News In Brief

The US

The Senate was expected to approve $18 billion in funds for the International Monetary Fund, shifting debate to the House where a companion bill includes only $3.4 billion for the agency. The Senate's IMF package is part of a bill that provides $12.6 billion for fiscal 1999 foreign-aid programs, a slight cut from this year and an amount the White House has called inadequate.

The Senate approved an $8.45 billion in funding for military construction projects, the first of 13 fiscal 1999 spending bills to earn final congressional approval. The compromise measure, about $760 million below current spending levels but some $600 million above President Clinton's request, includes funds for housing and construction projects as well as base closings. The president is expected to sign it.

Kenny Guinn (R) and Jan Jones (D) coasted to victories in Nevada gubernatorial primaries, setting up a November showdown for the office of Gov. Bob Miller (D), who is stepping down after two terms. Jones, mayor of Las Vegas and Guinn, a retired businessman, each won about 60 percent of the votes in their respective primaries. Two-term Democrat Harry Reid ran unopposed for his party's Senate nomination. and Rep. John Ensign, a two-term House member, had more than 80 percent of the GOP vote in winning the right to challenge Reid in November.

Attorney General Janet Reno said she had opened an inquiry into whether Harold Ickes, a former top White House aide, committed perjury before a Senate committee. The Justice Department probe could lead to the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate allegations of campaign-finance abuses in 1996.

The College Board cited evidence of grade inflation in US high schools. In a special report, they noted that number of students with A averages taking the College Board's annual SAT exams had increased from 28 percent to 38 percent over the past 10 years, while the same student's verbal SAT scores were declining 12 points and their math scores 3 points. The board said average math scores rose one point this year; verbal average remained the same.

Orders to factories jumped 1.2 percent in July, the best showing since November, the Commerce Department said. Led by a rebound in demand for electronics and industrial machinery, orders totaled a seasonally adjusted $335.2 billion. July was the second month of recovery in orders after a 2.2 percent May drop.

Americans long for times when they went to work for a company and stayed there, a new poll indicated. Seventy-two percent of 1,123 randomly selected adults said they preferred "the security of staying with one employer for a long time and moving up the ladder," in a poll conducted for Shell Oil Co. by Peter D. Hart Research Associates. Only 25 percent said firms are "very to fairly loyal" to employees.

Tropical storm Earl triggered hurricane warnings from Louisiana to Florida, prompting many residents to move inland. Though there was considerable uncertainty about the future track of the storm, forecasters said it could build quickly.

Firefighters battled wildfires in a number of Western states, including Washington, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, and California. In southern California, lightning touched off dozens of blazes, destroying 39 homes and burning an estimated 34,000 acres. The largest fire was about 85 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Almost two-thirds of traditional US medical schools now teach alternative therapies, a survey found. The poll, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 75 of 117 responding schools offered elective courses in chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal, or mind-body remedies - or at least included those topics in required courses. Less than two years earlier, an AMA poll found only 46 schools teaching the topics.

The World

Political and religious leaders in Northern Ireland were issuing measured responses to a declaration by Sinn Fein that the province's guerrilla conflict "must be for all of us a thing of the past." Moderate nationalist leader John Hume welcomed the statement - apparently timed for President Clinton's arrival there today. But the British government and Protestant unionists said it was up to Sinn Fein's military ally, the Irish Republican Army, to back the words with deeds by surrendering its arsenal of weapons.

The two-day summit in Moscow between Clinton and Russian President Yeltsin ended with more declarations of mutual support and cooperation on security and arms control. Meanwhile, Communist leaders in parliament moved up to tomorrow their second vote on Yeltsin's nomination of Viktor Chernomyrdin as prime minister, making it likely, analysts said, that he would again be rejected. Yeltsin has dismissed their calls to find another candidate.

