News In Brief

The US

Expectations were lowered still further for Secretary of State Albright's trip to the Middle East after last week's terrorist bombings in Jerusalem. She was scheduled to leave Washington for the region tomorrow for talks in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. A State Department spokesman said the attack simplified her mission, in that she now could focus on security issues instead of struggling to restart peace negotiations.

President Clinton was due to return to Washington after his three-week vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard. After spending much of his time on the golf course, Clinton confronted an agenda topped by what his administration would decide with respect to the proposed $368.5 billion settlement between the tobacco industry and states suing to recover the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses.

Paula Corbin Jones and her attorneys could soon part ways if a petition that may be filed today is accepted by a federal judge in Arkansas. Sources close to the case say Joseph Camma-rata and Gil Davis cited a "difference of opinion" with her in asking to withdraw because she had rejected their recommendation for settlement of her sexual harassment claim against Clinton. A spokesman confirmed that she was interviewing prospective replacements. Cammarata and Davis suggested a $700,000 payment and a vague statement of regret from Clinton for any damage to her reputation.

Hurricane Erika seemed most likely to dump heavy rain on Puerto Rico, sparing the commonwealth its strongest winds, officials in San Juan said. Islanders braced for possible flooding, especially in low-lying areas. With 85-m.p.h. winds at its center, Erika was tracking toward the Leeward and Virgin islands early Sunday.

At a swearing-in ceremony to be administered by US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a fellow Arizonan, Jane Hull formally is to assume the office of governor today in Phoenix. Formerly Arizona's secretary of state, Hull will fill the remaining 16 months in the post vacated last week by Gov. Fife Symington (R), who was convicted of fraud. Hull, also a Republican, pledged to make public-school financing and a tax cut her top priorities.

Prison officials in Ohio were not commenting on the cause of a riot at the state lockup in Mansfield that resulted in the hospitalization of five inmates and injuries to two other people. It began when guards were overpowered during Friday's evening meal and their keys were seized. All 37 convicts in one death-row unit roamed freely until a tactical police team stormed the facility with tear gas. The incident is under investigation.

In what is being called a first for the music industry, Capitol Records planned to announce it will offer a new release to buyers online before putting it in retail stores. A spokesman said Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" could be downloaded beginning tomorrow for a 99-cent fee, in a promotional effort to increase awareness of the group's forthcoming album, "Medazzaland." Major recording labels up to now had been reluctant to sell directly via the Internet out of concern that retailers would be angered.

Apple Computer will not spin off its Newton division after all, according to published reports. The New York Times said it had learned that the the company would instead develop a general-purpose version of its eMate portable, currently sold only to schools. Apple announced in May that it would turn the Newton division into an independent subsidiary.

The news media are not likely to change the way in which they cover famous people unless forced to do so, a majority of respondents told a Newsweek survey. Results, due to be published in the magazine's Sept. 15 issue, show 70 percent of Americans believe the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, will cause the passage of new legislation to restrict harassment of celebrities by photographers and reporters.

The World

The British government said it is seeking a permanent memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales. In a BBC interview, Prime Minister Tony Blair said he would appoint a committee to establish a memorial such as a fund that would support Diana's charitable work. More than 2 billion people worldwide were estimated to have watched Diana's funeral on television Saturday. Millions of Britons lined London's streets for the funeral procession. Diana was killed in a car crash Aug 31.

Thousands of mourners filed into the largest Roman Catholic church in Calcutta to pay last respects to Mother Teresa, who died Friday. Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral paid homage at St Thomas's Church, and credited the missionary for showing "the path to work for the poor." The nun won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her charitable work. Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

Egypt, Jordan, and the PLO called on Israel to implement peace pledges and to refrain from policies alien to the "spirit of peace." Egyptian President Mubarak, Jordan's King Hussein, and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat issued the statement after meeting in Cairo to coordinate their positions before Secretary of State Albright arrives in the region Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Israeli Army said its troops had arrested 100 suspected Palestinian militants in the West Bank since last week's suicide bombing in Jerusalem killed seven people.

