News In Brief

The US

Public opinion notwithstanding, an end to the Monica Lewinsky probe is nowhere in sight, legal sources said. Prosecutors have reportedly called Lewinsky back to answer more questions before the grand jury today. She is expected to answer questions prompted by President Clinton's grand-jury testimony and TV confession. Prosecutors are reportedly aiming to send their report to Congress in early September. Meanwhile, the Clinton family arrived on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., for a two-week vacation.

A suspect in the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi has given details of a paramilitary network aimed at US interests abroad and orchestrated by Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, The Washington Post reported. The article quoted notes taken by Pakistani intelligence officials who questioned the man, whom US authorities have identified as Mohammed Sadiq Howaida. He was detained in Pakistan, where he flew from Kenya on the day of the bombing. Howaida was later sent back to Kenya for more questioning.

About a dozen US embassies have reportedly either shut down or have been unable to provide normal services due to threatening situations in recent days. Local upheavals are the source of much of the problem. But in Pakistan, threats believed to be related to embassy bombings in East Africa prompted the evacuation of some 200 Americans Tuesday and an earlier evacuation in Tirana, Albania. Some 120 heavily armed US marines taking part in NATO exercises in Albania were summoned yesterday to beef up security at the embassy in Tirana.

Attorney General Janet Reno's review of a probe into Democratic campaign fund-raising abuses should be finished by early next week, a spokesman said. Reno has refused to appoint an independent counsel to probe abuses by the Clinton administration and the Democratic Party during the 1996 election campaign, saying there was insufficient evidence of criminal activity. A Republican-led House panel cited Reno for contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over memos recommending independent counsel.

UN Ambassador Bill Richardson was sworn in as Energy Secretary, but he will not yet vacate his UN post. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has not scheduled a hearing on Clinton's nomination of Bosnia peace-negotiator Richard Holbrooke to be UN ambassador.

Builders broke ground on new homes at the highest rate in more than 11 years in July, the Commerce Department reported. Construction starts jumped 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.72 million - sharply contrary to Wall Street analysts' forecasts for a moderate slowing - after a matching 5.7 percent surge in June.

The Federal Reserve Board left key interest rates unchanged. The benchmark overnight federal-funds rate remains at 5.5 percent.

Northwest Airlines reversed course and instituted a 4 percent fare increase, which its rivals quickly matched. After blocking repeated attempts by competitors to raise fares this year, the fourth-largest US airline raised prices on tickets for domestic travel bought seven, 14, and 21 days in advance. Northwest is facing the threat of an Aug. 29 strike by its 6,200 unionized pilots.

Eight people have died after taking drugs prescribed under Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law, state health officials said. Two other people reportedly obtained the medications but never used them. A chief proponent of the law - the only statute of its kind in the country - said the new statistics are evidence that the opponents' fears that the new statute would be abused were unfounded.

The World

Afghanistan's Islamic Taliban movement denied that a prime suspect in the US Embassy bombings was involved "in any subversive activity." A spokesman said the Taliban would refuse to hand over Osama bin Laden, a Saudi dissident living in Afghanistan, to investigators if asked to do so. Meanwhile, an Arabic-language daily said an Islamic group linked to Bin Laden sent a statement to its Cairo office, vowing to continue "holy-struggle operations" against the US until American forces withdraw from Muslim countries.

FBI and Kenyan investigators raided a Nairobi hotel in connection with the US Embassy bombing there Aug. 7. They would not reveal further details about the search. A Kenyan newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reported that two rooms in the hotel were used to make the bomb. An employee working there said detectives had arrested the hotel manager.

A dissident Irish republican group announced a "suspension" of further attacks shortly after claiming responsibility for the Aug. 16 bombing in Omagh. Irish politicians called "the real" IRA's statement "too little and too late" and demanded the group declare a formal cease-fire. The Irish Cabinet met in Dublin to discuss tougher security measures against republican extremists.

Some 10,000 ethnic-Albanian refugees, trapped by Serb forces, were searching for an escape route out of the Serb province of Kosovo to nearby Albania or Montenegro, relief officials said. The refugees were said to have gathered in the village of Brolic, near the Albanian border. In Albania, authorities said they were evacuating children and the elderly from the border after three mortars fired from Kosovo fell half a mile inside their territory. Albania's government demanded international forces be stationed along the border.

Conflicting reports emerged over a possible African military intervention in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. Angola's government said the 14-nation South African Development Community agreed to help embattled Congo President Laurent Kabila, who is fighting a rebel uprising allegedly abetted by Rwanda and Uganda. Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia promised military support for Kabila. But South Africa said the entire community had not reached such an agreement. In Congo's capital, Kinshasa, power outages continued and people stocked up on provisions.

A UN envoy left Iraq, describing his talks with the government as "friendly" and affirming that relations had not reached "a crisis." Prakash Shah, who completed a six-day visit, failed to persuade the government to resume cooperation with UN inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction. The UN Security Council's president said the time wasn't right to start threatening Iraq.

As Russian stocks tumbled past two-year lows, pressure on the government ratcheted higher. Labor unions pressed strident demands that workers' back wages be indexed to compensate for this week's defacto currency devaluation. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev called again for the resignation of President Boris Yeltsin, describing his government as "defacto bankrupt."

The International Labor Organization urged governments to recognize the sex industry, but stopped short of supporting its legalization. Completing a detailed survey of growing prostitution in Southeast Asia, the group noted advantages to taxing "the lucrative activities."


" It's hardly good enough to say 'we're good boys now and we have changed our minds.' " - Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament Willie Thompson, on "the real" IRA's announcement that it would suspend violent attacks like the bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland.

David Hunsinger is now Just A. Name - literally. His new identity came courtesy of Florida Judge Maurice Giunta, who agreed to change Hunsinger's name, but only after arguing that his original choice - Just Anonymity Name - "just didn't flow." So the young singer and pizza delivery man agreed to abbreviate Anonymity. No word on whether his parents are willing to go with the flow.

"What's in a name?" Well, just ask someone in Mongolia. People there have been identified only by their first names since 1921, when a new Communist regime banned the use of family names to suppress allegiance to tribal clans. Since 1990, democracy and cultural traditions have flourished again, and the government is asking people to resurrect surnames long hidden - and often forgotten. Some are picking new names. Among the favorites: Borjiin, surname of Genghis Khan, and Gurragchaa, Mongolia's first cosmonaut.

The Day's List

Bestselling Fiction At Big Internet Book Site, the Internet marketing giant that calls itself "the earth's biggest bookstore," keeps a running count of top-selling titles. Some current fiction stars apparently benefited from a surge of interest in English classics after separate lists of 100 best English-language books were released recently by the Modern Library and students in the Radcliffe College publishing program. Amazon's current top-10 fiction books:

1. "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" Rebecca Wells

2. "Little Altars Everywhere" Rebecca Wells

3. "Lolita" Vladimir Nabokov

4. "Ulysses" James Joyce

5. "She's Come Undone" Wally Lamb

6. "One for the Money" Janet Evanovich

7. "The God of Small Things" Arundhati Roy

8. "The Great Gatsby" F. Scott Fitzgerald

9 "The Killer Angels" Michael Shaara

10. "The Notebook : A Novel" Nicholas Sparks

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