News In Brief

The uUS and Russia will begin a new effort next month to cut long-range nuclear arsenals. The decision to reopen talks in Moscow was made by Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin during the latter's visit to Washington. It is said to reflect an emerging spirit of cooperation after the rift over Kosovo.

The House approved President Clinton's extension of normal trade with China. Lawmakers voted 260 to 170 to defeat a resolution to overturn the one-year extension, which was announced June 3. Since 1980, no Congress has rejected a president's decision to extend what was formerly referred to as most-favored-nation status.

Ending a historic mission, the space shuttle landed safely in Cape Canaveral, Fla., but system failures during its launch last week raised questions about future missions. Officials said Columbia leaked liquid-hydrogen fuel throughout its 8-1/2-minute climb into space Friday, causing its main engines to cut off prematurely and leaving it in a functional but lopsided orbit. Also, a short circuit in its electrical system shut down two computers. Shuttle Commander Eileen Collins (above) is the first woman to lead a crew in space.

The Army general who ran the Kosovo campaign was told he'll be stepping down two months early. Gen. Wesley Clark, supreme allied commander in Europe, was to step aside in July of next year. But the Clinton administration is replacing him with Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, whose term as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expires in February. To avert an automatic reduction in Ralston's rank upon leaving the post, his appointment as European commander must become effective next May.

The House passed a bill that would withhold $1 billion from the Energy Department until it overhauls nuclear-arms security and relaxes protections for wetlands. The White House threatened a veto if the measure gains congressional approval. Last month, the Senate passed a version of the bill which doesn't contain the nuclear-security and wetlands provisions.

The Clinton administration may ask the FBI to oversee computer monitoring of US data networks to protect them from intruders, The New York Times reported. A copy of a National Security Council draft plan for a Federal Intrusion Detection Network to alert officials of computer attacks that could cripple government operations or the economy was made available to the Times by a civil-liberties group concerned that the new system could be abused or breached.

A Latino coalition announced plans for a week-long TV boycott in September to protest an alleged "brownout" on the four major networks. At a National Council of La Raza convention in Houston, the National Hispanic Media Coalition condemned what it referred to as a "virtual absence of Latino images on television." Hispanics constitute 11 percent of the US population, but less than 2 percent of the characters on prime-time TV shows, a spokeswoman for La Raza said.

Mario Rossi, who died earlier this month at home in Paris, was a special correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor throughout the Cold War era. From 1951 to 1972, Mr. Rossi covered the United Nations. From 1975 to 1982, he was based in the French capital. He was an authority on postwar Italian politics and wrote four books on international affairs.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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