News In Brief

The US

President Clinton was to call for a meeting of key world finance ministers and central bankers to discuss the worldwide financial crisis, a White House official said. The proposals were expected to come during a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, current chairman of the Group of Seven, was quoted as saying a special G7 meeting was possible but would not take place before a finance-ministers meeting in Washington Oct. 3. Meanwhile, Newsweek magazine said Clinton would declare sometime this week US support for further use of International Monetary Fund reserves to firm up markets in Latin America.

The full House is likely to vote on the question of a formal impeachment inquiry in the next few weeks, congressional officials said. Republicans and Democrats said it appeared the full House would vote on the question before the November elections. The Judiciary Committee must first decide whether enough evidence exists to go forward with impeachment proceedings. If a majority decides in the affirmative, the panel of 21 Republicans and 16 Democrats will forward the recommendation to the full House. If a majority agrees, it will authorize a full inquiry by the committee, which could take months.

Voters in eight states and the District of Columbia go to the polls today to set the stage for midterm elections Nov. 3. Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington are choosing candidates for governor, Congress, state legislatures, and lesser offices. North Carolina is selecting House candidates; the District of Columbia is picking candidates to replace outgoing Mayor Marion Barry.

A plan to curb pollution from the largest US livestock farms is to be unveiled Thursday by the Clinton administration, The Washington Post reported. The Post quoted administration officials as saying the plan, drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department, calls for tougher oversight of factory-like animal-feeding lots. It would require the largest facilities to obtain permits and develop detailed waste-management plans by 2003, the Post said, quoting from a copied draft of the plan.

The New York Times disconnected its Web page for about nine hours after computer hackers tampered with the site, inserting insults and offensive pictures, the newspaper reported. It said supporters of Kevin Mitnick, a computer hacker imprisoned in Los Angeles since 1995, had posted the material, which ridiculed two Times reporters.

The Coast Guard said it had rescued more than 400 Haitian men, women, and children trying to reach the US in an overloaded wooden freighter. It was the largest single boatload of would-be illegal immigrants picked up this year - and it brought to 696 the number of such Haitians rescued at sea to date in 1998. The latest were picked up 25 miles east of Key Largo, Fla., and were to be repatriated today.

Sammy Sosa caught up with Mark McGwire in baseball's home-run derby and rekindled a remarkable race for one of the most glamorous and prestigious records in sports. Sosa's 61st and 62nd homers of the season came in the fifth and ninth innings of a game his Chicago Cubs won, 11-10, over the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago. McGwire has not hit a home run since blasting his 62nd Sept. 8.

Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who died Sunday in Montgomery, was a legendary white supremacist who later embraced racial equality. Wallace gained notoriety as a fiery opponent of racial desegregation during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1968, he won nearly 10 million votes for president on the American Independent Party ticket. Wallace was wounded and partially paralyzed by a would-be assassin in 1972 during his third run for the presidency.

The World

Senior Western diplomats and financial leaders meeting in London on the Russian crisis were likely to be troubled by a policy shift announced by new Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, analysts said. Chairing his first Cabinet meeting, Primakov confirmed plans to steer away from the strict monetary reform favored by international lenders and toward social welfare. His No. 1 deputy, Communist former central-planning chief Yuri Maslyukov, said the top priority would be to pay off huge wage and pension debts owed to millions of Russians. Such a move probably would require a splurge of money-printing, which could stoke inflation, analysts said.

A "summit" aimed at ending Cambodia's political crisis was agreed to by leaders of the main political parties before parliament is due to convene late next week. The talks, to be chaired by King Norodom Sihanouk, were scheduled as police broke up an eighth straight day of violent antigovernment street protests in the capital, Phnom Penh. The meeting is to be attended by opposition leaders Norodom Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy, as well as Premier Hun Sen, who's accused of rigging July 26 elections won by his party.

Conditions worsened in Albania's capital as mourners tried to carry the coffins of a murdered opposition leader and his two bodyguards to the office of Prime Minister Fatos Nano. Guards inside fired on the group, wounding at least three people and setting off a riot. Police stood by as protesters seized government tanks and the state TV station. Nano's opponents accuse him of ordering the death late Saturday of Azem Hajdari, a popular rival who helped end four decades of Communist rule.

A new surge in political violence followed the announcement by Algeria's president that he would cut short his term and call a national election before March. Security sources blamed fundamentalist Muslim groups for the deaths of 41 people in the first 72 hours after Liamine Zeroual decided to end speculation that he would not serve the full five years of his term. He has been unable to quell the fundamentalist insurgency that erupted in 1992 and reportedly has lost the confidence of senior military commanders.

An economic summit of southern African leaders was expected to press Congo President Laurent Kabila to change course and meet with rebel leaders trying to topple him. But as Kabila arrived for the meeting in Mauritius, a new campaign began to oust the rebels from their headquarters in the eastern city of Goma.

An important victory for German Chancellor Kohl's party last weekend in a key southern state was mostly due to "local issues," his challenger in the Sept. 27 national election said. But Kohl disputed Social Democrat Gerhard Schrder's claim, saying the outcome in affluent Bavaria filled him with "fighting spirit." Kohl's Christian Democrats easily defeated the Social Democrats there, although the chancellor still trails Schrder in most public-opinion polls.

Saying his government's anticrime campaign depends on the freedom to speed up the executions of convicted murderers, Trinidad and Tobago's prime minister announced he'd file legislation Monday to rewrite the Constitution. Basdeo Panday withdrew the nation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in July, accusing it of foot-dragging on hearing the appeals of death-row inmates. Trinidad and Tobago courts are holding up the executions of an unknown number of convicts - mostly in drug-trafficking cases - because of complaints that prison conditions are "cruel and inhumane."


"What I did is for the people of Chicago, for America, for my mother, my wife, my kids, and the people I have around me - my team." - Cubs star Sammy Sosa, on becoming the second player to break baseball's single-season home-run record.

Way up in Arctic Norway, where winter isn't far off and there hasn't been much excitement since back in March when 23,000 troops took part in a NATO exercise called Strong Resolve, a local civilian decided it was time to stir things up. According to reports, he dressed in a sergeant's uniform, sneaked onto the Setermoen Army base in the wee hours of the morning, helped himself to an idle vehicle, and went for a joy ride. But not just any idle vehicle. He chose a 40-foot-long, armor-plated rocket launcher capable of firing 12 rounds 25 miles each. Fortunately, at least it wasn't loaded. Showing - well - strong resolve, police blocked the highway to southern Norway, ordered local residents to stay indoors, and arrested the fellow a few hours later.

Meanwhile, police in Orlando, Fla., are working on a series of burglaries so big that you could call them "Titanic." In fact, that's exactly what was stolen: 240 just-released cassette copies of the hit film from a warehouse and dozens more from video stores. Since many of them turned up for sale at a flea market, distributors have a sinking feeling that someone is trying to cut into their profits.

The Day's List

Atlanta Gobbles Way to Top of Urban-Sprawl List

In a recent Sierra Club survey of major US cities, Atlanta emerged as No. 1 in its consumption of green space - destroying 500 acres weekly. The environmental group says uncontrolled suburban growth translates into lost farmland, traffic jams, and rising costs of public services. Among sprawling urban areas of at least 1 million residents, the Sierra Club top 10 includes:

1. Atlanta

2. St. Louis

3. Washington

4. Cincinnati

5. Kansas City

6. Denver

7. Seattle

8. Minneapolis-St.Paul

9. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

10. Chicago

- Reuters

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