News In Brief

The US

The White House turned over previously unknown videotapes of some of President Clinton's controversial coffees with financial supporters to congressional investigators, Time magazine reported in its Oct. 13 edition. Meanwhile, Attorney General Janet Reno said the Justice Department has no evidence that Clinton violated federal law by having campaign donors as guests at White House coffees or for overnight stays. But she announced a 60-day preliminary inquiry of Vice President Al Gore's telephone fund-raising.

Affirmative action, sexual harassment, and police chases are some of the issues the US Supreme Court will take up when it begins its new term today.

Astronaut Michael Foale said he was looking forward to family activities, windsurfing, and lasagna when the space shuttle Atlantis landed in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Foale's turbulent 144 days in space - the second-longest space mission for an American - included repeated equipment failures on the Mir space station and a harrowing collision with a cargo ship.

Some 27 anti-nuclear activists were arrested for trespassing while protesting the planned liftoff of a plutonium-powered spacecraft Oct. 13. The 500-strong demonstration at Cape Canaveral, Fla., was held one day after the White House approved liftoff of the Cassini spacecraft. NASA needed clearance for the $3.4 billion mission to study Saturn because it is carrying 72 pounds of plutonium. The plutonium is shielded, but protesters say Cassini still poses a serious health risk in the event of an accident.

Clinton planned to host a day-long conference today on climate change. The president and several members of his administration hoped to convince scientists, economists, and business leaders of the need for a binding agreement with other countries to cut carbon gas emissions. He is expected to push the idea that technology, energy efficiency, and sensible policies can significantly cut pollution without harming the economy.

US Defense Secretary William Cohen ordered the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz to skip a port call at Sinagapore and head directly to the Persian Gulf. The ship was ordered to the region from the South China sea after the US warned Iran not to repeat cross-border air attacks into southern Iraq. Such attacks violate a US-enforced "no fly" zone.

Hundreds of thousands of men gathered in Washington to pray and profess their devotion to God during an evangelical revival meeting. Organized by the Promise Keepers, the fastest-growing Christian evangelical movement in America in recent years, the male-only event may have been the largest religious gathering ever held in the US.

BeefAmerica, a meatpacker in Norfolk, Neb., recalled more than 440,000 pounds of hamburger because of suspected contamination by E.coli bacteria. It was the second major beef recall in the US in less than two months. Meanwhile, South Korea said it will send experts to Nebraska to check quarantine procedures after finding E. coli in beef imports from the US.

Serious crimes reported to the police in the US were down by 3 percent in 1996 for the fifth annual decrease in a row, an FBI report said. And the number of murders dropped by 9 percent over 1995 figures. But even with the decrease, a murder was committed in the US every 27 minutes, the report said.

The Congressional Budget Office lowered its estimate of the fiscal 1997 federal deficit to $23 billion from its August estimate of $34 billion. "As a percentage of GDP [gross domestic product], the deficit would be only 0.3 percent, the lowest level since 1970," it said.

Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History walked away with a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil for $8.4 million after intense bidding at Sotheby's auction house in New York. Sotheby's had expected to sell "Sue," named in honor of discoverer Susan Hendrickson, for upwards of $1 million. The 65 million-year-old fossilized skeleton has a five-foot skull and is 90 percent complete. It is expected to go on display in 2000.

The World

Israel "is prevented at this stage from making reference" to reports that it was behind a bungled attempt to assassinate militant Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, a senior official said. Alleged Israeli agents, using Can-adian passports, injured Meshal in Amman, Jordan, but did not succeed in killing him. The incident caused an international storm of protest, with Canada recalling its ambassador for consultations and opposition leaders demanding that Prime Minister Netanyahu resign. Hamas found-er Ahmed Yassin was abruptly released from an Israeli prison last week, reportedly in trade for the intelligence agents. Netanyahu met with his Cabinet Sunday amid reports that more Hamas members would be freed.

