News In Brief

The US

Debtors filing for bankruptcy should be audited and filings should be limited to two. These were among recommendations in a report the National Bankruptcy Review Commission planned to submit to the White House and Congress. The panel said it is advocating such changes to help slow the increase in consumer bankruptcies, to enable debtors to repay more of what they owe, and to curb abuses. Recorded bankruptcies in the US last year exceeded 1 million for the first time.

After months of resisting Hilton Hotel's uninvited buyout offer, ITT Corp. said it had agreed to a $13.3 billion bid from real estate giant Starwood Lodging. Hilton's offer was valued at $11.1 billion. Starwood owns the Westin hotels. ITT's properties include Sheraton hotels and Caesar's casinos.

A retired Wall Street investment banker told Newsweek that President Clinton phoned him Oct. 18, 1994, to ask for campaign funds for the Democratic Party. Richard Jenrette said he sent $50,000 with a note: "You said you wanted to raise $2 million from 40 good friends; by my . . . math this comes out to $50,000 that you requested from each." Newsweek also said the White House turned up records showing Clinton made at least a half-dozen calls to Democratic donors on the day in question.

The White House may have altered videotapes of Clinton courting Democratic donors in the 1996 campaign, the head of the House of Representative investigative panel said on Fox News Sunday. Rep. Dan Burton (R) of Indiana said the tapes will be analyzed by technicians to pick up sound and other information that may not be apparent when first viewed. He said investigators believe the tapes may have been cut off intentionally.

China's government appears to have shifted tactics in trying to control the spread of religion, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch/Asia. A report released one week before Chinese President Jiang Zemin comes to the US for an official visit says the government no longer relies extensively on long-term jailing of - and violence against - religious activists. Current methods now include requiring religious movements to register with the state, and fines, seizure of property, and dispersal of meetings if they don't, it said.

Amtrak and some of its workers agreed to postpone a strike for at least one week to allow for further negotiations. Track workers represent only about one-tenth of the passenger railroad's 23,000 employees, but perform critical tasks such bridge maintenance and track inspections twice a week. The strike could inconvenience hundreds of thousands of travelers, especially in the Northeast Corridor from Richmond, Va., to Boston.

US financier George Soros announced in Moscow plans to give Russia $300 million to $500 million in philanthropic aid. He said he would focus on eight areas that Russia is unable to fund adequately, including maternal and child health and the retraining of military officers for civilian jobs.

Despite assurances to the contrary given to a senior State Department official, Russia is selling special materials to Iran to build long-range missiles, The Washington Times reported. Citing a classified US intelligence report, it said a secret production center closed a deal in September to provide high-strength steel and foil for the Iranian project.

Snow flurries and temperatures in the 30s were expected by the National Weather Service as the World Series shifts to Cleveland tonight. The series is tied at one game apiece after Cleveland beat the Florida Marlins 6-1 in Miami Sunday night. Baseball historians said Game 3 could be the coldest since the opener of the 1979 series in Baltimore, when the Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates played in 41 degree F. weather.

The strong economy, higher natural gas prices, and unusually severe weather contributed to a sharp increase in emissions of "greenhouse gases" in the US in 1996, according to an Energy Department report. The 3.4 percent increase in emissions from cars, factories, and power plants was described as the highest rate of increase in years. The rise in gas prices prompted a switch to dirtier forms of energy.

The World

A political opponent of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic narrowly won a runoff for the top elected office in Montenegro. Milo Djukanovic defeated incumbent President Momir Bulatovic, a Milosevic ally, by fewer than 7,000 votes, with 98 percent of the ballots counted. Dju-kanovic seeks greater independence for Montenegro, which together with Serbia, forms what remains of Yugoslavia.

Foreign Minister David Levy said Israel will limit Jewish settlement construction to a "necessary minimum," amid reports that the government was ready to freeze new building projects on disputed land. Levy later met with top Palestinian Authority negotiator Mahmoud Abbas and US envoy Dennis Ross, who reportedly expressed disappointment at the pace of newly resumed peace talks.

