News In Brief

The US

Records of President Clinton's fund-raising phone calls from the White House were turned over to a Justice Department task force several months ago, but were examined for the first time within recent days, The Washington Post reported. It said sources familiar with the matter blamed the delay on problems in sorting, computerizing, and identifying hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. Meanwhile, the Senate investigation into fund-raising abuses was expected to shift this week from the 1966 campaign to the more general issue of "soft money" donations to national political parties.

Clinton was expected to tell the opening session of the UN General Assembly he's ready to recommit the US to pay nearly $1 billion in back dues. But payment would be contingent on the carrying out of reforms proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and intended to make the UN more efficient and fiscally stable.

Amid fund-raising scandals and other troubles hovering around some of its top leaders, the AFL-CIO opened its biennial convention in Pittsburgh. Analysts say the nation's largest organized labor group has become revitalized in the past two years. But Teamsters president Ron Carey's victory last year has been nullified and a new election ordered, and three Carey aides pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud, and other charges - in which AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard Trumka also was implicated.

Cigarettemakers were expected to call an expert in airplane ventilation systems as the $5 billion secondhand-smoke trial in Florida resumed after a two-week break. Martin Godley of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was likely to be the first of several witnesses the defendants hoped to use to challenge studies linking secondhand smoke to diseases among nonsmokers. Some 60,000 flight attendants claim they became ill because of cigarette smoke aboard domestic jets.

IBM planned to announce it will begin selling computer chips made of copper early next year. Industry analysts say copper conducts electrical signals up to 40 percent faster than aluminum and should make computers more affordable. But copper has been difficult to apply to the silicon surface of chips, a problem IBM said it solved with the development of a new compound.

A Cuban exile group said it aborted a search and rescue mission over international waters after being warned that its planes were about to be intercepted by fighter jets from Havana. Brothers to the Rescue said five of its members were looking for rafters 17 miles northwest of the Cuban coast Saturday when the warning was received. The State Department and Federal Aviation Administration declined to confirm the report. Two of the group's planes were shot down by Cuban jets Feb. 24, 1996.

A black man allegedly beaten with a baseball bat and an auto antitheft device by three white teenagers said he hoped the case would not raise racial tensions in New York. Kevin Teague was attacked outside a Brooklyn subway station early Saturday as he stopped to use a pay phone. The teens were charged with assault, harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon. Each was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Computer and mechanical problems kept US and British jet-car teams from setting a new land speed record in the Nevada desert. British driver Andy Green hit 553 m.p.h. in his only successful run over the weekend - well below the world mark of 633 m.p.h. Craig Breedlove of the US reached 391 m.p.h. in the

Jury selection in the sexual assault trial of nationally known sportscaster Marv Albert was to begin in Arlington, Va. Albert, who specializes in play-by-play coverage of pro basketball and ice hockey, is represented by noted defense lawyer Roy Black. Black has not said whether the NBC broadcaster will testify. Albert could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

Defending national champion Florida displaced Penn State atop the rankings in college football. Voters in the Associated Press weekly poll elevated Florida from No. 2 after its defeat of fifth-ranked Tennessee, 33-20. Penn State slipped to second despite a 57-21 win over Louisville.

The World

Gunmen wounded two Israeli embassy guards in Amman, Jordan, but Israel said the incident would not impinge on its good relations with the Jordanian government. A previously unknown group calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Jordan claimed responsibility for the attack. Separately, Israeli security forces shut down a West Bank mosque and youth club linked to Hamas and said they were close to nabbing militants who plotted two recent suicide bombings in Jerusalem.

Following two weeks of public outrage, Japan's Prime Minister Hashimoto accepted the resignation of a Cabinet minister convicted of taking bribes in the 1970s. Hashimoto encountered with widespread criticism after placing Koko Sato in charge of administrative reforms. To limit further political damage, Hashi-moto aplogized publicly for a bad personnel choice.

