News In Brief

The US

Judiciary chairman Henry Hyde plans to call only independent counsel Kenneth Starr and one other witness during impeachment hearings, House officials said. Hyde met in Illinois with his top investigators, then held a conference call with other panel Republicans to lay out a hearing schedule that would finish by year's end. He also issued a statement saying this week's election results won't affect his plans for the inquiry.

The State Department offered a record $5 million reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of Saudi exile Osama bin Laden. He was charged in a 238-count indictment along with five others, including Muhammad Atef, reportedly the military commander of bin Laden's group. The indictment, from a New York grand jury, blamed Bin Laden and the others for the Aug. 7 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa.

A longtime supporter of Vice President Al Gore was indicted on 42 counts alleging illegal donations to the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign and two Tennessee Democratic senatorial candidates. Franklin Haney - a Chattanooga, Tenn., developer - was accused of contributing money in the names of other people listed on election records. In addition to the Clinton-Gore campaign, Haney was charged with making illegal gifts to the unsuccessful 1994 campaigns of former Sen. James Sasser and Rep. Jim Cooper. Sasser is now US ambassador to China.

An Ohio fast-food company was fined $333,450 for violating child-labor laws after federal authorities found GZK Inc. had illegally hired 42 minors, including one under age 14, the Labor Department said. The minors were working at four Ohio restaurants operated by GZK. Thirty-two of the minors were said to have illegally operated power-driven meat slicers.

ABC technical workers filed an unfair-labor-practice charge against the network for locking them out of their jobs. ABC barred 2,200 of the unionized employees from jobs after they staged a 24-hour strike Monday. Workers have been picketing outside the network's New York headquarters, as well as at its offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington. The dispute has forced ABC managers and non-union staff to operate cameras to continue broadcasting.

Tropical storm Mitch doused Florida with heavy rain and high winds as remnants of the hurricane that devastated much of Central America last week crossed the Gulf of Mexico. Tornado and flood watches were posted for parts of Florida. Forecasters said tides would be 3 to 5 feet above normal. Maximum sustained winds were about 50 m.p.h.

US emissions of greenhouse gases rose 1.4 percent in 1997, a slower annual rate than the year before but about average for most of this decade, the Energy Information Administration said. Carbon-dioxide emissions rose 1.5 percent last year, with most of the increase coming from the burning of fossil fuels. "For the first time in six years, the transportation sector made little contribution to US carbon-emission growth," the EIA said.

Arizona became the first state to elect women to its top five elective offices. In addition to the victory of Gov. Jane Hull - who took office a year ago, after former Gov. Fife Symington was convicted on bank-fraud charges - Janet Napolitano was elected attorney general; Betsey Bayless, secretary of state; Carol Springer, treasurer; and Lisa Graham Keegan, superintendent of public instruction. All are Republicans except Napolitano, who is a Democrat.

An item in this space Thursday, Nov. 5, erred in saying all 17 members of an Apparel Industry Partnership had signed onto a proposal to create a new independent entity to monitor working conditions in clothing and shoe factories of firms voluntarily adopting a code of conduct. In fact, only nine of 17 representatives of corporate, labor, consumer, religious, and human-rights groups signed the accord. A labor member said he opposed it for not making more of a commitment to paying "a living wage."

The World

Israel's Cabinet took up the controversial US-brokered peace accord in a marathon meeting. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated the 17-member Cabinet would ratify the deal. He opened the doors to a Cabinet meeting after acknowledging that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat had met his demands for a clear commitment to arresting 30 Palestinians accused of killing or trying to kill Israelis.

Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo urged President Clinton to assemble a massive multinational relief effort to "avoid the greatest human and social tragedy in Central American history." Officials estimate it will cost $2 billion - a third of Honduras's annual economic output - for the country to clean up after hurricane Mitch.

Russian President Yeltsin can not run for a third presidential term, Russia's Constitutional Court ruled. The Constitution adopted in 1993 imposed a two-term limit on the presidency. But the court had to determine whether he was serving his first or second term: Some Kremlin aides said it was his first because he was elected under a different Constitution. Also, the lower house of Parliament rejected a measure that would have required Yeltsin to step down if he failed a medical exam.

Iraq dismissed a resolution drafted by the UN that demands its cooperation with UN arms inspectors, saying that any measure must include a timetable for ending economic sanctions. Meanwhile, Clinton disputed suggestions by congressional representatives that some US allies in the Gulf don't support US policy on the issue.

South African President Nelson Mandela was to meet today with Rwandan military strongman Paul Kagame in efforts to resolve the Congo conflict. Rwandan and Ugandan troops have assisted in the uprising against Congo President Laurent Kabila, Congolese rebel leader Ernest Wamba dia Wamba admitted. And Kabila's government said it would respond to allegations made by a UN investigator of human rights abuses, ethnic cleansing, and the killing, jailing, and humiliation of any opposition.

Zimbabwe put its Army on full alert after deploying troops into the streets and warned of potential anarchy from violent protests over soaring fuel prices. Trade unions said they might call a five-day national strike to protect fuel prices and other rising costs. Zimbabwe is facing inflation approaching 40 percent, an unstable currency, high interest rates, and rising unemployment.

The president of the UN war-crimes tribunal called Yugoslavia a "rogue state" after Belgrade refused to allow Chief prosecutor Louise Arbour and a team of investigators to carry out a probe of alleged atrocities in Kosovo. She and her team were refused visas to conduct on-site investigations and interview witnesses. Gabrielle Kirk McDonald said the failure to issue the visas put him on a collision course with the UN Security Council.

Government troops in Tajikistan claimed they drove rebels out of Khodzhand after a fierce battle that killed at least 50 soldiers and rebels in two days. The rebels still control another northern town, Aini, having appointed a new police chief and confiscating large amounts of industrial explosives, the Interfax news agency reported.

The International Monetary Fund could announce as early as today a $30-billion-plus loan package with Brazil. The aid package will be backed up with cash from industrial nations intent on stemming the global financial crisis.


" Our continent is facing one of the greatest dangers since colonial days." - South African Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad, on the danger of the Congo crisis evolving into a a massive African war.

The Swiss town of Echallens has seen a preview of what can happen when computers, which usually read only the final two digits of the year, need to read all four numbers, as in 2000. One of the town's retired school teachers, born in 1893, recently received an order to attend elementary school along with the local 5-year-olds.

A piece of advice to those seeking a driver's license: Don't crash during the exam. Just ask Huai Qing. She was probably doing just fine until she steered into a parking space at a storefront in Carrboro, N.C., Monday - and then found herself inside the building after hitting the wrong pedal. No one was hurt in the incident, but Qing was cited for failure to reduce speed. No, she didn't pass the test.

An election for sheriff in Kemper County, Miss., got a little messy in the end - and it actually took a lot of hot air to sort it out. A clerk was forced to pull out a hand-held hair dryer Tuesday to help separate of a stack of damp ballots that were so stuck together they couldn't be counted by machines.

The Day's List

Nobel Peace Laureates Exchange Ideas on Peace

Seven Nobel Peace Prize recipients were being featured at a two-day conference on peace that began yesterday at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The moderator of the Nobel Peace Laureates Conference on Human Rights, Conflict, and Reconciliation is Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP and a University of Virginia lecturer. The laureates scheduled to attend and the years in which they won the peace prize:

Betty Williams, N. Ireland 1976

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa 1984

Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica 1987

The Dalai Lama, Tibet 1989

Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Guatemala 1992

Josi Ramos-Horta, East Timor 1996

Jody Williams, US 1998

- Associated Press

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