News In Brief

A federal judge rejected a White House plea of executive privilege designed to prevent senior aides from testifying for independent counsel Kenneth Starr.. Sources close to the case in Washington said Judge Norma Holloway Johnson had rejected arguments that advisers Bruce Lindsey and Sidney Blumenthal should be allowed to keep some conversations with President Clinton private.

Prosecutors disbanded the Whitewater grand jury in Little Rock, Ark. During two years of sifting evidence of questionable financial and legal dealings in Arkansas by Clinton and his wife, Hillary, the jury produced a single indictment - that of former Clinton business associate Susan McDougal.

Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina primaries set the stage for three Senate races in November:

- In North Carolina, attorney John Edwards won his first bid for public office, capturing the Democratic nomination over six opponents. Edwards will face GOP incumbent Lauch Faircloth, who is seeking a second term.

- In Ohio, Gov. George Voinovich easily won the GOP Senate nomination. His Democratic opponent will be Mary Boyle, a county commissioner who had no opposition.

- In Indiana, former Democratic Gov. Evan Bayh faced no opposition. In the GOP contest, Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke beat out two Indianapolis lawyers, Peter Rusthoven and John Price. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Helmke got 35 percent of the vote, Price 33 percent, Rusthoven 31 percent.

Democrats running for House seats where there are no incumbents may have a surprising cash advantage over GOP opponents, a report by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics said. Democrats reportedly raised an average of $188,000 to Republicans' $112,000 in the 15 months ending March 31 in contests for open House seats. Overall, however, Republicans raised an average of $380,000, for each House contest, compared to $324,000 for Democrats.

The Congressional Budget Office changed its projections, forecasting a federal surplus for fiscal 1998 of $43 billion to $63 billion. In its formal March estimate, the CBO had foreseen an $8 billion surplus. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department said it will no longer sell three-year notes after May because emerging surpluses mean the US will need to borrow less.

House minority leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri said Democrats would not hold up US contributions to the International Monetary Fund. Backing away from a statement last week, Gephardt said opposing IMF funding would be wrong, despite uneasiness among some Democrats with the agency's push to open capital markets around the world.

A survey of young viewers indicated their awareness of racial stereotypes on TV programs. Children perceive more negative depictions of blacks and Hispanics than of whites and Asians, researchers said after surveying 1,200 youths aged 10 to 17. Conducted for Children Now, an advocacy group based in Oakland, Calif., the poll indicated children more often associate positive qualities - such as leadership and intelligence - with white characters and negative qualities - from lawbreaking to financial hardship - with minority characters.

A top GOP aide involved in the House probe of campaign fund-raising quit as the panel's chairman sought to contain criticism of his handling of the politically charged investigation. Rep. Dan Burton (R) of Indiana told reporters that David Bossie had "chosen to resign" in the wake of controversy over the release of edited excerpts of Webster Hubbell's jailhouse phone conversations.

Orders for manufactured goods rose moderately in March as demand for industrial equipment and electronic devices helped to offset plummeting aircraft orders, the Commerce Department said. New orders increased by 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted $336.23 billion.

The World

Currency and stock trading in Indonesia both took major hits as worry mounted over the ongoing violence fueled by new commodity-price increases and the unpopularity of President Suharto. The rupiah fell 11 percent against the US dollar; the main stock-price index lost 4.7 percent. At least one protester died and dozens of others were hurt as police and rioters clashed in Jakarta, Ban- dung Medan, and other cities.

In what could become history's biggest industrial merger, German luxury carmaker Daimler-Benz confirmed it was negotiating with Chrysler Corp., the No. 3 US automaker. The Wall Street Journal estimated the value of the combined companies at $35 billion.

"Serious consideration" is now being given by Yugoslav President Milosevic to demands that he accept outside mediation of the Kosovo dispute, a Russian envoy said. Igor Ivanov left a meeting with Milosevic, saying mediation - so far reject-ed both by the Yugoslav leader and by Serbs generally in a referendum last month - would be only a "helping hand," not a "third party" in negotiations with Albanian separatists in the province. Albanians have refused to hold discussions without mediators. Also, without mediation, Yugoslavia faces a new round of economic sanctions beginning Saturday.

The second Basque guerrilla plot in three years to assassinate King Juan Carlos of Spain was uncovered by police, reports said. The attempt was to be made at the opening ceremony for a new tourist attraction in the city of San Sebastian later this year. Three Basques are in prison for a failed attempt to kill the king in 1995. Meanwhile, in Pamplona, police were investigating the murder of a local official who had quarreled with representatives of the political party affiliated with the guerrillas.

Denmark's government ordered an end to the nationwide strike that has brought commerce to a virtual standstill. Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen was expected to ask parliament for a pay hike larger than the one rejected by union leaders last month - which would be offset by reduced costs for employers.

Prime Minister Wim Kok and his Labor Party were expected to coast to victory as voters in the Netherlands went to the polls. Under Kok, the country has less than half the unemployment of neighboring states. It also qualified easily for membership in the European monetary union, with a budget deficit of 1.4 percent of gross domestic product.

Rescue crews reported finding 13 survivors of a downed charter plane in the remote jungles of northern Peru. The plane, which carried 79 Occidental Petroleum workers and a crew of eight, was en route to a base camp in the Andoas oil field 625 miles north of Lima.

Massive landslides and flooding caused by two days of torrential rain in the Naples-Salerno region of southern Italy killed at least 17 people and left more than 1,000 others homeless. Rescue teams were searching for another 50 people believed to have been buried by mud flows. Transportation in the area was at a standstill, officials said.

Controversial former Thai Prime Minister Chatichai Choon-havan, who died in London, had served in government almost continuously since 1974. An advocate of big business, he presided over the early years of the country's economic boom, but was ousted in a military coup in 1991 because of accusations that he was soft on corruption. He failed in a bid to regain the office last November.


"People are inspired by what they see on television. If they don't see themselves ...

they want to be someone else."

- An unidentified black child, responding to a survey of attitudes toward ethnic representation on TV programs.

OK, you're visiting Tucson, Ariz., and you notice everyone seems to be walking with his head down. No, it's not a contact lens all those folks are searching for; it's cockroaches. As a promotional gimmick, a pest-control company earlier this week released 100 of them with special bar codes imprinted on their shells. Each finder gets at least $100 for turning one in. A drawing, to be announced June 26, will yield a grand prize of $50,000.

Speaking of finding valuable things on the ground, a Concord, N.H., woman helped her city live up to its reputation as one of the most honest in the US. She picked up a bag containing $1,564 that had been drop-ped in a supermarket parking lot by a restaurateur. The bag was turned in to one of the market's managers. He gave it to police, who - in turn - were waiting for the rightful owner to report it missing. In 1995, Reader's Digest rated Concord No. 2 in honesty after residents turned in all eight cash-stuffed wallets dropped around town by undercover researchers.

Dramatic Drop Recorded In Teen Pregnancy Rates

Birthrates among US teenagers dropped in every state and for all races in the early 1990s, with births to black 15- to 19-year-olds at the lowest level yet recorded, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The black teen birthrate fell 21 percent between 1991 and 1996, although it remains nearly double the rate of whites. Hispanics now have the highest rates, with more than 1 in 10 teens giving birth each year. The 10 states with the greatest decline in such pregnancies:

State Percent Decline

Vermont 27.1

Alaska 23.1

Maine 22.4

Hawaii 18.1

Michigan 16.6

Missouri 13.9

Wisconsin 13.4

Minnesota 13.2

Wyoming 12.8

Maryland 12.3

- Associated Press

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