News In Brief

The US

Republican lawmakers and White House officials announced tentative agreement to cut taxes by some $140 billion and balance the budget by 2002. Tax breaks would principally benefit families with children, students, and investors - although many others could benefit from new opportunities for Individual Retirement Accounts. The accord establishes a health-insurance program for children who aren't insured. Tobacco taxes would rise to finance that program. GOP leaders predicted the whole package would be approved by Congress this week.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan urged blacks to stay away from work Oct. 16 to celebrate the second anniversary of the Million Man March with a day of absence and atonement. He also said his organization is planning another Million Man March in 2000, five years after the original gathering in Washington, D.C. He spoke at a town-hall meeting in Atlanta during the annual gathering of the Southern Christian Leadership Convention.

The Senate inquiry into campaign fund-raising entered its fourth week with the focus on Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie, a former Arkansas businessman who became a major fund-raiser for the Democratic Party and the president's legal defense fund. He took refuge in China when the investigations began and has refused to respond to subpoenas.

FBI agents probably violated Richard Jewell's constitutional rights last year while questioning the security guard about the bombing at the Atlanta Olympic Games, FBI director Louis Freeh told a Senate judiciary subcommittee. Agents interviewed Jewell under the guise of making a training video. Jewell was suspected - then cleared - of taking part in the July 27, 1996, bombing that killed one and injured more than a hundred persons.

Air Force chief of staff Ronald Fogleman asked to retire a year early, a move he had warned he would take if Air Force officers were held accountable for the terrorist blast that killed 19 airmen in Saudi Arabia last year. Fogleman said he acted to "defuse the perceived confrontation" between himself and Secretary of Defense William Cohen over the issue. Cohen said he would announce this week whether he would punish anyone in connection with the June 25, 1996, attack.

Space-agency officials discussed Pathfinder's dwindling battery capacity. Although the Mars lander and the miniature rover use solar power in daylight, the lander uses batteries at night for computer operations, weather-data collection, and photography. Those activities will gradually be curtailed now that the lander's batteries are nearing 50 percent of capacity, mission manager Richard Cook said.

President Clinton warned the nation's governors not to divert savings from welfare reform to other programs - urging them to to provide jobs, transport, and child care to the poor. He said diverting funds would "come home to haunt" states in the next economic downturn because the number of people on welfare would skyrocket. Clinton spoke at a National Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas.

Families of victims of TWA Flight 800 and other aviation disasters could win larger monetary awards to compensate for the loss of loved ones under a bill passed by the House. The measure would permit families - including relatives who aren't economically dependent on victims - to seek compensatory and punitive damages in state courts. It would apply to plane crashes on or after Jan. 1, 1995.

Wages and benefits paid US workers rose a 0.8 percent in the April-to-June quarter, the Labor Department said. The moderate increase was seen as another indication of continued absence of inflation in the US labor market, despite unemployment levels that are the lowest in nearly a quarter century.

Record-breaking rains brought severe flooding to Fort Collins, Colo., washing a train off the tracks and sending a wall of water through one neighborhood. At least two people reportedly died in the flooding, and dozens of others were said to be missing. The storm dumped more than eight inches of rain in less than five hours.

The World

A Palestinian legislative panel called for the dismissal of Yas-ser Arafat's Cabinet, alleging wide-ranging mismanagement of government funds. Its investigation found Culture Minister Yas-ser Abed Rabbo and Planning Minister Nabil Shaath charged personal expenses to their ministries. The resulting report also alleged Civil Affairs Minister Ja-mal Tarifi bought a luxury car without paying taxes. The panel recommended Shaath and Tarifi be put on trial.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held secret late-night talks on opening a Palestinian airport in the Gaza strip, officials said. The two sides agreed earlier this week to resume work on resolving issues from existing interim agreements.

Suspected Muslim militants stormed two Algerian villages, killing 72 people and wounding 103 others, hospital officials said. The attacks on Larba and Omaria reportedly were in retaliation for a military offensive earlier this month that left up to 300 rebels dead, including the group's leader, Antar Zouabri.

