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News In Brief

The World

President Clinton is set to visit Haiti tomorrow, when the UN is supposed to take over peacekeeping in Haiti from a US-led coalition. A supporter of the 1991 military coup was assassinated Tuesday in Port-au-Prince. Mireille Durocher Bertin, mother of four, was briefly chief of staff of the army-linked government while President Aristide was in exile. Haiti will hold legislative elections June 4.

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Tension mounted in Bosnia as the UN expressed deep concern over a Bosnian Serb threat to target peacekeepers if NATO planes attack Serb positions. UN special envoy Akashi said all sides, but especially the Muslim-led Bosnian government, appear to want ''a new war.'' Government troops mounted a successful sweep over the last 10 days, and Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic said his forces may soon launch a major counterattack.

Turkish troops in northern Iraq have stopped UN guards from visiting Kurdish villages in the combat zone as Turkey continued its siege against Kurdish guerrillas. The UN is protecting as many civilians as possible and continues to evacuate a number of them. Turkey had blocked all journalists from the fighting zone but yesterday reopened it to journalists living in Turkey.

The US Senate condemned Iraq's imprisonment of two Americans and urged Clinton to ''assure'' their release. Interviewed by CNN, the pair said they were in good health but were concerned about their future. Iraq's UN ambassador said they could appeal the sentences.

Russian troops further consolidated control of eastern Chechnya by surrounding rebel strongholds in Gudermes and Shali. If the Russians take these cities, the conflict is likely to move to the mountains.

The world's military spending fell more than 30 percent from 1987 to 1993, the US government said. Russia and Eastern European nations spent 70 percent less, but US and Western European spending declined only slightly. Defense spending rose in South Asia, East Asia, Oceania, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

India will receive the first funds from a worldwide US program to help educate girls and women, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said in New Delhi. On a 12-day trip in South Asia to champion womens' rights, she rejected charges that she is neglecting human-rights abuses in the region.

Japan's finance ministry approved formation of the world's largest bank. When joined, Mitsubishi Bank and Bank of Tokyo will have deposits of $589 billion and total assets of $814 billion, three times the size of the largest US bank, Citicorp.

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The CIA and the US Army may have known the circumstances at the time of the killings in Guatemala of an American and the husband of an American, a congressman said. US Representative Torricelli said he received the allegation in an anonymous tip written on National Security Agency letterhead. Guatemala denies it has evidence linking one of its colonels to the killings.

Thousands of Greek storekeepers closed their shops for one day yesterday in sympathy with a farmers' tax revolt. They are protesting a Socialist-government tax increase. Farmers have already blocked major north-south transport links for 10 days.

Tamil rebels gave the Sri Lankan government three more weeks to meet their demands, including the lifting of a fuel embargo on the rebel-held north. Otherwise, the rebels say, they will leave the peace talks, which began in October.

The US

The House was expected to vote last night for the first time on a proposed constitutional amendment to limit congressional terms. Republicans were short of the needed two-thirds majority, but they hoped to score political points with the public. Lawmakers were choosing among four term-limit alternatives. (Story, Page 3.)

The Senate unanimously rejected a House-passed moratorium on federal regulations in favor of a compromise allowing Congress to block burdensome regulations on a case-by-case basis.

Consumer confidence bounced back in March after declining in February, a Conference Board survey said. Expectations for the future, however, were down 8 percent from December, according to the survey. Sales of new homes plummeted at the sharpest rate in more than a year in February, the Commerce Department reported. Sales dropped 14 percent last month to an annual rate of 551,000 units.

Economists are divided over the Federal Reserve's next move. The Fed announced Tuesday it was leaving interest rates unchanged -- for now. Some economics say the Fed has finished reining in the economy; others say it is only a pause. The Fed will meet again May 23.

California Governor Wilson is taking a campaign-style swing on the East Coast. First stop: New Hampshire, where he pledged his opposition to sales and income taxes for that state. From there, it was on to Boston, where he met with Massachusetts Governor Weld. Next stop: New York and New Jersey. Wilson's decision to run for the Republican nomination means Senator Specter is no longer the only abortion-rights supporter in the field. Specter is expected to formally join the race today. Presidential contender Alexander will receive about $236,000 from Lockheed Martin Corp. as part of an $82 million payout to Martin Marietta Corp. officials, the Washington Post reported.

Thousands of prospective Democratic contributors received a letter from the Democratic National Committee asking whether they think President Clinton should be reelected, the New York Times reported. If they think he should, the letter asks them to say so and include a contribution; if they do not, their names will be removed from the party's list, the paper said. Clinton is continuing his week-long trip to various states and Haiti. Yesterday he hosted the Southern Regional Economic Conference in Atlanta. (Story, Page 1.)

The House approved an exemption to a 1967 law on age discrimination that would allow police and fire departments to force employees to retire at age 55 or older. The National Association of Police Organizations supports the measure; the American Association of Retired Person says it is age discrimination.

Agriculture Secretary-nominee Glickman promised timber-state lawmakers to unravel conflicting laws and rules that have driven up the cost of harvesting trees. He told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that he would involve it in a reorganization plan and would try to speed up grazing-permit renewals. A federal appeals court temporarily halted logging and road-building in parts of the northern Tongass National Forest.

Supervisors in Orange County, Calif., broke their antitax promises, voting to place a controversial half-cent sales-tax increase on a special June ballot.

Former Boston Celtics captain Reggie Lewis did not die as a result of cocaine use, doctors who reviewed the case said. They stopped short of saying Lewis didn't use drugs.


Visitors flying into South Africa may soon see visible signs of the anti-apartheid changes that have swept that country. Transport ministry officials said Wednesday that Jan Smuts Airport in Johannesburg will likely be renamed Johannesburg International, and Cape Town's D.F. Malan Airport will become Cape Town International.

Large reservoirs of water may lie beneath the surface of Mars, Thomas Donahue of the University of Michigan said. Studies show that Mars still has an active atmosphere with water cycling from liquid to gas, he added. Earlier analysis of the Martian atmosphere indicated that most of the water leaked away long ago.

Television depicted religious news in a more-favorable light in 1994 than it did a year earlier, the Media research Council, a conservative group that monitors news coverage, said Wednesday. In prime-time programming, religion was portrayed in a positive over negative way by 2 to 1, it found.

The NCAA's ice hockey tournament was down to the semifinals, to be played in Providence, R.I., today. Maine faces Michigan, and Boston University meets Minnesota. The four teams are the nation's best, according to the Ratings Percentage Index, which compares the strength of their schedules.

Top 10 Universities In Invention Royalties

(Based on 1993 revenue)

1. Universities of California, $45.4 million

2. Stanford, $31.2 million

3. Columbia, $21 million

4. University of Wisconsin, $15.8 million

5. University of Washington, $14.8 million

6. Michigan State, $14.2 million

7. Iowa State, $11.6 million

8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $5.8 million

9. University of Florida, $5.7 million

10. Harvard, $5.4 million

The Association of University Technology Managers

``I wish we could develop a bipartisan economic policy ... because it's difficult for America to be strong if huge numbers of people believe the American dream is in doubt.''

President Clinton

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