News In Brief

The US

China's Jiang Zemin was headed to New York after viewing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Earlier, he met with members of Congress, attended a state dinner, and signed a pact with President Clinton to clear the way for the sale of billions of dollars worth of US nuclear reactors to China. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation on environmental issues through projects in clean energy, air pollution control, and rural electrification.

Chinese officials were to sign a deal to purchase 50 Boeing jetliners for $3 billion in a ceremony at the Commerce Department. The contract with the Seattle-based Boeing Company is the country's biggest purchase of airplanes in history. It will support tens of thousands of American jobs, Clinton said.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down one point yesterday as the Monitor went to press. Analysts were watching the index closely after world markets dipped. Heavy trading at the New York Stock Exchange ended with a scant 8.35 point gain in the Dow Wednesday. It was the second-busiest day in history after Tuesday's record 1.19 billion shares, with more than 777 million shares changing hands.

The White House and business leaders praised House Speaker Newt Gingrich for scheduling a Nov. 7 vote on special "fast track" trade-negotiation powers for Clinton. The powers would bar Congress from from amending agreements made by the president, although lawmakers could still veto them.

In a ruling with profound implications for census-takers and in compiling statistical trends, "multiracial" will not be used as a category, the Office of Management and Budget decided. It said, however, that on government forms Americans of mixed race may list all categories that apply to them. And Asians and Hawaiians no longer will be combined into one group. The number of births in mixed-race families quadrupled - to 2 million - from 1970 to 1990, according to census data.

House and Senate negotiators crafted a bipartisan compromise to delay, but not kill, Clinton's plan to test fourth graders in reading and eighth graders in math. The proposal would let the Department of Education continue development of the voluntary national tests, but puts off a decision to implement the test. Any test would have to meet standards developed by House and Senate authorizing committees.

The South Carolina Supreme Court, by a 3 to 2 vote, upheld the 1992 conviction of a woman imprisoned for child neglect after she gave birth to a son with cocaine in his blood. A lower court had freed Cornelia Whitner after 19 months behind bars on grounds that such neglect does not apply in prenatal cases. Cocaine use "is illegal, period," the Supreme Court majority said. Her cause had been adopted by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Senate confirmed Clinton's nominees for US ambassadors to Greece (Nicholas Burns), Turkey (Mark Parris), and Zimbabwe (Tom McDonald). And the Senate Finance Committee approved seven other nominees to federal positions, among them Charles Rossotti to head the Internal Revenue Service.

For entertaining American troops in combat zones through four wars, comedian Bob Hope was made an honorary US veteran in a first-of-its-kind congressional ceremony in Washington. Hope, who was born in England, called it "the greatest honor I have ever received."

North America contains some of the world's most ecologically important but environmentally degraded areas, according to an assessment produced by the World Wildlife Fund. The study found that more than one-quarter of the 116 "ecoregions" in North America are globally significant, meaning their biological diversity equals or surpasses similar regions in the world. But half also suffer from severe degradation, the study said.

The World

President Clinton's failure to raise the issue of preserving democracy in Hong Kong with visiting Chinese leader Jiang Zemin was "very, very damaging," activists there said. Speaking for a pro-democracy coalition, Lee Cheuk-yan said China now could feel free to consider political freedoms in Hong Kong a "nonissue." Taiwan, meanwhile, coupled its official response to the Washington summit with TV pictures of President Lee Teng-hui reviewing a massive military parade.

After several days of wildly swinging stock prices, markets turned lower in Asia and Europe. South Korea's main index closed down 4.3 percent, while Japan, Hong Kong, and Germany experienced smaller declines. Analysts say the drops show traders were hardly enthusiastic with Wednesday's modest gains on Wall Street.

Former No. 2 Khmer Rouge guerrilla leader Ieng Sary, since pardoned for his war crimes, said he'd testify in a trial of Pol Pot, his onetime boss. He split with the group last year but still controls thousands of rebels and suggested he might put them at the disposal of current Premier Hun Sen if asked.

Cambodia and South Korea established full diplomatic ties for the first time since the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975. At a ceremony in Phnom Penh, officials from both sides said the move would boost economic ties. Foreign investment in Cambodia has plummeted since Hun Sen toppled his co-prime minister in a July coup.

Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy will offer a temporary cutback on Jewish settlement construction at talks Monday in Washington, two Jerusalem newspapers said. In exchange, Levy reportedly will ask Palestinian negotiators to agree to forgo demands for additional Israeli troop withdrawals from the West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Arafat said he doubted the Washington negotiations would yield results.

All 15 UN Security Council members called Iraq's decision to expel American weapons inspectors "unacceptable" and warned of "serious consequences" if it isn't rescinded. UN inspections of Iraq's war machine were suspended after 10 Americans were given one week to leave the country.

Two Egyptians were sentenced to death for last month's attack on a bus in Cairo that killed nine German tourists and their driver. Saber Farahat Abu el-Ela and his brother, Mahmoud, chanted praises to God after the verdict was read. They embrace Islamic fundamentalist ideology, but say they do not belong to any groups fighting to establish an Islamic state in Egypt.

Mitsubishi Motors' president and chairman resigned following last week's arrest of four company officials for alleged payoffs to corporate racketeers. Meanwhile, Toshiba Corp., admitted making regular "hush money" payments for the past decade. The two companies are the latest to be ensnared in a widening scandal involving extortionists, known as "sokaiya."

Forty suspected Communist rebels attacked a police headquarters near Manila, killing two patrolmen and seizing the chief, officials said. After visiting the scene of the raid in Rizal province, national Police Director Recaredo Sarmiento said the attack was an apparent attempt by the rebels to strengthen their position at talks between guerrilla leaders and the government in the Netherlands.

"These were the three heaviest volume days in the history of civilization."

- Value Line investment officer Phil Orlando, noting that almost 2.7 billion stock shares

were traded on Wall Street Oct. 27-29.


OK, you're the parent of a small child, Christmas is coming, and you waited too long last year to go out and buy a Tickle Me Elmo doll. What's your strategy for Christmas 1997? There are still 55 shopping days left before presents go under the tree, but Tyco Toys is already flying in Ernie dolls from its factory in China to meet the demand. It didn't have to do that with Elmo until after Thanksgiving last year.

A wedge has been driven between Bryan Crete and his neighbors in upstate New York. For nine months a year, his lawsuit says, errant golf balls from the Tee-Bird Country Club in Moreau break his windows, dent his car, and bounce off his propane tank. He's asking the courts to - um - iron out the problem by ordering the owners to close the second hole and chip in with money for repairs and diminished property value.

The Day's List

Charities Find Americans In Generous Mood Again

Americans donated $25.9 billion last year to the 400 largest charities in the US, according to a survey by the Washington-based Chronicle of Philanthropy. The Salvation Army was the big-gest recipient for a fifth straight year: It raised $1 billion, up from $741.7 million a year earlier. The top 10 recipients:

1. Salvation Army $1 billion

2. American Red Cross 479.9 million

3. American Cancer Society 426.7

4. Emory University 415.4

5. Catholic Charities 386.5

6. Second Harvest 351.3

7. YMCA of the USA 340.3

8. Habitat for Humanity International 334.7

9. Boys & Girls Clubs of America 321.7

10. Stanford University 312.9

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