Early voter turnout appeared light in Serbia but heavier in Montenegro for their respective presidential elections. Analysts said Slobodan Milosevic, president of the Yugoslav federation would be weakened politically if his protg, Zoran Lilic, lost in the Serbian runoff against ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj or if incumbent Momir Bulatovic was defeated by staunch rival Milo Djukanovic in Montenegro. A less than 50 percent turnout at the polls would force yet another election.

A possible new confrontation with President Yeltsin loomed as nationalist and Communist leaders in the lower house of Russia's Parliament said they would block his proposed 1998 budget today. Deputy Speaker Sergei Baburin said consideration of the budget would only follow a no-confidence vote in the government. But the vows came as creditors were to meet in London to re-schedule Russia's $35 billion debt, opening the way for a higher credit rating when the government wants to borrow more money. Last week, Yeltsin hinted he might dissolve the Communist-dominated Duma for obstructing economic reforms.

Muslim rebels believed to be from the Armed Islamic Group took their insurgency against Algeria's government to a new level, firing rockets at a town 30 miles south of Algiers that is used as a garrison by government troops. The attack left 12 people dead and 85 others hospitalized, newspaper reports said. Another 95 people died in assaults elsewhere, among them 20 members of a wedding party.

The volatile border between India and Pakistan was reported quiet for the first time in weeks after the prime ministers of the two countries ordered their forces to stop shelling each other. Forty-seven people died last week in the artillery duels, which each side accused the other of starting.

Indonesia "deeply apologizes" for the thick blanket of smoke over much of southeast Asia but needs more time to put out the fires causing it, President Suharto said. It was his second such apology in recent days. At Armed Forces Day ceremonies, he ordered the military to do more to quench the hundreds of fires, which have brought angry complaints from across the region. Two Australian planes designed to drop water on fires were due to arrive tomorrow.

Afghanistan's Taliban movement acknowledged losing several key positions around Mazaar-e-Sharif, the last opposition stronghold in the country. Among them was the airport. The Taliban had threatened the city for more than three weeks and only last Wednesday said its troops were at the city gates.

Donations of food by the international community have staved off mass starvation, malnutrition, and waves of refugees from North Korea for now, a UN official said. Namanga Ngongi, director of the World Food Program, said more than 90 percent of the projected aid needs had been donated and that children who were in "terrible condition" only a few months ago now look-ed much healthier. But he said twice as much assistance would be needed next year.

"In well-ordered countries, prime ministers ... resign over such things."

- Israeli columnist Zeev Schiff, joining calls for Prime Minister Netanyahu to quit in the wake of a failed assassination attempt against Hamas leader Khaled Meshal.


What does a police department do when its search-and-rescue dog turns up missing? Search for him, of course. Caesar, a 135-pound Rottweiler, was no longer in an Amherst, Mass., cruiser when his handler finished an errand in neighboring Chic-opee. The force put its best retrievers to work, and, happily, six hours later Caesar was found about a mile from where he had disappeared.

"Candle in the Wind," revived by Elton John for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, has been adapted yet again for a burning issue. From Singapore, via the Internet, come modified lyrics lamenting the loss of blue sky because of the thick haze over southeast Asia. It's from unchecked forest fires.

Speaking of Diana, her death has produced more coverage in the British press than even the end of World War II, a London clipping service says. Durrants, in business since 1880, says its comparisons show major papers have given an average of 35 percent of their news space to Diana versus 26 to 27 percent for such developments as the defeat and surrender of Nazi Germany.

The Day's List

Companies With Most Women Directors

All but 81 of the Fortune 500 companies have women on their boards of directors, an annual survey found. But New York-based Catalyst research group says only two companies have added women to their boards this year - a growth rate of less than 3 percent. In all, women hold just under 11 percent of the 500's 6,081 directors seats. These companies have the most women directors:

Five directors

College Retirement Equities Fund

Golden West Financial

Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association

Four directors

Aetna Inc.

Avon Products

Fannie Mae

Gannett Co.

Hasbro Inc.

Principal Financial Group

- Associated Press

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