The Russian space station Mir's central computer went down for the fifth time in three months and the crew of the troubled orbiter noticed brown drops of unknown origin coming from the engines of their escape capsule. The crew replaced a faulty computer block and started tests needed to prepare it for operation. The latest woes may threaten the Sept. 25 launch of the US space shuttle Atlantis, which will carry a new computer and a relief astronaut.

The Arab League called on its members to defy sanctions imposed on Libya by the UN Security Council. A statement issued by foreign ministers of the 22-member organization in Cairo said flights carrying Libyan delegations, workers, and pilgrims in and out of the country must be permitted. Libya has defied the embargo several times. Sanctions were imposed in 1992 after Libya refused to hand over two suspects wanted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland.

After four years in opposition, Poland's Solidarity movement appeared set to recapture parliament from "reformed Communists." Preliminary results from last weekend's national elections showed Solidarity won 33.8 percent of the vote, to 26.8 percent for the ruling Democratic Left Alliance. Solidarity factions forged an election alliance of more than 30 labor organizations and parties.

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had much to cheer about, despite his party's defeat in local elections. Kohl's party got 30.7 percent of the vote in Hamburg, up from 25.1 percent in 1993 elections. He said it was a signal he would be victorious in next year's general election. The Social Democrats, with 40.4 percent of the vote, retained power in Hamburg which they have held since World War II.

A runoff was expected in Serbia's presidential race. With 75 percent of the vote counted, the ruling party's candidate was leading with about 35 percent, short of the 51 percent needed for outright victory. Zoran Lilic is likely to face ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj, who made a strong showing, with 27 percent of the vote.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was asked to take over the country's ruling party in what would be the communist world's only dynastic succession. Analysts see the resolution adopted at a regional conference of the Korean Workers Party as a first step for the de-facto leader to officially assume control of the ruling party Oct. 10, its founding anniversary. The three-year mourning period for Kim's father, Kim Il Sung, ended in July.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank vowed to fight corruption in both industrialized and developing nations. Graft has been a major issue at the summit in Hong Kong. But tieing loans to efforts at fighting corruption, critics said, could lead to interference by industrial nations in the internal affairs of developing countries.

"He may have. He may not have. He doesn't remember whether he did or did not."

- Senior policy adviser Rahm Emanuel, repeating for CNN President Clinton's position on making fund-raising calls from the White House.


A member of the lower house of Congress in Brazil wasn't what you'd call politically correct in the way he chose to spend his $18,000-a-month expense account. Jose Gomes da Rocha used the money - but not, as intended, for his support staff. He got a bigger kick out of putting it toward another goal: helping to pay the players on his favorite soccer team. He's serving a 30-day suspension for his infraction.

Faith Willard fought like a demon to change her hometown high school's approach to athletics. The resident of Mount Lebanon, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh, campaign-ed for two years to replace the school mascot, the Blue Devil, with something - well - less satanic, like a Mountie. She even gathered 150 signatures on a petition backing the change. But school officials ruled the old image is a source of torment to opponents and so it will stay.

Residents of Bernix, near Geneva, lost their petition drive, too. They wanted an automatic teller machine removed because of overuse by people passing through town on their way to nightclubs in France. Franc-ly, no, the sponsoring bank replied.

The Day's List

Rating States With The Worst, Best Urban Roads

Americans spend $4.8 billion a year on vehicle repairs because of poor roads, a new study says. The Surface Transportation Policy Project and Environmental Working Group surveyed all 38 states with more than 100 miles of urban roads. They rate Iowa as having the largest percentage in less than good repair. The five states rated as worst and the five best, with the percentage of bad roads in each:

Worst Roads

1. Iowa 56%

2. Florida 47%

(tie) Illinois 47%

4. Oklahoma 45%

5. Arkansas 44%

Best Roads

1. Georgia 0%

2. Alabama 1%

3. Arizona 5%

4. Louisiana 6%

5. Connecticut 8%

- Associated Press

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