News In Brief

The US

Six US embassies have temporarily suspended operations in the wake of bombing attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, State Department officials said. US ambassadors are authorized to close embassy doors, based on an assessment of local conditions. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering said some embassies will have to be relocated to guard against future terrorist attacks. Investigators suspect the powerful explosive Semtex was used in the Kenya and Tanzania attacks, which have reportedly taken at least 250 lives and injured nearly 5,000 other people.

US stocks rebounded in morning trading from heavy losses earlier in the week. The market responded favorably after Asian markets stabilized and European markets regained some ground following a bruising sell-off. The yen also rose against the dollar after Japanese officials made forceful comments in support of the currency.

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado breezed to a GOP primary victory over challenger Bill Eggert, a Denver lawyer. On the Democratic side, Dottie Lamm, wife of former Gov. Dick Lamm, defeated state Rep. Gil Romero for the Senate nomination. State Treasurer Bill Owens won the GOP nomination for governor, defeating state Senate President Tom Norton. In November, Owens will face Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler, who defeated state Senate minority leader Mike Feeley to become the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

One of the boys in the Jonesboro, Ark., schoolyard massacre pleaded guilty and the other was convicted, bringing a swift end to the deadliest case in a string of US school shootings. The boys, ages 12 and 14, got the maximum penalty allowed by law - confinement to a juvenile center, perhaps until they turn 21. Juvenile officials will decide exactly how long. The judge added 90 days in jail, should they be released before they're 21.

An Air Force Titan 4A rocket exploded in flames less than a minute after blastoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the Air Force said. Space analysts said they believe the Lockheed Martin Corp.-built rocket was carrying a spy satellite designed to collect communications data. The satellite was built by the US National Reconnaissance Office.

The White House denounced conservative House Republicans for contemplating a government shutdown over budget issues later this year. White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles took issue with published remarks of Indiana Rep. David McIntosh, chairman of the influential Conservative Action Team. An article published Monday by the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, said President Clinton's legal troubles have led House conservatives to believe a government shutdown this fall would be politically winnable for Republicans.

The Boston Globe gave columnist Mike Barnicle a two-month suspension for "sloppy reporting," withdrawing a demand that he resign. The turnabout came less than a week after Barnicle refused to resign when the Globe accused him of plagiarizing parts of a column and then lying about it. Readers have bombarded the newspaper with phone calls, letters, and e-mails supporting him.

An earthquake measuring 5.4 rolled through the San Francisco area, shaking skyscrapers and unnerving commuters. There were no immediate reports of major damage of injuries. Scientists said the quake was centered about 7 miles southeast of San Juan Bautista on the central California coast.

Having vanquished the Atlantic, US adventurer Steve Fossett was floating across the Indian Ocean toward Australia in a bid to become the first person to fly nonstop around the world in a balloon. His flight had already made him the first balloonist to cross the South Atlantic - and is already the second-longest manned balloon flight, passing the 5,802 miles Fossett covered during his last attempt to circle the globe.

The World

NATO ambassadors concluded a meeting in Brussels having moved slightly closer to a possible air operation over Kosovo. NATO's military authorities were asked to assess what contributions member states were prepared to make to such a plan. But a quick military intervention did not appear likely. US and French officials agreed it would depend on the approval of Russia, which has opposed armed action against its Serb allies.

A special UN diplomat is scheduled to meet Iraqi officials today, carrying "a very firm message" that the country must resume its cooperation with weapons inspectors. An influential Iraqi newspaper said the government would listen to envoy Prakash Shah, but did not intend to budge from its decision last week to withdraw cooperation until the UN lifts its eight-year embargo on the country.

Russia warned that Afghanistan's civil war could spill across Central Asia as neighboring Uzbekistan put its border troops on high alert. An Uzbek official announced the move after Afghanistan's Taliban militia reportedly captured the city of Hayratan, near the Uzbek border, as part of a drive to control all of Afghanistan. Russia declared it would "strengthen" its peacekeeping force in Tajikisitan, near the Afghan border, because "the danger has increased." However, the Taliban militia said it had no designs on its neighbors.

Russian coal miners agreed to lift a blockade of the Trans-Siberian railway near the city of Chelyabinsk after the regional government promised to pay them $6 million in back wages. The three-week blockade reportedly caused the railway a loss of $19 million. Meanwhile, the government vowed to continue its economic reforms.

As an African peace envoy struggled to find a solution to Congo's civil war, a rebel commander said his 60,000 troops were moving on the capital, Kinshasa, and planned to topple President Laurent Kabila. The government countered that Kabila's troops had regained control of some rebel-held territory. A Zambian mediator arrived in Kinshasa to try to open talks between Congo and Rwanda, which has denied Kabila's accusation that it orchestrated the ethnic-Tutsi-led uprising.

Three Kenyan newspapers took aim at the US military's handling of the Nairobi bombing, accusing it of being more concerned with American than African lives in the aftermath of the tragedy. Kenyan volunteer rescuers alleged that Marines guarding the US Embassy, extensively damaged by the bombing, stopped them from reaching victims in a neighboring building, which recorded the most casualties. The US Embassy in Kenya strongly denied the claims, issuing a two-page statement detailing American efforts to assist survivors in both buildings.

Announcing that Angola's peace process was in "profound crisis," the national government imposed an August 28 deadline for UNITA rebels to disband their troops and hand over territory under their control. The ultimatum followed a two-month breakdown in peace talks. But UNITA said the sides needed to "restore contact and trust" before it demilitarized.

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi prepared for another long stand-off with the military government after it again blocked her from driving to a meeting of her political party. Last month, the Nobel Peace laureate staged a six-day protest in her car when she was prevented from attending a similar party conference.


"We don't want an atrocious war. We want to end this soon." - Jean-Pierre Ondekane, a rebel Congolese commander in Goma, who said his troops were closing on the capital, Kinshasa, as diplomatic efforts to end the fighting intensified.

The Irritating nighttime howls of thousands of dogs has proved too much for a provincial official in the autonomous Volga republic of Tartarstan in central Russia. In a canine crackdown, the mayor of Naberezhniye Chelny has ordered his fellow citizens to keep their hounds from barking between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. To prove to skeptical citizens that he's serious, Mayor Rifgat Altynbayev also imposed a hefty 15-ruble ($2.40) fine on owners who fail to obey the order. Some of the townsfolk may think the mayor is barking up the wrong tree, so to speak, since much of the commotion may be traced to abandoned pets freely flouting the mayoral edict.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D) of New York is dean of the so-called "sea caucus," a handful of congressmen who spurn Washington's high society for the hardy maritime life. Ackerman resides in a used, cramped 42-foot houseboat at the Capital Yacht Club. His waterborne residence, dubbed the "Unsinkable II" (the original sank), is the "envy of a lot of congressional offices" because of its Friday cruises, he says. One drawback: His wife is not a boat person. "She's comes down [from New York] and it's hotelsville."

The Day's List

Small Firms Struggle to Keep Up With Technology

A recent survey of US small-business leaders found marketing and technology were the areas in which they felt their companies needed the most improvement. In the poll of 401 of these executives, conducted for KeyCorp by Wirthlin Worldwide, only 10 percent said the Internet has had a major impact on their business. Some of the new technologies these small-business leaders said are in use at their companies and the percentage of firms using each of them:

Fax machines 95%

Specialized software applications 73%

Internet 63%

Electronic mail 62%

Voice mail 58%

World Wide Web site 37%

- Associated Press

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