News In Brief

The US

Attorney General Janet Reno will order an expanded investigation into whether President Clinton made illegal fund-raising telephone calls from the White House, Justice Department officials said. After a month-long review, Reno has decided she needs more time and will go forward with a preliminary investigation. Extending the inquiry would be the next step toward possibly seeking an independent counsel. Investigators are looking at White House coffees, overnight stays in the Lincoln bedroom, and the use of government facilities in fund-raising. There are no formal allegations against the president or Vice President Gore.

Clinton said he would agree to be questioned by Reno in the political fund-raising investigation. The president said he "would do anything that is necessary" to cooperate with the inquiry. He said he has avoided contact with the attorney general, even regarding matters of policy, so it wouldn't appear that he was trying to influence the Justice Department's investigation. The White House was expected to turn over more videotapes to the Justice Department.

Clinton was expected to wield his line-item veto to slice some items from a $247.7 billion Defense Department spending bill, administration officials said. He had until yesterday to veto individual items.

The Supreme Court refused to reinstate California term limits. The justices turned away arguments that sought to revive a law barring former legislators from seeking the same office. The court also rejected a challenge to an Oregon law that legalizes doctor-assisted suicide. In June, the court ruled that people diagnosed with terminal illnesses had no constitutional right to assisted suicide. The court also let stand a ruling that a union's arbitration provisions can't nullify an individual's right to sue an employer for discrimination.

Two Americans will share the Nobel Prize for economics. Prof. Robert Merton of Harvard University and Prof. Myron Scholes of Stanford University were honored for developing "a pioneering formula for the valuation of stock options." Thousands of traders and investors use their formula today. The two men will split the $1 million prize.

The Army named a new top enlisted soldier. Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Hall will replace Gene McKinney in the post of sergeant major of the Army. McKinney was removed last week after it was announced he would face a court martial on sexual misconduct charges. Hall will advise the chief of staff on matters relating to the Army's 400,000 enlisted personnel.

Colorado held its first execution in 30 years. Gary Lee Davis, a convicted rapist and murderer, was the 59th person to be executed in the United States this year, making it the most active year for executions since 1957, when 65 people were put to death.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned against controls over global investments, saying efforts to impose restrictions on the billion of dollars of investments would likely have "adverse, unintended consequences." Greenspan's comments represented his most extensive review of the economic turmoil that has engulfed several Southeast Asian countries this year. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir had threatened to clamp controls on foreign currency trading last month.

A British jet car broke the sound barrier on land for the first time, 50 years after Chuck Yeager's first supersonic flight. But the Thrust SuperSonic Car, driven by Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green, missed the world record by one minute: The two runs across Nevada's Black Rock Desert were 61 minutes apart. To set a world record, a vehicle must make two runs at record speed from opposite directions within one hour.

Policymakers met in Santa Monica, Calif., to prepare for wild weather this winter, courtesy of El Nino. Gore, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) of Calif., and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency were among those at the summit. The phenomenon occurs every two to seven years when warmer water pushes across the Pacific Ocean to South America, affecting weather worldwide. Some meteorologists say this El Nino is the most powerful in 150 years.

The World

Five days after resigning, Italian Premier Romano Prodi was reinstalled by President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. The move came after Italy's Communists struck a deal with Prodi to settle a budget dispute. Communist leader Fausto Bertinotti said the agreement included reducing spending cuts in the 1998 budget by $290 million, cutting the work week to 35 hours by the year 2001, and protecting workers' pension rights.

President Clinton met with Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso in the capital, Brasilia. Afterward, they were expected to sign agreements on education, technology, and the fight against organized crime. Analysts consider Brazil to be the biggest opponent of Clinton's plan to speed up free trade in the Americas. Clinton plans to make stops in Sao Pulo and Rio de Janeiro before flying to Argentina today.

Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin said he will offer to resign if parliament votes no confidence in his government. The vote is expected today. Analysts say if Chernomyrdin were to step down, it would raise the stakes between President Yeltsin and his nationalist and Communist rivals in the Duma, which has been moving for weeks toward a showdown with Yeltsin over the 1998 budget.