A record heat wave in North Korea has seriously damaged crops and dried up thousands of rivers and streams, state-run radio said. The report said midday temperatures this month averaged 95 degrees F. Meanwhile, Food for the Hungry International said at least 5 million North Koreans were affected by starvation, calling the crisis comparable to past famines in Somalia and Ethiopia.

A Hong Kong court rejected a challenge to legal and constitutional arrangements in force since China took control of the territory July 1. Defense attorneys in a criminal case had argued that laws in place before the handover were no longer valid because the new legislature installed by China failed to adopt the British common-law system. But the court ruled Sino-British treaties had guaranteed the legal framework would continue after the handover.

Relatively few Cambodians stopped to watch videotape of notorious Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot on TV monitors set up by the US network, ABC. They were placed in Phnom Penh, the capital, so the network could sample reaction to a show trial of the man blamed for the deaths of 2 million people during Khmer Rouge rule in the 1970s. Fellow guerrillas who turned against Pol Pot sentenced him to house arrest for the rest of his life. Above,

Five hours into a demonstration by supporters of Islamic education, police in Ankara, Turk-ey, moved in with clubs, dogs, and water cannon. At least 55 protesters were arrested, news reports said. The demonstrators were blocked from marching on parliament, which is considering legislation that would close many Islamic junior high schools. The protest could be heard inside military headquarters, where Cabinet members were being briefed on threats to national security - among them Islamic activism.

All official contact with the Kremlin was broken off by Chechnya's president until deals calling for Russia to rebuild the region's infrastructure are honored. Analysts said the move by Aslan Maskhadov could jeopardize prospects for repairing a pipeline across Chechnya that was to carry oil from Azerbaijan to world markets this fall. A Kremlin spokesman said efforts to rebuild Chechnya "would never stop" but did not indicate when he expected reconstruction plans to be be approved.

Chile closed schools in Santiago for two days because of high smog levels. Cancelling classes for nearly 1 million children was part of a $600 million antismog plan announced by President Eduardo Frei. A recent World Bank survey found Santiago has the world's sixth-worst air pollution levels.


"We gave ground. The administration gave ground. And we found common ground."

- Senate majority leader Trent Lott, on how he and other GOP lawmakers reached a budget deal with the White House.

How much snow would it take to stand up to 86-degree weather? At least 95 tons, according to a Rio de Janeiro promoter who wants to introduce snowboarding to Brazil. He plans to dump the white stuff on Ipanema beach so some of the world's top professionals can compete in an International Snowboard Federation event Sept. 21, while spectators in swimsuits watch. Making the snow is expected to cost $1 million.

To principled police officers, nothing is more offensive than a fellow cop on the take. So it's not surprising that Fresno, Calif., police are objecting to a TV ad for the Long John Silver's restaurant chain. It purports to show a state trooper saying "I love this job" as he confiscates an aromatic bag of takeout seafood from a motorist leaving one of the company's restaurants. "Very irritating," the cops say. No disrespect intended, the company replied.

You have only until Aug. 11 to submit a favorite a favorite Pepsi-drinking experience for possible use in a new book celebrating the soft-drink company's 100th year. Examples of the competition you'll be up against: a Wisconsin consumer whose bedroom walls are decorated with 7,000 empty cans and a man who named his horse in the product's honor.

The Day'd List

Last 10 Tour de France Cyclists to Take Title

Jan Ullrich became Germany's first cyclist to cruise by the competition in the Tour de France, winning the title in this year's edition by more than nine minutes. Given the ease with which he won, many cycling aficionados predict he'll be wearing more of the winner's yellow jerseys before pedaling off into the sunset. The last 10 winners:

1988:.Pedro Delgado Spain

1989: Greg LeMond US

1990: Greg LeMond US

1991: Miguel Indurain Spain

1992: Miguel Indurain Spain

1993: Miguel Indurain Spain

1994: Miguel Indurain Spain

1995: Miguel Indurain Spain

1996: Bjarne Riis Denmark

1997: Jan Ullrich Germany

- Associated Press

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