Shiite Muslim guerrillas attacked an Israeli position in southern Lebanon, killing one Israeli soldier. Lebanese security officials said pro-Iranian Hizbullah fighters used grenades, mortars, and automatic weapons during their assault on Dabshe. The attack came two days after guerrillas from Hizbullah and the pro-Syrian Amal movement and Lebanese Army troops killed 12 Israeli commandos who were conducting a raid north of the Jewish state's self-declared "security zone." It was Israel's largest single loss in south Lebanon since it established the zone in 1985.

A massacre by armed attackers in a suburb of Algiers left at least 49 people dead and dozens of others hurt, local newspapers reported. Authorities have not commented on Friday's attack in the shantytown of Sidi Youcef. Muslim militants have been fighting the government since 1992, when authorities scrapped a general election that Islamic fundamentalists were certain to win.

Mir's crew rested after a six-hour space walk to fix the damaged station proved only partially successful. Cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyov and US astronaut Michael Foale managed to reposition a solar panel to help Mir accumulate electric power. But they failed to find a hole in the Spektr module, which was damaged in a docking accident June 25. No more space walks are scheduled before the arrival of a US shuttle carrying new crew members later this month.

Former colonial power France said it was sending emergency aid to the island of Anjouan after 40 Comoran soldiers died in a failed attempt to end a separatist rebellion. Anjouan and a smaller island, Moheli, declared their independence from the Comoros government last month. The three-island archipelago off Africa's Indian Ocean coast has dealt with poverty and numerous coups since it became independent from France in 1975.

Panama was to open an international conference on the Panama Canal to reassure government and business leaders that the waterway will be in good hands after the US surrenders control Dec. 31, 1999. Despite Chinese objections, Taiwan's president will attend the the four-day session in Panama City. China, the third-largest user of the canal, regards Taiwan as a renegade province and is boycotting the conference.

"People want some good to emerge from this .... something that allows us to see, as a result of what happened, we have changed."

- British Prime Minister Blair, saying his government will seek a permanent memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales.


How badly did 10 young women want the title of Miss Europe? Not badly enough to stick around for the pagentry, apparently. Organizers said they left the host city, Kiev, capital of Ukraine, three days before the judging because they were fed up with the food and accommodations at a former resort for Communist Party bosses. Too unlovely for a beauty contest, it would seem.

A fast-food restaurant in Brooklyn Center, Minn., wasn't quite quick enough for one customer last week. The man, suspected of holding up a nearby bank, stopped off for a bit of lunch at the local Wendy's and ordered a cheeseburger combo. He was at the condiment counter when police arrived, search-ed him, and found the loot. They left with the suspect in custody and the money in - what else? - takeout bags.

The Day's List

Already-Big Cities of Asia Expected to Swell More

By 2025, 5 billion people will live in the world's cities - double the number of just two years ago, experts predict. At that time Bombay will have 33.2 million of those people, displacing Tokyo as the largest city, according to Asian Development Bank projections. Its list of Asian cities expected to fall into the "mega" category, their current and projected populations (in millions):

1. Tokyo 26.8 28.7

2. Shanghai 15.1 26.8

3. Bombay 15.1 33.2

4. Beijing 12.4 22.3

5. Calcutta 11.7 21.4

6. Seoul 11.6 13.3

7. Jakarta 11.5 24.9

8. Tianjin, China 10.7 19.5

9. Osaka, Japan 10.6 10.6

10. New Delhi 9.9 21.6

11. Karachi, Pakistan 9.8 22.5

12. Bangkok 9.7 22.5

13. Manila 9.3 16.5

14. Dhaka, Bangladesh 7.8 25.0

15. Shenyang, China 6.8 10.0

16. Madras, India 5.9 11.8

17. Hyderabad, India 5.3 13.2

18 Lahore, Pakistan 5.1 14.2

19. Bangalore, India 4.8 10.2

20. Rangoon, Burma 3.9 10.0

- Associated Press

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