on Mars more than 4 billion years ago, during the same era life is thought to have begun on Earth.
An independent-counsel inquiry into George Tenet's finances is unnecessary, the Justice Department said. Tenet is Clinton's choice to succeed John Deutch as CIA director. At issue is Tenet's failure for 11 years to report ownership of stock and property inherited from his father. Tenet has said he was unaware of the inheritance.
Sales by wholesalers picked up in May after two consecutive months of declines, the Commerce Department said. Inventories increased 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted $258.68 billion in May after a revised 0.5 percent decline in April.
Strong economic growth could wipe out the US budget deficit as early as next year, the Washington Post reported. The newspaper quoted economists as saying this is only possible if lawmakers do not pass proposed tax and spending proposals that would increase deficits over the next several years. Administration and congressional sources said a jump in June tax receipts suggested that the deficit could narrow to $45 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, down from an anticipated $67 billion.
The House voted to revoke the administration's authority to make exceptions to a law that bars US citizens from doing business with terrorist nations or countries that condone terrorism. The measure would affect financial transactions involving "pariah states" designated by the State Department - currently Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan.
Laws that would make it easier to lock up juvenile criminals with adult prisoners would place thousands of teenagers at risk, a study released by the Justice Policy Institute found. It said young people incarcerated with adults are eight times more likely to commit suicide, five times more likely to report being raped, and twice as likely to report beatings by prison staff.
A federal task force recommended allowing Americans of mixed racial or ethnic backgrounds to identify their heritage more precisely when filling out US-census and other forms. The interagency committee rejected proposals to create a single "multiracial" category. It recommended allowing people to list themselves in as many separate racial categories as might apply - for instance, black as well as Asian.
NATO leaders signed an agreement to cooperate with Ukraine on a wide range of security and political concerns - among them the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The accord was hailed in Moscow, where the Communist Speaker of Parliament said "It was right for Ukraine to achieve such a charter."
Catholic areas of Northern Ireland were calmer as the British government said it was looking for ways to "get an accommodation" that would prevent violence if Protestants go through with a scheduled march in Belfast Saturday.
Security forces closed one campus of the University of Nairobi and fought running battles with students at another to keep the lid on demonstrations for democratic reform in Kenya. Reports that four students had died from wounds inflicted by police in earlier protests caused rioting and the burning of a bus and a government vehicle. Journalists watched as police broke down residence hall doors, club-bed students, and seized their belongings.
Another prominent Cambodian opposition leader was reported dead in the forced take-over by co-Premier Hun Sen. Chau Sambath, an ally of Hun Sen's ousted rival, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, was the second such person to lose his life in as many days. Two other Ranariddh allies are known to be on a list of people to be arrested. Meanwhile, other opponents were said to be in hiding or attempting to flee Cambodia.
Five days of preliminary peace talks between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish communities on Cyprus were to begin in a quiet country inn in upstate New York. UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan presided over the opening ceremonies. No quick accord on ending the 23-year division of the volatile Med-iterranean island was expected, but the UN said it hoped for agreement on a second round of talks next month.
Hundreds of British Airways flights - many on lucrative overseas routes - were cancelled as members of its stewards union began a three-day strike for higher pay. The walkout affected mainly Heathrow Airport outside London, where thousands of vacation travelers were stranded. Rival carriers said they would add as many flights as possible to absorb the backlog.
Calling it "out of the question," the president of Bosnia's Serb sub-state rejected an offer from Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to mediate her dispute with political opponents. Milosevic invited Biljana Plavsic and a senior ally of her predecessor, indicted war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, to Belgrade to settle their differences. In Madrid, President Clinton affirmed US support for Plavsic and said NATO commanders had a clear mandate to arrest war criminals if "the risk is appropriate." He did not cite Karadzic by name.
The next offer of food assistance to famine-stricken North Korea will come with a demand for family reunions for millions of people separated by the peninsula's 1950-53 war, the South Korean Red Cross said. The two Koreas have no direct telephone or mail links, and the only formal reunions permitted to date were in 1985. South Korea has ship-ped 31,400 tons of food to the North.
A boycott of Jordan's national elections was called by the powerful Islamic Brotherhood. It said the decision was based on "the danger to the democratic situation" from "interim" laws issued by the government in Amman. It was not clear whether the Brotherhood's political arm, the Islamic Action Front - the largest opposition party in parliament - would fully support the boycott. Elections are due by November.
"None of the more sensational issues ever came to my attention."
- Ex-Democratic Party finance director Richard Sullivan, answering queries about fund-raising irregularities during last year's election.
After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, all sorts of things - streets, buildings, an airport, and a certain rocket-launching facility in Florida - were named in his memory. Subtract one. It seems erosion has changed a rock formation on the island of Maui so that it no longer looks much like Kennedy's profile. Hawaii officials say they'll install signs in Iao Valley State Park to reflect the rock's new shape: the profile of a legendary 15th-century priest named Kauakaiwai.
The End has come for a 16-screen theater complex that was - uh - projected for the Boston suburb of Stough-ton, Mass. Hoyts Cinemas Corp. was prepared to spend millions building on land in a technology park. But then rival National Amusements Inc. announced it would erect a similar facility just across the town boundary in Randolph, 400 yards away. Their feud went on for months until Hoyts pulled the plug on the final reel, calling it a "tragedy."
The Day's List
Beyond Pathfinder, Mir, And the Space Shuttle
In addition to the Mars Pathfinder, an astronaut on Russia's orbiting Mir space station, and seven other astronauts conducting experiments aboard the Columbia space shuttle, many other US space missions are constantly probing the universe. Among the other NASA missions:
Mars Global Surveyor - expected to be in orbit around the Red Planet on Sept. 11.
Galileo - on tour of Jupiter and its four major moons.
Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous - launched in 1996 for a flyby of the asteroid Eros in 1999.
Pioneer 6 - launched in 1965 to collect data on solar particles and magnetic fields.
Ulysses - launched in 1990; will fly over the sun's north and south poles in 2000 and 2001.
Hubble Space Telescope - the once-troubled observer of planets, stars, and comets.
Compton Gamma Ray Observatory - has studied sources of gamma rays since its launch in November 1990.
- Associated Press