News In Brief
Congress will seek a fourth stopgap measure to keep the government open through tomorrow night as it struggles to settle differences with the White House over a mammoth budget bill, congressional aides said. With the current temporary spending measure set to expire last night, White House and congressional negotiators were trying to resolve disputes over education funding, family-planning issues, the 2000 census, and other issues.
Needy farmers may receive a bailout of as much as $7 billion as part of the budget compromise being negotiated between the White House and top GOP lawmakers, congressional sources said. They noted, however, that a number of issues were still unresolved. This year, farmers suffered the worst early-season drought since the Depression.
Legislation that would set aside 142,500 more visas for foreigners with high-tech skills was revived in Congress, days after it appeared dead for the year. White House and congressional budget negotiators tentatively agreed to insert the measure into a final spending package as Congress rushed to finish its work before adjourning for midterm elections.
The Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to Walter Kohn of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and John Pople of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. They were recognized for their work in quantum chemistry, which has led to the development of new ways of studying how molecules behave.
A former Army code breaker was charged with selling secrets to the Soviet Union. David Sheldon Boone, who has been living in Germany, was arrested after being lured to Washington by FBI agents posing as Russians trying to get him to resume spying, the Justice Department said. Boone was charged with espionage. The government said data that Boone delivered to a Soviet agent in the 1980s included the targets of tactical nuclear weapons that would be used in case of a Soviet attack.
The Treasury Department was sued for allegedly failing to invest some $1.65 billion in reparations granted by Congress to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II. Lost interest from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund may have exceeded $200 million, lawyers representing the plaintiffs said in a suit filed in federal court in San Francisco. Under a 1988 statute, the US government has paid more than 81,000 Japanese-Americans $20,000 each in an effort to compensate them for their forced internment.
The National Basketball Association cancelled the first two weeks of regular-season games, after contract talks with the Players Association failed to produce a settlement. A total of 99 games from Nov. 3 to Nov. 16 will not be played or made up, and the majority of players will miss their first paychecks Nov. 15. The NBA had been the only major US professional-sports league to never lose a game to a labor dispute.
Fugitive Eric Rudolph was to be charged in connection with three Atlanta bombings, including the 1996 explosion during the Olympics, FBI officials said. Rudolph was already accused of bombing one Alabama abortion clinic. Officials said he would also be charged with the July 1996 bombing at Centennial Olympic Park, which injured more than 100 people, and with Atlanta bombings at an abortion clinic in January 1997 and at a gay nightclub the following month.
An auto-sales rebound helped produce a modest 0.3 percent increase in retail sales for September, the Commerce Department said. Auto sales, following the General Motors strikes, shot up 0.9 percent. However, excluding autos, sales crept up just 0.1 percent in September, the same as in August.
American Home Products and Monsanto called off their $33.6 billion merger. Announced in June, it would have been the largest ever in the pharmaceutical industry.
Under US pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu back-ed down from a vow that there was "no chance" he'd sign a peace deal at the three-day summit with President Clinton and Palestinian Authority President Arafat. The vow followed the drive-by killing of a Jewish student in Jerusalem by suspected Palestinian gunmen as Netanyahu's Cabinet was authorizing a land-for-peace deal. Later, en route to Washington, Netanyahu predicted the talks "can succeed" if Arafat meets Israeli demands to crack down on militants.
Despite his agreement earlier this week to stave off punitive air strikes, Yugoslav President Milosevic still is not meeting international demands to restore peace in Kosovo, a senior NATO official said. He spoke as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe waited to sign an agreement in Belgrade that would send 2,000 "compliance verifiers" to the restive province. Meanwhile, UN convoys resumed shuttling humanitarian aid to Albanian refugees who have fled their homes in Kosovo.
Experts on nuclear weaponry from India and Pakistan are to open a dialogue today on employing safeguards to protect South Asia's huge population from a conflagration. Their talks come one day before the foreign ministers of the two countries resume stalled peace negotiations in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. A second round of talks is scheduled for Nov. 5-13 in New Delhi.
Security forces were on full alert in Colombia's capital as the city braced for a massive demonstration called by trade unions on Day 6 of a nationwide strike. President Andres Pastrana said his government wouldn't give in to "irrational demands" posed by the unions, which are protesting an austerity program of public-sector spending cuts and limits on wage increases. Negotiators for both sides broke off talks Tuesday, giving no hint when they might resume.
While hard-line protesters demonstrated outside, Russian Prime Minister Primakov told the upper house of parliament his government's limited food reserves, if needed, would be enough for only one-third of the population. In a frank assessment of Russia's economic woes, he said there was no easy way out of "one of the most difficult periods" in history. His plan for meeting the crisis is promised by Tuesday.
A merger between the church that dominated South Africa under apartheid and its nonwhite counterpart hung in the balance as a national conference considered whether to adopt a resolution on racial equality. Influential delegates to the Dutch Reformed Church's meeting say they oppose the "Confession of Belhar" as outdated and theologically unacceptable. The mixed-race Uniting Reformed Church vows to merge only if the statement is OK'd. The Dutch Reformed Church long taught its followers that the Bible ordained white rule.
The Nobel Prize for economics was awarded to Indian Prof. Amartya Sen for his work in raising understanding of the link between famines and poverty. Sen teaches at Britain's Trinity College in Cambridge.
Police defended a series of armed raids on the homes of democracy activists in Swaziland two days before national elections, calling them a "routine" method of crime-fighting. Mbabane, the capital, also was under tight guard, apparently due to the recent anarchy in neighboring Lesotho. But some opposition spokesmen said the Swazi government was trying to intimidate the democracy advocates, who have been trying to organize a boycott of tomorrow's vote.
My job is to put on games for the fans, not to cancel them. It's terribly disappointing."
- David Stern, National Basketball Association commissioner, announcing the league's first cancellation of games in 51 years because of a labor dispute.
Strike another blow against the notion that all professional athletes are self-absorbed. Earlier this week, eight-year National Hockey League veteran Sheldon Kennedy rolled - literally - into Vancouver, British Columbia, and promptly threw a free party for the city's children, complete with a live band. A nice gesture. But there's more to the story. Kennedy had just completed a 136-day cross-Canada trip on in-line skates to raise money for a ranch he wants to build. A victim of child abuse, he plans the facility as a retreat for newer victims and their families.
The ferry system linking the Hebrides Islands with Scotland is reconsidering its tariff policy. Why? In April, the company offered round-trip discounts to farmers taking their livestock to market on the mainland. All summer, crews watched as families drove aboard with sheep in their cars - only to bring them back two weeks later, claiming there were no buyers. It seems the animals had been left at cooperating Scottish farms while the islanders vacationed elsewhere. The ferry system calculates it lost well into the hundreds of dollars.
The Day's List
'Antz' Is Proving Tough To Dislodge at Box Office
The novelty film "Antz" remain-ed the most popular at theaters in the US and Canada for the second straight week. At the same time, industry analysts were calling Eddie Murphy's heavily promoted "Holy Man" a major disappointment, with only a fifth-place finish in its debut weekend. The top-grossing titles Oct. 9-11, in millions of dollars:
1. "Antz" $14.7
2. "Rush Hour" 11.1
3. "What Dreams May Come" 10.9
4. "A Night at the Roxbury" 6.1
5. "Holy Man" 5.1
6. "Urban Legend" 4.8
7. "Ronin" 4.7
8. "There's Something About Mary" 2.8
9. "One True Thing" 1.9
10. "Saving Private Ryan" 1.3
- Exhibitor Relations Inc./AP