News In Brief

The US

House Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde was expected to ask lawmakers to consider additional witnesses in the presidential impeachment investigation. GOP investigators were said to be especially interested in former Democratic fund-raiser John Huang. Calling Huang to testify could signal an expansion of the probe beyond the Monica Lewinsky matter. Meanwhile, the panel released edited versions of 37 tape recordings Linda Tripp made of conversations with Lewinsky.

House Democrats reinstated their two top leaders - and elevated Martin Frost of Texas to the post of caucus chairman. Richard Gephardt of Missouri and David Bonior of Michigan were reelected minority leader and whip, respectively. Frost defeated Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut for the caucus leadership. New Jersey's Robert Menendez was elected vice chairman of the caucus, defeating Albert Wynn of Maryland and Calvin Dooley of California. House Republicans choose their leaders today.

A majority of Americans support the decision to abort a US military attack on Iraq, after Baghdad promised unconditional access to weapons inspectors, a survey indicated. The CBS News poll found 54 percent of respondents agreeing with President's Clinton's decision; 39 percent felt the US should have taken military action anyway.

Clinton will begin a belated Asia tour this week, the White House said. Officials were hazy on the details of the president's schedule, saying that they were still being worked out. In flying to Japan, South Korea, and Guam, Clinton will be on a trip whose first leg - a visit to Malaysia to attend a Pacific Rim economic summit - he skipped in order to monitor the crisis over UN weapons inspections in Iraq.

Smoking among college students jumped 28 percent over a four-year period ending last year, a Harvard School of Public Health study found. The report said a 1997 survey showed more students smoking when they entered college than was the case four years earlier, at the time of a similar study.

A stay on deportations of illegal immigrants from Central American countries battered by hurricane Mitch was extended until Jan. 7 by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The INS had initially suspended deportations to those nations until Nov. 23 so they would not be burdened with repatriated nationals while coping with Mitch.

The Supreme Court ruled that union members can file discrimination lawsuits against employers even if their contracts generally require disputes to be handled through arbitration. The unanimous decision left unresolved the issue of whether union members can file such lawsuits when their contracts clearly waive that right.

The average retail price for regular unleaded gasoline fell below $1 a gallon for the first time in almost five years, the Energy Department said. The average price this week was 99.6 cents a gallon - the lowest since Jan. 10, 1994.

The World

Eighty-six UN weapons inspectors and support staff arrived back in Iraq amid questions about how fully President Saddam Hussein's government will cooperate with them. In Baghdad, newspapers kept up editorial denunciations of US President Clinton's "rude interven- tion" in Iraqi affairs in calling for a change in government. The US and Britain have warned that Iraq will be attacked without warning if inspectors are blocked again.

Despite the refusal of Albanian separatist leaders to meet with him, Serbian President Milan Milutinovic planned another attempt to stage peace talks today in Kosovo. It would be the 16th such effort in six months - all without the participation of Albanian representatives, who demand that the sessions be mediated by delegates from the US and other European governments. Serb authorities say the Kosovo problem is an internal matter and should not involve mediators.

Britain's highest court gave the government until Dec. 2 to decide whether former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet will be extradited to Spain. Pinochet remains under police guard in London, where he was arrested Oct. 16 at Spain's request for alleged murder, torture, and kidnapping of Spanish nationals during his 17-year rule. But the British government's decision will be relevant only if it wins an appeal of a ruling that Pinochet is immune from prosecution by virtue of having been a head of state.

A vote on censuring Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz was scheduled for tomorrow by Turkey's parliament, and analysts said it was virtually certain he'll lose. Defeat would then ensure a vote of no-confidence Nov. 25. Yilmaz has refused to step down in the face of allegations that he intervened to help a favored businessman in the $600-million privatization of the state-owned Turkbank in August. His government has tried to derail the censure effort because of the arrest of Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan last week in Italy.

Jailed Kurdish leader Ocalan won't be granted asylum in Italy unless it becomes clear that he has sincerely renounced terrorism, new Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema told parliament. But Italy's courts also have forbidden the extradition of anyone likely to be executed in his or her home country, and Turkey is trying Ocalan in absentia for capital crimes. Meanwhile, Belgium and Germany said they would not accept Ocalan as an alternative to sending him home.

Upping the ante in his campaign to bring rigid Islamic law to troubled Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif angered opposition parties and human-rights groups by calling for the public execution of murderers and rapists within 24 hours. Sharif cited the effectiveness of Shariah justice as enforced by the Taliban militia in neighboring Afghanistan, where "crimes have virtually come to naught." Pakistan's lower house of parliament has OK'd Shariah law, which features such punishments as hanging, amputation, and flogging. But it has failed to pass in the Senate.

Business and Finance

Japan's new $196 billion plan to jump-start the economy scored no points with a leading international ratings agency. Citing concerns about the country's fast-growing debt, Moody's Investors Service lowered the creditworthiness of securities issued or guaranteed by the Tokyo government - from Aaa to Aa1. The move, which Moody's had hinted at in March, could lead to higher borrowing costs for the government and for multinational companies.

US Inflation inched up in October, as prices rose for consumer goods. The seasonally adjusted consumer price index climbed 0.2 percent, after posting no change in September, the Labor Department said. Still, the inflation rate for the first 10 months of the year was just 1.6 percent.

Inventories and sales by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers climbed at the fastest rate in six months during September, the Commerce Department said. Total inventories were up 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted $1.081 trillion in September -- the strongest monthly addition to stocks since a matching 0.6 percent gain in March.

Amtrak ridership climbed 4.5 percent in its latest fiscal year, as revenues passed the billion-dollar mark for the first time, the passenger-rail service said. Officials cited the figures as proof that the once-troubled network was firmly back on track.

Business and Finance


Picture the scene as China's Premier Zhu Rongji strides importantly into a grain warehouse in Anhui Province last May to inspect the progress of reforms in the state marketing system. Local officials proudly point him this way and that, showing how the granary is stuffed with more than 1,000 tons of rice. Now, fast-forward to this week as published reports indicate it was all a trick. The rice had been borrowed from another location because farmers weren't willing to sell at the low price the granary was offering. After the premier departed, the grain was returned, leaving the warehouse empty again. It's not known whether Zhu is now boiling over the rice or not.


There are dangerous criminals and then there's the fellow who handed a holdup note to a bank teller in Tel Aviv last Sunday. Rather than become flustered, she simply ignored him. As the minutes ticked away and it dawned on him that he wouldn't be getting any money, he slinked toward the door and - well - stole away.


"The battlefield of the future could be Main Street, USA." - CIA official John Gannon, telling a Stanford University audience that American defenses are underprepared for potential biological- and chemical-weapons attacks by extremist groups and more than a dozen hostile nations.

The Day's List

Glenn's ticker-tape parade puts him in good company

US Sen. John Glenn and his six space-shuttle Discovery crew mates were celebrated during a midday ticker-tape parade up lower Broadway in New York Monday. For Glenn, it was his second such honor. The first came 36 years ago, when he returned from his first trip to outer space. In the 112-year history of ticker-tape parades up Manhattan's "canyon of heroes," only six others have received the honor twice. Those people and the years in which they were lauded by New Yorkers:

Bobby Jones, British Open golf champion - 1926, 1930

Admiral Richard Byrd, explorer - 1927, 1930

Amelia Earhart, aviator - 1928, 1932

Wiley Post, aviator - 1931, 1933

Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force and US president - 1945, 1960

Emperor Haile Selassie, Ethiopian leader - 1954, 1963

- Associated Press

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