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Bernard Nussbaum, former White House counsel, said at the Senate Whitewater hearings that his restrictions on a police-led search of Vincent Foster's office amounted to his ethical duty to President Clinton. Nussbaum has been under heavy attack by Republicans for weeks for restricting the search of Foster's office following Foster's suicide two years ago. Foster was Nussbaum's deputy at the time and had possession of sensitive Whitewater documents, including the Clinton's personal financial papers that were taken from Foster's office before a police search. This action raised suspicions of obstruction of justice.

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The GOP may hold up the nomination of Gen. Shalikashvili for a second term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a political struggle with the White House over the $265 billion defense bill. Democrats are holding up the bill in objection to a Republican effort to build a multi-site national missile-defense system, in probable violation of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Meanwhile, a congressional study showed France dislodged the US last year as the leading supplier of arms to the third world.

Senior US nuclear weapons experts, the JASON group, have concluded that the US does not need underground tests - as backed by the Senate last week - to maintain its nuclear arsenal safely. Physicians for Social Responsibility, an anti-nuclear organization, said Clinton will soon make a decision on the scope of US nuclear testing.

President Clinton has gotten much tougher in his political rhetoric, labeling the Republicans anti-family one day, anti-environment the next. Clinton, who not long ago spoke of the need for common ground, explained in a recent interview with National Public Radio that his new tone only points out that the GOP is not showing interest in a dialogue. He says his critical comments point up his centrist position. A White House official describes it as ''a stand-for-something, get-in-the-news'' strategy.

An engine pod holding two of a B-52's eight engines fell off the plane Tuesday night over Louisiana. A third engine failed. The bomber returned safely to Barksdale Air Force Base.

The Senate will not complete work on the welfare bill this week, as Senator Dole had hoped. He has not been able to resolve differences with conservative GOP critics.

Bell Atlantic and Ameritech continued contract talks with a union representing most of their employees. BellSouth Corp. and Pacific Telesis reached accords with the Communications Workers of America Tuesday. Southwestern Bell reached an agreement Monday.

The White House said Tuesday there has been an increase in the theft of US trade secrets and that US counterintelligence resources will likely have to be increased. The names of the countries were not released.

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Federal prosecutors said Mousa Abu Marzuk, the political leader of Hamas being held in the US, was also a chief architect of the Arab group's military wing and can be blamed for more than 100 death by terrorism. Israel has accused him of conspiring to commit murder.

The Justice Department is ''a month or two'' away from concluding its inquiry into whether leaders of the raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, lied to federal investigators, says a department official.

The antitrust probe of Microsoft Corp.'s linking of its new on-line service to its new Windows 95 will not be completed before the software is released August 24, the Justice Department said Tuesday. The department is trying to decide whether the company would have an unfair advantage over other on-line services by making access to its own available at a mouse click.

The World

Russia said yesterday that Serbian and Croatian leaders accepted President Yeltsin's offer for peace talks in Moscow, though a Croatian spokeswoman denied the report. The Serb siege of Bihac in Bosnia, meanwhile, has been broken. Residents dressed in their neatly pressed best for walks through the park and past the mosque - areas that were once favorite targets of Serb gunners. But about 120,000 Croatian Serb refugees continued to flee into Serb-held areas in Bosnia, attempting to dodge fighting between Croat and rebel-Serb forces. President Clinton, meanwhile, dispatched high-level aides to Europe in hopes of jump-starting the peace process. (Stories, Pages 1 and 16.)

PLO leader Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres were due to hold an unexpected third round of talks yesterday in Egypt. The meeting signaled determination to reach a long-delayed agreement on Palestinian autonomy. Still at issue: water resources, Palestinian elections, and Israeli security.

Jailed Chinese-American activist Harry Wu is in good spirits, US consular officials said after meeting with him yesterday in Wuhan, China. Chinese police, meanwhile, are arresting dissidents, apparently in preparation for the September UN women's conference and Non-Governmental Organization Forum.