The presidential palace in the Congo Republic came under attack by forces loyal to former military ruler Denis Sassou Nguesso, witnesses said. The rebels also captured the airport in the capital, Brazzaville. Sassou has been trying to overthrow President Palcal Lissouba since June. International mediation efforts have failed to settle differences over power-sharing.

Iran reportedly accused a US destroyer and a reconnaissance plane of spying on its military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and warned them to leave the area. Iranian officials said the USS Kinkaid and the plane withdrew after the warning. A US Navy spokesman said he was not aware of the incident. The US stepped up its military presence in the Gulf after Iranian planes attacked two Iranian opposition bases inside Iraq last month, violating the "no-fly" zone.

Several core European nations were failing to meet key conditions for joining in a common European currency in 1999, according to economic forecasts released by the European Commission. The figures showed France and Greece as failing to cut their budget deficits to required levels. They also indicated that Germany's debt remained too high to qualify. European Union leaders will decide who can take part in the single currency next spring.

Muslim rebels killed at least 32 people on a bus after setting up fake road blocks near the town of Sig in western Algeria, Algerian newspapers said. The attack was the worst in the Oran region since the militants began a violent campaign to overthrow the military-backed government after elections led by Islamists were scrapped in 1992. Meanwhile, the Algerian military claimed success in an offensive against bases of the radical Armed Islamic Group near the capital, Algiers.

An Egyptian military court formally charged two men with the premeditated murder of nine German tourists and an Egyptian driver in last month's attack on a bus in Cairo. Egypt's government, keen to protect the lucrative tourism industry, says brothers Saber and Mahmoud Farahat Abu el-Ela acted alone and were not under orders of Muslim militant groups that launched an armed campaign against the state in 1992.

Canadian police say faulty brakes were the likely to blame for Monday's bus accident in St-Joseph-de-la-Rive, Quebec. The Canadian tour bus carrying senior citizens plunged off a dangerous curve into a ravine, killing 43 people and injuring five others.

"Academics are known as talkers, and I'm known as a talker for an academic. So to say I'm speechless is something. I am surprised and honored."

- Harvard Prof. Richard Merton on winning the Nobel Prize for economics.


Hurricane Pauline may have wrought havoc in Mexico, but for three fishermen she proved to be a lifesaver. The men, who were lost at sea for 15 days and believed dead, survived on a bottle of water and fish. The storm finally blew their dinghy closer to shore, and they were picked up by a passing boat.

Stargazers take note: You may soon be able to explore the cosmos from your rec room. Astronomers at Case Western University in Mont-ville, Ohio, are working on a Web site for users to control an eight-ton telescope via home computers. Officials expect it to debut in 1999.

A suspected thief may have felt guilty after he escaped from a Spokane, Wash., police station. Fred Nolan Jr. was brought in on a burglary warrant, and police said he was still wearing handcuffs when he disappeared. Two days later, the cuffs were returned by mail. Not surprisingly, the envelope had no return address.

What's a $1,000 municipal bond issued in 1882 worth today? Bill Hester values the one he inherited from the Knoxville, Tenn. Water Works at $1.8 billion and is demanding the city pay. He says interest on the bond was to be paid in gold and the city made only one payment in 1910. The city argues the bond was paid off years ago.

The Day's List

'Kiss The Girls' Still Thrills US Moviegoers

The lure of the new Brad Pitt epic "Seven Years in Tibet" wasn't strong enough to pull audiences away from the thriller "Kiss The Girls," which remained atop the box office list for a second straight weekend. The top grossing films from Oct. 10-12 with their estimated revenues (in millions of dollars):

1. "Kiss the Girls" $11.1

2. "Seven Years in Tibet" 10.0

3. "Soul Food" 5.4

4. "In & Out" 5.3

5. "The Peacemaker" 5.2

6. "Rocket Man" 4.4

7. "L.A. Confidential" 3.7

8. "The Edge" 3.3

9. "Most Wanted" 3.0

10. "Gang Related" 2.5

- Exhibitor Relations Inc./AP

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