CONTROVERSY OVER DEFICIT TRUST FUND Republicans derided President Clinton's plan to funnel money from future taxes and spending cuts into a new deficit-reduction trust fund as a "gimmick" designed to distract attention from his proposed tax hikes. But Labor Secretary Robert Reich said yesterday it would be an "insurance policy. It will be very difficult to do anything else with that money because it's very visible...." The president's proposal, unveiled Wednesday, draws on his experience in Arkansas, where he set up a trust fund to pay for ed ucation. But even Mr. Clinton concedes that the federal trust fund would not reduce the deficit any more than is already planned. (Clinton stumbles, Page 1.) Miami boycott ends
An economic boycott launched by Miami's black leaders against south Florida's tourism industry ended Wednesday, nearly three years after local politicians infuriated the black community by snubbing South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. The boycott is estimated to have cost south Florida $50 million in tourism revenue. Loan reform advances
President Clinton's call for the government to take full control of the college loan program won its first test in Congress. The House Education and Labor Committee on Wednesday endorsed the proposal, which calls for the government to make direct loans to students rather than guaranteeing them through commercial financial institutions. The measure goes next to the Budget Committee, which could send it to the House floor as part of an overall budget bill. Agreement with Seoul
Vietnam and South Korea signed agreements on air services, trade, and investment yesterday, granting each other most-favored-nation treatment. The agreements, signed in Seoul by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam and his Korean counterpart, Han Sung-joo, paved the way for the two former adversaries to bolster economic relations. A whale of a ruling
Japan failed yesterday to crack a commercial whaling ban when its request for a limited catch was decisively turned down by the International Whaling Commission. Tokyo had pushed hard for the emergency one-time allocation of 50 minke whales, arguing that whaling was an "integral part" of its culture. Italy lifts immunity
Italy's Senate yesterday lifted the parliamentary immunity of former Premier Giulio Andreotti, allowing prosecutors to investigate accusations that he had Mafia ties. Mr. Andreotti, a political leader for four decades, decided last week to stop resisting efforts to lift his immunity. Opposition to Yeltsin
President Boris Yeltsin's opponents mounted a court challenge to his proposed constitution yesterday and accused him of trying to establish a dictatorship. Opposition lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to ask the Constitutional Court, which is often hostile to Yeltsin, to decide whether the new constitution can be adopted without parliamentary approval. Yeltsin has summoned a national convention June 5-10.