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News In Brief


President Clinton attacked GOP welfare-reform plans in Congress as "pure fantasy" for failing to provide child-care benefits to help move parents off welfare, but he stopped short of threatening a veto. He said he regretted not having legislation to sign by July 4 but was hopeful Democrats and Republicans could move forward on a bipartisan bill.

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The Senate left for its July 4 holiday without voting on a spending-cuts bill already passed by the House. The compromise, $16 billion measure ran into opposition from Senators Wellstone and Mosley-Braun, who argued against cuts in current-year spending for job training, heating assistance for the poor, and other programs.


House Speaker Gingrich challenged Clinton to a debate on crime and berated the president's new crime-fighting TV ads. Clinton, who unveiled a plan Friday that would tighten existing laws barring the sale of armor-piercing ammunition for handguns, didn't specifically reject the invitation, but his aides said his views on crime were already well known. Senator Gramm, meanwhile, said citizens victimized by criminals on parole or probation should have the right to sue the responsible federal or state government.


The base-closure commission sent Clinton a "hit list" to close, cut, or reshape 132 military bases. Chairman Dixon said the plan would save $19.3 billion over 20 years at a cost of an estimated 93,565 jobs. Clinton is under pressure from Democrats in California and elsewhere to reject the list. The Defense Department said it is "concerned" about changes the commission made to the Pentagon's recommendations and is reviewing the list. Clinton has until July 15 to accept the list or send it back to the commission for further review.


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US and Russian astronauts orbiting the earth together praised the cooperative nature of their mission. US astronaut Norm Thagard said after four months on space station Mir, he can't wait to be reunited with his family. The linked Mir and US shuttle remained "rock steady" as jet thrusters were fired to see how much shaking the ships could stand.


The House ethics committee chairman, denying Democratic accusations of a cover-up, insisted that the panel would resolve complaints accusing House Speaker Gingrich of rules violations. Representative Johnson cited secrecy rules in response to the Democrats' criticisms. The panel has been split 5-to-5 along partisan lines on whether to appoint an outside counsel to investigate Gingrich.


Broadcasters and civil libertarians said they would challenge an appeals-court decision that broadens the government's power to limit children's exposure to adult programming on radio and television. The court instructed broadcasters to put such programming on after 10 p.m. rather than after 8 p.m.


Activists have mobilized swiftly to oppose a trio of Supreme Court decisions they say could unravel 30 years of civil-rights gains. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights sent a letter urging senators to reject Senator Dole's proposal to eliminate federal affirmative action programs. The NAACP said it will stage a "national voter empowerment campaign" to mobilize black constituents.


The so-called "Unabomber" sent a package of documents to a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, according to the FBI. The documents were similar to ones sent earlier to the New York Times and the Washington Post. The Unabomber asked the papers to publish his 35,000-word manifesto calling for "a revolution against the industrial system."


In the O. J. Simpson murder trial, an FBI hair and fiber expert testified that a fragment of hair found on the bloody shirt of Ronald Goldman, one of the victims, resembles O. J. Simpson's hair.


Israel and the PLO failed to reach an accord on wider Palestinian self-rule. Israeli Foreign Minister Peres met with PLO chairman Arafat yesterday on the Israel-Gaza border after the expiration of a July 1 deadline for an accord on Israeli redeployment in the West Bank and Palestinian elections. Officials said the two sides focused on security arrangements for villages from which Israeli troops would redeploy. They said Peres and Arafat agreed to meet again within 24 hours. (Story, Page 1.) In Jerusalem, firefighters battled the largest fire in Israel's history. Arson was suspected.


The Bosnian government army claimed it advanced against Serb forces around Sarajevo, but Serb shelling attacks on the city killed at least 13 people and injured 75 others. A UN peacekeeper and a guard were injured yesterday when a shell struck between the US embassy and a UN residence in Sarajevo. Later, the UN headquarters in Bosnia was hit by a mortar round. The UN forces chief-of-staff in Bosnia warned Bosnian Serbs that they could face trials by an international court if the shelling did not stop. US President Clinton, meanwhile, reaffirmed his support for a European rapid-reaction force in Bosnia.


Chechen rebels attacked Russian positions in Chechnya at least 16 times over the weekend despite peace talks in Grozny. A Russian commander accused the rebels of using the talks as a cover for troop movements in the mountains of southern Chechnya. In Moscow, Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin vowed to press on with his economic-reform policy despite fierce criticism in the legislature. The government comfortably survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Saturday.


Encouraged by the dramatic rescue of 24 people from a collapsed shopping mall in Seoul, workers dug through tons of debris yesterday to reach up to 30 more survivors. More than 200 people were missing in the wreckage of the Sampoong Department Store, which caved in Thursday with 1,000 people inside. At least 113 people died and 910 were injured.


At least 27 people were made ill by mystery fumes at a subway station in the Japanese port city of Yokohama yesterday, creating new poison-gas concerns in Japan. A police spokesman declined to speculate whether the latest incident was linked to the sect accused of involvement in the March 20 nerve-gas attack on Tokyo's subway.


Prime Minister Major said he was confident of beating former minister John Redwood to remain leader of Britain's Conservative Party. Political analysts predicted Major would win more votes than Redwood in tomorrow's leadership contest but questioned whether his victory would be decisive enough for him to stay as party leader and thus as prime minister.


About 1,000 private-sector leaders met with finance and trade ministers from 34 American countries at a hemispheric summit in Denver over the weekend. The leaders met one day after ground rules were established for a giant free-trade zone by 2005. The ministers announced that Chile is expected to join the US, Mexico, and Canada in the NAFTA by the end of the year.


The Indian government offered yesterday to hold talks with Muslim separatist rebels in Kashmir without any preconditions, news agencies quoted a senior official as saying.


Canada celebrated its 128th birthday over the weekend, but the holiday was clouded by maneuverings of political foes girding for a referendum in Quebec that could pull the nation apart.


It appears that the order has come down from on high: Drag your feet, dally, and delay."

- Congressman Lewis on the House ethics committee's investigation of Speaker Gingrich on rules violations

With pomp and pageantry to rival that of any Olympic games, President Clinton opened the 1995 Special Olympics World Games over the weekend as "a joyful celebration of peaceful competition." The games, lasting nine days, are the largest sporting event of the year.


France's only national Sunday newspaper finally has a rival: Votre Dimanche, a 32-page tabloid costing 10 cents less than its broadsheet competitor.

Senate Millionaires

(Based on 1994 financial disclosures. Net worth in millions of dollars)

Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.) $15.3M

Chuck Robb (D-Va.) 11.4

Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) 10.5

Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) 8.8

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) 8.3

Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) 6.8

Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.) 6.0*

John McCain (R-Ariz.) 4.6

John Warner (R-Va.) 4.6

Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) 3.6

Robert Bennett (R-Utah) 3.3

Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) 3.2

Bob Graham (D-Fla.) 3.1

John Glenn (D-Ohio) 2.9*

Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) 2.9

Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) 2.9

Bob Dole (R-Kan.) 2.7

Harry Reid (D-Nev.) 2.6

Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) 2.4

Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) 1.6

James Inhofe (R-Okla.) 1.5

Howell Heflin (D-Ala.) 1.4

Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) 1.3

Kay Hutchinson (R-Texas) 1.3

Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) 1.3

Wendell Ford (D-Ky.) 1.2

Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) 1.2

Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.) 1.1

*members granted extensions; values based on 1993 disclosures

- Roll Call r

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