News In Brief

The US

UPS and the Teamsters Union reached a tentative accord to end the biggest US strike in two decades. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman announced the agreement. Union president Ron Carey said the Teamsters won sweeping concessions for additional full-time jobs, better union pensions, and improved pay. He said workers may start returning to work as early as tonight, even though a formal ratification vote would take longer. UPS negotiator Dave Murray said the company preferred to address its employees before speaking publicly.

The space shuttle Discovery landed in Florida after a one-day delay, caused by a fog forecast at the Kennedy Space Center. Cradled in the cargo bay was an ozone-monitoring satellite that had flown free of the shuttle for nine of its 12 days in flight. Discovery's crew of six also tested a robot arm for the planned international space station and pointed a telescope at the Hale-Bopp Comet.

President Clinton said he would send negotiators to Geneva to consider a treaty to ban land mines. Slow progress at a 61-nation UN disarmament conference reportedly prompted the decision to reverse US policy and explore a treaty initially proposed by Canada. US negotiators will confer this week with representatives of the 17 nations pushing for the treaty. Formal talks are scheduled to open in Oslo on Sept. 1.

Federal Reserve officials began a key meeting on the future of US interest rates amid widespread expectations they would leave them unchanged. Evidence of a moderate housing market provided an additional reason to stand pat. The Commerce Department reported July housing starts were unchanged at an annualized 1.447 million-unit rate, slightly below market expectations.

The US can not say whether China is helping Pakistan develop nuclear explosives, a report to Congress said. A copy of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency document, obtained by the Associated Press, said China had developed a "better understanding" of its obligations over the past year. But it noted that questions remain about contacts between Chinese companies and elements connected to Pakistan's nuclear program.

Dow Chemical Company hid data from women and their doctors about the harm silicone breast implants might cause, a state district-court jury in New Orleans ruled. In the first US class-action trial over the implants, the jury also decided Dow Chemical knowingly made misleading statements about implant safety and conspired with manufacturer Dow Corning, a joint venture of Dow Chemical and Corning Incorporated.

More than 300 illegal workers were arrested last week in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., and returned to Mexico, immigration officials said. A spokesman said 55 of them were rounded up Aug. 10, following complaints of criminal activities. Separately, 16 Hispanics filed a $35 million civil rights lawsuit against the city of Chandler, Ariz., and several city officials, claiming mistreatment by police last month during a week-long roundup of illegal immigrants in Arizona.

A 12,500-acre fire in the California's Angeles National Forest raged on, fueled by tinder-dry brush and fanned by shifting winds. The blaze was reportedly 55 percent contained, but there was no estimate of when it would be fully controlled. A Forestry Service spokeswoman said more than 2,000 firefighters, 137 fire engines, seven bulldozers, 18 water-dropping helicopters, five air tankers, and 24 water trucks were fighting the fire.

GOP national-party committees outraised their Democratic counterparts by a ratio of 2 to 1 during the first half of the year, a watchdog group reported. Common Cause said the Republican committees raised $23 million and the Democratic committees $11 million - all in so-called soft money. Insurance and tobacco interests were the main contributors on the GOP side. Labor unions, lawyers, and lobbyists were major contributors to the Democrats.

The World

Lebanese guerrillas fired dozens of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel, wounding several people and sending thousands in the border town of Kryat Shmona and western Galilee to underground shelters. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah said the attack was in retaliation for the six civilians killed Monday in Sidon by shelling from the Israeli-backed South Lebanon militia. Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Israel would respond harshly to attacks on its civilians, but said the immediate task was to stop the "cycle of escalation" between the two sides.

Cambodian government forces seized the last town held by troops loyal to ousted co-premier Norodom Ranariddh, military officials said. But loyalist forces were reportedly still inside O'Smach several hours after the claim was made. Some 33,000 Cambodians have fled across the border, taking shelter at a camp in Khueng Hoeichueng, Thailand.

It could take days for the crew to regain full control of the troubled Mir space station, Rus-sian space officials said. The station's computer failed Monday, shortly before a docking with a cargo ship. The malfunction left Mir unable to orient its solar panels toward the sun to get maximum energy. The station had a similar problem last month, when one of the crew accidentally unplugged a vital cord.

Iran's parliament is expected to vote today on President Mohammed Khatami's Cabinet. At the start of two days of debate, Khatami urged deputies to approve all of his 22 nominees, and said Iran needed a "fresh presence" in foreign relations. Most of the proposed ministers were expected to win approval, but the nominee to head the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, Ataollah Mohajerani, faces strong opposition for advocating direct talks with the US in 1994.

A mutiny in southern Tajikistan was crushed by government troops, a spokesman for President Imomali Rakhmov said. The official cited unconfirmed reports that renegade military commander Makhmud Khudoyberdyev and some of his forces fled into neighboring Uzbekistan after. hundreds of his men surrendered. The two sides had battled for the past week in what authorities characterized as a clash between rival government warlords.

A multinational delegation broke ground for two nuclear power plants in North Korea. Two 1,000-megawatt light-water reactors will replace a Soviet-designed one that the US, South Korea, and Japan suspected was being used to develop atomic weapons. The North agreed to dismantle the reactor in 1994, in exchange for the new power plants. The $5 billion project is to be built and paid for mostly by South Korea, and will take seven to 10 years to complete.

The Thai Cabinet cut $1.9 billion from its fiscal 1998 spending plans, one of a series of stringent austerity measures needed to secure credit lines brokered by the International Monetary Fund. Thailand's benchmark stock index dropped below 600 points for the first time since the Thai currency was allowed to float July 2, intensifying a financial crisis that triggered a $16 billion international bailout last week.

More than 300 souvenir stalls were set ablaze in the Kenyan resort town north of Malindi. Leaflets found in the area warned non-coastal Kenyans - most of them shop owners and business people - to leave. More than 35 people have died in the past week during a series of violent raids on Kenya's Indian coast. About 100 people have been held in connection with the attacks, including several political activists. The US State Department warned Americans not to travel to Kenya's coast, until the situation has stabilized.


"Working people were on the run, but not anymore."

- Teamsters president Ron Carey, on the UPS strike settlement.

You might say Australia's Richard Grey is married to his job. He's founder of Hire a Hubby, one of the country's fastest-growing franchises. The business began four years ago when Grey lost his job in Melbourne. It now has 46 branches across Australia, in New Zealand, and in Canada. Although the firm was designed to meet the needs of single women and wives whose husbands never get around to fixing leaky taps, 30 percent of its business comes from men.

Camels delighted 30,000 spectators at a track in Berlin, Germany, but the jockeys had a difficult time. That's because there's plenty of horsing around, so to speak, at camel races. Two riders had to persuade their dromedaries to get up after sitting down in the middle of a lap. Another beast stopped two yards short of the finish line - and had to be prodded across.

Wanda Bell of Nashville, Tenn., made an investment of a lifetime when plunking down $25 for a print at a local auction. On cleaning it, she found a portrait painted on wood beneath the print. Appraisers said it was done around 1830 by New England artist Sheldon Peck - and worth up to $250,000.

The Day's List

Magazine Rates States For Child-Care Programs

In Working Mother magazine's child-care study, US states were ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 in four categories: quality, safety, availability, and commitment. Theoretically, a perfect combined score was 20. States with highest and lowest combined point totals:


California 16

Hawaii 16

Maryland 16

Massachusetts 16

Minnesota 16


Idaho 4

Louisiana 4

Mississippi 4

Nevada 6

New Mexico 6

North Dakota 6

- Associated Press

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