Mir's two cosmonauts enter-ed the airless Spektr science module, beginning a 5-1/2 hour "internal spacewalk." Anatoly Solovyov and Pavel Vinogradov aim to boost the damaged space station's power supply by re-routing cables from Spektr's broken computer to another one nearby. The module lost pressure in a collision with an unmanned supply craft four months ago.

Former military ruler Denis Sassou-Nguesso's forces opened collection stations for armed Congolese to turn in weapons now that the country's civil war appears to be over. Preparations in the capital, Brazzaville, were under way to welcome Sassou-Nguesso, who was expected to arrive as soon as tomorrow from his base 250 miles north. Meanwhile, in neighboring Angola, UNITA rebel sources denied harboring Sassou-Nguesso's ousted rival, President Pascal Lissouba.

Formal campaigning ended in Algeria for the country's first local elections since the violent insurgency by Muslim extremists began five years ago. The military-backed government mobilized troops and police to protect 70,000 voting precincts, banned gasoline-transport trucks from the roads, postponed all sports events, and closed outdoor markets until voting ends Thursday night. Pro-government parties were expected to dominate the voting as they did in national legislative elections in June.

National holiday celebrations in Kenya were marred by clashes between police and hundreds of protesters. Police used tear gas and clubs to break up the dem- onstration in Nyeri, 60 miles north of the capital, Nairobi. Eight people were arrested and two were injured in the melee. Opponents of President Daniel arap Moi are demanding changes in election laws, which they say give him an edge in voting to be held this year.

Only hours before the scheduled opening session of parliament, Poland's Solidarity movement and the splinter group Freedom Union agreed on terms for a new coalition government. They will control 261 of the 460 seats in the lower house, displacing the coalition of ex-communists and the Peasants Party that had ruled for four years. The Freedom Union is led by former Solidarity activists who broke away in the early '90s.

US drug-policy adviser Barry McCaffrey was expected to meet with controversial Colombian President Ernesto Samper in Bogot. Their discussion would break a more than two-year ban on high-level US contacts with Samper, whom McCaffrey has called an accomplice of narcotics traffickers.

Prince Ranier opened the International Whaling Commission's annual meeting in Monaco by warning member states that their squabbles risk tearing the organization apart. The 43-nation IWC, founded to prevent the overhunting of whales, has ban-ned commercial whaling since 1986. Norway and Japan want the ban lifted and complain the IWC is devoted to preventing, rather than managing, hunts.

"That's what long johns are for."

- Bobby Bonilla of the Florida Marlins, on predictions that temperatures in the 30s and snow flurries were possible for Game 3 of the World Series tonight in Cleveland.


As politicians sometimes do, Strongsville, Ohio, Mayor Walter Ehrnfelt ran into trouble with his constituents because of getting his priorities mixed up. He announc- ed he was moving trick-or-treat night for the town's children ahead to Oct. 30 so as not to expose them to the traffic expected for a high-school football game. Bad idea. More than 120 phone calls from angry parents later, he reversed himself, and sanctioned trick-or-treating will take place on Halloween - game or no game.

As far as police were concerned, there was a bit too much monkeying around by the passengers aboard a bus bound from central Vietnam to the border with China. The suspicious-looking vehicle was pulled over and found to be carrying 79 of the long-tailed critters, along with a few weasels and anteaters - apparently head-ed for the laboratories of traditional medicinemakers, where some of their organs are highly prized. The animals were released back into the jungle. The humans smuggling them were not.

The Day's List

Highest-Paid Presidents Of US Private Colleges

A retirement package for Northeastern University's chief executive hiked his compensation to almost $1 million for 1995-96 - highest among presidents of private, four-year colleges, according to a survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The top 10, based on filings with the Internal Revenue Service:

1. John Curry, Northeastern University $995,358

2. Joe Wyatt, Vanderbilt University 479,072

3. Judith Rodin, University of Pennsylvania 453,029

4. Thomas Hearn, Wake Forest University 447,748

5. L. Jay Oliva, New York University 426,612

6. Richard Levin, Yale University 424,295

7. Peter Diamondopoulos, Adelphi University 421,070

8. James Shuart, Hofstra University 411,922

9. George Rupp, Columbia University 403,357

10. James Freedman, Dartmouth College 397,026

- Associated Press

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