News In Brief

The US

At least 25 countries already have - or may be developing - nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons as well as the means to deliver them, the Pentagon said. An unspecified number of others have the potential to produce such weapons "on short notice," a report issued by Defense Secretary Cohen said. The report also notes that six would-be nuclear powers - Ukraine, Kazakstan, Belarus, North Korea, South Africa, and Iraq - "have been turned away from that path."

President Clinton will certify that China is not helping other countries in the development of nuclear weapons, the White House announced. The move will clear the way for the sale of billions of dollars' worth of nuclear reactors to China by American companies. Presidential certification, required by Congress since 1985, was withheld as long as China was suspected of exporting nuclear technology to such countries as Pakistan and Iran.

Spacewalking astronauts safely pulled a $10 million satellite back aboard the shuttle Columbia. Winston Scott of the US and Japan's Takao Doi caught the spinning Spartan solar observer with their hands and returned it to Columbia's cargo bay by robot arm.

The Federal Election Commission said it might not have enough money for candidates in presidential primaries in 2000 because of dwindling public support. The commission is funded by contributions via a checkoff box on federal tax returns. Only 12.9 percent of taxpayers opted to give in 1995, compared with 18.9 percent in 1992, it said. Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics said its research showed business interests outspent organized labor by 11 to 1 in political contributions last year, with two-thirds of the funds going to Republican candidates.

Electronics companies asked the Federal Communications Commission for more time to equip new TV sets with so-called "v-chips" that block unwanted programming. The FCC also was asked to ensure that unrated programming, such as news and sports broadcasts, be exempt from such blocking. Under the proposed phase-in of blocking technology, at least half of the TV sets sold in the US would have to be equipped with v-chips by July 1.

Radioactive waste from leaking underground tanks at the Hanford, Wash., nuclear reservation has reached groundwater, The Oregonian newspaper reported. But, citing studies by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, it said officials were unsure whether the contamination might seep into the Columbia River, which flows through the facility. A $29.5 billion project is under way to clean the tanks, 67 of which are believed to be leaking.

Mothers with more than one adult child tend to develop favorites even if they're reluctant to admit it, a new study reported. Gerontologists from Cornell and Louisiana State universities said their research focused on 30 women over 65, with 4 in every 5 eventually identifying a favorite child. But more than half of the adult offspring included in the study were wrong in identifying themselves as their mothers' favorites, the study found.

The Chrysler Building, a New York landmark and one of the leading examples of Art Deco architecture, was sold to real estate giant Tishman Speyer Properties for $220 million, The New York Times reported. The sale ends a months-long bidding war among some of the real estate industry's best-known companies.

Massachusetts prosecutors asked the state's highest court to overturn a judge's decision reducing the conviction of British au pair Louise Woodward to manslaughter for the death of an infant in her care. Woodward remains free, but is under orders not to leave the state until legal proceedings are complete.

The World

Pacific Rim leaders were expected to wrap up their annual summit by delivering a strong vote of confidence in Asia's economic future. Ministers at the 18-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vancouver, Canada, reportedly had agreed on a draft proposal endorsing a $68 billion Asian rescue package led by the International Monetary Fund. The bailout of Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Korea would be the largest in history.

Japanese stocks fell more than 5 percent on news of the collapse of Yamaichi Securities. Markets in Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore dropped by more than 2 percent each as investors worried about Southeast Asia's economic prospects. Yamaichi announced its decision to shut down Monday, leaving debts of more than $23.6 billion.

UN inspectors completed a fourth day of unhindered weapons searches in Iraq, while officials from Baghdad and Washington continued to argue over whether inspection teams should be allowed into Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces. An Iraqi government newspaper denounced the US demand for unimpeded access, accusing Washington of trying to create a crisis.

Israel's proposal to withdraw from a small part of the West Bank was rejected by Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, Israel Radio reported. Under the plan, Israel would pull its troops out of about 6 percent of the West Bank in Phases 1 and 2 of a three-stage withdrawal, and skip the third phase altogether. The Palestinians have said they expect Israel to hand over 30 percent of the territory in each of the three stages.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin defended his leading economic reformer, saying he would not heed opposition demands to expel Anatoly Chubais from his government. Yeltsin dismissed Chubais as finance minister last week, but let him retain the more powerful post of first deputy prime minister. Chubais has been criticized for his role in a shady book deal.

The Organization of Oil Exporting Countries was expected to debate whether to raise production limits at today's meeting of the 11-member cartel. Arriving for the meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi renewed his country's call for increasing OPEC's quotas to account for the cheating that has lifted supplies by about 3 million barrels beyond the 25 million daily limit. Libya wants the ceiling to remain the same, while Iran said OPEC should work to shore up oil prices rather than increase production.

Supporters of war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic appeared to be ahead in the Bos-nian Serb sub-state's parliamentary elections. Preliminary results showed the pro-Karadzic Serb Democratic Party with nearly 33 percent of the vote, while the party of his successor and rival, Biljana Plavsic, had almost 20 percent. Final results are due next month.

A fire caused by an electric short circuit swept through a Venezuelan prison, killing 16 inmates and injuring 32 others, officials said. The blaze at the La Sabaneta prison, 320 miles west of Caracas, started in an overcrowded area where cables were said to have overheated.

Niger's president dissolved his government, accusing it of "incompetence," news reports said. Ibrahim Mainassara cited the government's inability to end strikes by state workers for the decision. The workers are demanding unpaid wages, salary increases and improved working conditions. Mainassara has yet to resolve the economic and political problems that led him to seize power in a 1996 coup.

"Most adult children greatly overestimate how likely their mothers were to name them

as the closest child."

- Cornell University gerontologist Karl Pillemer, on a study on parental favoritism among women in their later years.


The bus company is named after a dog, but because a driver wouldn't allow one on board, Greyhound Lines now has a public relations problem to shed. The driver evicted an elderly passenger at 3 a.m. and 80 miles from her destination, Tampa, Fla., because she carried a tiny puppy just given to her as a birthday present. Police from five jurisdictions took her home, relay-style, then sent roses. For its part, Greyhound has apologized and refunded her fare.

The instructions to police were terse: Restore order - quickly. So they went to the scene of the disturbance in Khuzdar, Pakistan, and broke up a rampage by angry protesters. Was the fuss about a sports event that didn't turn out the way fans wanted? No, local college students rioted because they weren't allowed to cheat on exams.

The Day's List

Martial Arts Fantasy Film Kicks Its Way to Top Slot

"Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," a sequel aimed at adolescent male movie-goers, outpaced such highly hyped new releases as "Anastasia" and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" as the top box-office draw last weekend. The most profitable movies for Nov. 21-23 and their estimated revenues (in millions):

1. "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" $17.5

2. "Anastasia" 15.0

3. "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" 11.0

4. "The Jackal" 9.0

5. "The Little Mermaid" (reissue) 5.8

6. "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" 5.2

7. "Starship Troopers" 5.0

8. "Bean" 4.0

9. "The Man Who Knew Too Little" 3.0

10. "I Know What You Did Last Summer" 2.8

- Exhibitor Relations Inc./AP

To Our Readers:

The Christian Science Monitor will not be published Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 27, a legal holiday in the United States.

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