News In Brief

President clinton took to the airwaves to try to win public support for US-led NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia. He cited a "moral imperative" to prevent a wider war in the Balkans and slaughter of innocent people. Meanwhile, the House voted 424 to 1 for a resolution expressing "the greatest pride" in the almost 22,000-strong US military force in the Balkans.

Presidential hopefuls appeared almost equally divided on whether to support the NATO attack. Four GOP aspirants supported Clinton's decision: former American Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, and publisher Steve Forbes. Five GOP hopefuls - Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Rep. John Kasich of Ohio, commentator Patrick Buchanan, and conservative activist Gary Bauer - opposed it. Gov. George W. Bush (R) of Texas and Sen. Bill Bradley (D) of New Jersey took no immediate position.

The initial delivery of radioactive materials was scheduled to mark the opening in southern New Mexico of the first US nuclear-waste depository. State officials expected protests as the truck shipment skirted Santa Fe on its way from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the $1.8 billion Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

The House approved more than $1 billion in aid for hurricane-hit Central America and Middle East ally Jordan. But the overall $1.3 billion package was passed on a slim 220-to-211 vote and faces a White House veto threat because the money would be taken from funds earmarked for the World Bank and other international lending agencies. The measure includes $956 million for Central America and an extra $100 million this year for Jordan.

The World Jewish Congress rejected a compensation offer from the French Banking Association to heirs of Holocaust victims. The banks' latest plan calls on them to make an unspecified "significant financial contribution" to a memorial fund. WJC officials faulted the plan, saying there was no sign the money would be controlled by Holocaust survivors - and no provision for independent auditing of dormant accounts. New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi urged the banks to open talks with world Jewish groups and US lawyers suing the banks over Holocaust claims.

The federal government sued New York City, alleging it has violated the Clean Air Act since 1992 by crushing discarded household appliances - thereby releasing ozone-depleting substances. According to the lawsuit, the city collects discarded appliances in vehicles that destroy them without removing refrigerants such as chlorofluoro- carbons. The suit seeks penalties of up to $27,500 a day for the alleged violations.

Kiwi International Airlines was grounded by the US Federal Aviation Administration because of safety concerns a day after the discount carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In its petition, the airline said it had received a commitment from Pan American Airlines of $3 million in financing to pay off Kiwi's debt and then to purchase the airline at some undetermined future date.

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