North Korea broke off rice talks with the South yesterday, accusing a sailor on a South Korean ship of spying. The ship had been delivering some of the 150,000 tons of rice that the South has offered to alleviate the North's severe food shortages. The North was holding the ship's crew, pending investigation.

Bombs attributed to Muslim extremists derailed a train and wrecked a city hall in Algeria yesterday. Extremists have been fighting the military-backed government since it canceled 1992 parliamentary elections that extremists were expected to win.

Scattered fighting and an aborted prisoner exchange Tuesday between Russian troops and Chechen rebels cast doubts on the success of last month's military accord. And there are signs further of dissent in Chechnya: The Chechen military commander said he would even disobey Dzhokhar Dudayev, the Chechen leader, to achieve peace. Dudayev has been equivocating on his commitment to peace.

Indian police in the rebellious Kashmir region stepped up security yesterday in anticipation of celebrations on Prophet Muhammad's birthday today. Three explosions in the past three days have hit Hindu pilgrims.

The French-Australian row over South Pacific nuclear testing hit new levels of bitterness: On Tuesday, a conservative French newspaper attacked Australia's protestations as a bid to make up for ''ethnic cleansing'' of Aborigines. The statement brought strong rebuke from Australian Prime Minister Keating and the country's top Aborigine leader. (US-French relations, Page 4.)

Shareholders from I.G. Farben, which manufactured the gas used in Nazi gas chambers, met yesterday to discuss compensating a few thousand survivors. Meanwhile, in Austria, a publisher received a 10-month suspended sentence for an article arguing that the gassing of thousands of Jews was ''technically impossible.'' And in Argentina, a former Nazi SS captain refused to testify about his role in a 1944 massacre of Italian civilians.

Nearly 600 Guatemalans living in southern Mexico returned to their homeland Tuesday, more than a decade after army massacres forced them to flee their country.

The Ulysses spacecraft has flown over both poles of the sun in an unprecedented voyage giving insights into magnetic fields, solar winds, and cosmic rays. It now heads to Jupiter.


Remember the photograph that symbolized the joy at the end of World War II - a sailor and a nurse kissing in Times Square? Kissers Carl Muscarello and Edith Shain met for the first time since 1945 on Tom Snyder's ''Late Late Show'' Tuesday night.

Changing American tastes in dining are proving to be a boon for producers of garlic, chili peppers, processed tomatoes, and onions. Take garlic: Per capita use has grown 72 percent since the early 1970s - from an average of 0.04 pounds per person per year to 1.9 pounds now.

Eurotunnel, the Anglo-French operator of the channel tunnel, is launching a service for cyclists. For $24 a cyclist can ride a minibus that will tow a bike trailer. The minibus will then board a train for the trip.

During a recent visit to Kentucky, a native American from Arizona accepted two feathers - from an owl and a vulture, both shed naturally - as a gift from a friend. But both men may have unwittingly committed a federal offense punishable by up to six months in jail. Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it's illegal for most people to possess, trade, or sell almost any bird or bird part.

Top 10 Paperbacks

1. ''The Body Farm,'' Patricia Cornwell (Berkley)

2. ''The Alienist,'' Caleb Carr (Bantam)

3. ''The Hot Zone,'' Richard Preston (Random House)

4. ''Debt of Honor,'' Tom Clancy (Berkley)

5. ''Apollo 13,'' Jim Lovell (Pocket Books)

6. ''The Chamber,'' John Grisham (Dell)

7. ''Everything to Gain,'' Barbara Taylor Bradford (HarperPaperbacks)

8. ''Dixie City Jam,'' James Lee Burke (Hyperion)

9. ''White Shark,'' Peter Benchley (St. Martin's)

10. ''Remembrance,'' Jude Devereaux (Pocket Books)

- Publishers Weekly

'' It was my ethical duty as a lawyer ... to protect a client's information and confidences.''

- Former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum,

on why he restricted access to the office of presidential aide Vince Foster after Foster's suicide

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