The former mayor of a central Rwanda village was found guilty of nine counts of genocide, torture, and rape - the first such conviction by the controversial UN war-crimes tribunal meeting in neighboring Tanzania. Jean-Paul Akayesu was accused of ordering the deaths of 2,000 people who had sought his protection amid the country's spreading 1994 genocide. The conviction was expected to be greeted with little enthusiasm because many Rwandans had tired of waiting for the tribunal to act.

The "trial of the century" in Belgium opened, with former NATO chief Willy Claes and 11 other defendants accused in a 1988-89 plot to trade military aviation contracts for kickbacks to two leading political parties. The deals involved Italian and French companies that allegedly provided the parties with more than $2 million in "gifts" so close to the awarding of the contracts that they could only be bribes. Claes, who was economics minister at the time, went on to become NATO secretary-general in 1994, but quit the post a year later as the allegations intensified.

Indonesia's armed forces chief reversed course and sent troops back into volatile Aceh Province three days after fulfilling a promise to withdraw them. The move came in response to spreading violence in the separatist region, which caused hundreds of ethnic Chinese to flee and left buildings ablaze. There was no word on how long the troops would remain.

The first general strike by Air Canada pilots in 61 years shut down the carrier's operations, and no bargaining sessions were scheduled between the two sides. The 2,100 pilots seek higher pay and improved working conditions. The carrier's last offer when contract talks broke down was for a 9 percent hike over two years. The strikers want 12 percent.

Due to its higher birth rate, India will overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2050, a UN agency projected. A report by the Fund for Population Activities said India contributes about 20 percent of the 80 million people being added to the world each year. China currently has an estimated 1.2 billion people, to India's 975.8 million.

A likely new US target for terrorist bombers may be its embassy in Kuwait, a spokesman there said. A taped message on the embassy's telephone line told callers "appropriate security precautions" were being taken" because of information that an attack similar to those last month in Kenya and Tanzania "may be being planned." Meanwhile, an unsigned note in English that was found aboard an arriving flight from Dubai also warned that the US embassy in the Philippines "will be bombed on Sept. 4" - tomorrow.


"The words are very clear-cut. The so-called conflict is over for the Republican movement." - Moderate nationalist leader John Hume, on Sinn Fein's declaration Tuesday that sectarian violence in Northern Ireland 'must be for all of us a thing of the past.'

Those of you planning one of those weddings in which you exchange vows while parachuting from an airplane or underwater in scuba gear: How will you look back on it in later life? Well, consider the case of Dorothy Ludwick. She and her husband, Robert, a minor league baseball player, were married at home plate of a stadium in Nashua, N.H., with 3,500 people in the stands. Last week they returned for their 50th anniversary. And does she remember the occasion fondly? No. She'd rather have had a traditional church ceremony. In fact, she still won't even look at their wedding album.

Speaking of 50th anniversaries, George and Ruth Selby hoped to spend theirs at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where they honeymooned in 1948. But their $15-a-night room now rents for $435. Still, the Delray Beach, Fla., couple were told they'd be welcome at the old rate if they could produce the receipt from their first visit. They did. And it was, said Mrs. Selby, "like going back in time."

The Day's List

US Shoppers Find Some Good Values in Canada

With the Canadian dollar at historic lows against its US counterpart, a recent survey compared prices in Trail, British Columbia, with those a two-hour drive away in Spokane, Wash. At the time of the survey, one US dollar was valued at about $1.50 Canadian, but the exchange rate didn't translate into good buys on all products. For instance, Big Macs, an RCA stereo TV, and gasoline cost considerably more in Canada. Comparative prices on a few of the good buys (in US dollars, plus sales tax):

Item in Canada/in US

Pampers (60-pack) $12.51/$15.49

Motel room $67/$79

Nintendo 64 machine $150/$162

"Pocahontas" video $17/$29

Dry cleaning a dress $6.58/$9

Nike Air Max Triads $67/$91

Spice Girls CD $13.49/$20.52

Tony Morrison's "Paradise" $24.75/$27.02

- Associated Press

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