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The US

It's what the politically disaffected want: Lobby and campaign reform, and a balanced-budget amendment, Ross Perot said in announcing his new political party's agenda. The party, which is to include members of his United We Stand America organization, would put up a 1996 White House contender, he said Monday. Perot didn't rule himself out. (Story, Page 3.)

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Dealing with nuclear weapons, drug trafficking, and terrorism should be among the UN's top post-cold-war priorities, foreign ministers from 100 nations agreed. But at the 50th UN General Assembly in New York, disagreement abounded on how to fund such activities. Poorer nations said wealthy countries are ducking funding duties. Secretary of State Christopher said Monday the UN should curb its bureaucracy to receive the $1.2 billion the US owes it. He also said Japan and Germany should get full Security C ouncil seats.

The Republican juggernaut may be losing public support: A CNN/Gallup poll out yesterday found 41 percent of respondents saying GOP goals would move the country in the right direction. That's down from 53 percent in March. Also, 53 percent said the elderly would be worse off under the GOP Medicare plan.

Not giving in on the environment or to budget ''blackmail'' are President Clinton's emerging themes. At a Monitor lunch Monday, Clinton said he was frustrated by Speaker Gingrich's threats to shut down the government. He has also threatened to veto an Endangered Species Act rewrite. (Story, Page 1.)

The Federal Reserve was expected not to raise interest rates at a closed-door meeting yesterday. Chairman Alan Greenspan said Friday the economy is growing slowly and the threat of inflation is low.

Ruby Ridge hearings yesterday focused on the killing of Sammy Weaver, son of white separatist Randy Weaver. Kevin Harris, a Weaver family friend said US marshals fired first and that they lied by saying they were ambushed. Harris has been acquitted in the killing of an agent during the 1992 siege. Separately, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms head John Magaw said Monday that if his agency - and not the FBI - had been in charge of the 1993 standoff at Waco, Texas, the Branch Davidian compound would

not have burned.

Should hidden cameras be used to gather news? Supermarket chain Food Lion is challenging what it calls the deceptive techniques of ABC's ''PrimeTime Live.'' Last year a PrimeTime expose showed the once fastest- growing food chain selling rat-gnawed cheese and other unsanitary products. But Food Lion says ABC staged some scenes and lied to get two producers hired as grocery employees.

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The IRS may be forced to get private help in tracking down uncollected tax debts. Overdue taxes have climbed to an unreasonable $150 billion, say sponsors of a bill that is likely to pass in House-Senate conference soon. The bill would give $13 million for the IRS to test if private bill collectors could do a better job than IRS agents.

NAFTA's environment commission rejected a suit by 25 advocacy groups led by the Sierra Club. The potentially precedent-setting challenge charged that Clinton's signing last year of a logging allowance contravenes US laws and NAFTA environmental standards.

Support for the ''Million Man March'' - an Oct. 16 gathering of black men in the capital - is growing in the black community. Themes of atonement, faith, and renewal for the nation's black men are drawing praises from NAACP chair Myrlie Evers-Williams, Rosa Parks, and Rev. Jesse Jackson. This, despite the march's controversial organizers: Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrahkan and ousted NAACP head Benjamin Chavis.

A new Seattle stadium with retractable roof was all-but doomed yesterday as absentee votes tipped the once-tied tally against the $325-million plan.

Congressman Reynolds of Chicago was to get a ruling yesterday on his request for a new trial. He is set to be sentenced tomorrow after his Aug. 22 conviction on sexual assault charges.

Judge Ito has planned 11-hour days for the closing arguments in the O.J. Simpson trial. The trial began a year ago yesterday. Prosecutor Marcia Clark was set yesterday to begin reviewing the state's case.

The World

Most battlefields were quiet in the former Yugoslavia yesterday as the warring sides met in New York to try to broker an agreement. Bosnian government media did report Serb attacks in the northeast, and rebel Serbs claimed a new Croat-Muslim push on their lines. Also, thirty-four Muslim and Serb prisoners of war were exchanged at Sarajevo airport in the first POW swap there in half a year. And Senator Dole and other Republicans criticized the Clinton administration for agreeing to send ground troops to Bosnia without discussing it with Congress.

Japan is wrestling with its own version of the Nicholas Leeson case that brought down Britain's Barings Bank. Daiwa Bank, Japan's 10th largest, said yesterday it lost $1.1 billion on bond transactions made by a rogue trader at its New York branch. The announcement stunned Japanese financial circles, where the conventional wisdom has been that controls were far too tight to permit a Leeson-type scandal. Unlike Barings, Daiwa is in no danger of collapse because it is bigger.

A suspect in the killing of a Roman Catholic cardinal in Mexico said after his weekend arrest that he and another gunman mistook the prelate for a rival drug lord. The statement supported a government theory the church had expressed skepticism about.

US and North Korean negotiators agreed to grant provisional consular protection to each other's citizens, bringing the countries closer to normalizing ties. Meanwhile, China expressed opposition to North Korea's proposal to replace the 42-year-old Korean armistice with a peace pact with only the US.

The Red Cross called for a ban on land mines yesterday and described the West's proposals to limit their use to ''smart'' mines as highly dangerous. (Stories, Pages 6 and 7.)

Gunmen in South Africa killed 12 people at a church service in violence-racked KwaZulu-Natal Province, police said yesterday. More than 130 people have been slain in 10 days in the province where supporters of the ANC are feuding with members of the Zulu-based Inkatha Party.

A UN agency said yesterday food shortages in Iraq are damaging a generation of children, and more than four million people are at severe risk. Also, $7.5 billion is Kuwait's estimate for environmental damage caused by Iraq's 1990-91 occupation. The figure was in addition to $94.8 billion in claims Kuwait has already filed to the UN.

Colombian President Ernesto Samper was to testify yesterday about allegations he accepted up to $6 million in campaign contribution from the Cali cartel. A congressional committee will decide if there is enough evidence to hold Senate debate on impeaching him. Samper has said that if the money did reach his campaign, he did not know about it. Also scheduled to testify this week: A cartel bookkeeper who recently defected to the US and said the contribution was made.

Rebels in Sierra Leone attacked three towns killing 100 civilians and seven soldiers. The rebels had sought talks with the government in Freetown two week ago, raising hopes of peace in the West African nation.

Former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti went on trial in Palermo, Sicily, yesterday. He is charged with using his powers to aid the Mafia.

Red Army Faction terrorist Sieglinde Hofmann was sentenced to life in prison yesterday in Stuttgart, Germany. She was convicted for the 1977 kidnap and murder of a German industrialist, killing four bodyguards, and an attempted assassination in 1979 of then NATO Secretary-General Alexander Haig.


He is said to be dour and dull. And he's off the air. Russian Public Television has canceled writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn's 15-minute talk show. His monologues also are scathingly critical of post-Soviet Russia and the people who run it.

Chess challenger Vishwanathan Anand defeated titleholder Garry Kasparov in the ninth game of the Professional Chess Association world championship match Monday. The previous eight games had been draws. Anand leads 5 to 4. The result ignited interest in what had been a boring contest.

Mycotech Corp. in Butte, Mont., has harnessed a common fungus to consume some of the world's crop pests. Unlike pesticides, the fungus disappears afterward. The fungus is effective against grasshoppers, locusts, aphids, and thrips.

A panda has given birth to twin cubs at the Wolong Nature Preserve in China's western Sichuan Province. Researchers were caring for one of the cubs.

Top Grossing Films, Sept. 22-24

1. ''Seven,'' $14.5 million

2. ''Showgirls,'' $8.3 million

3. ''To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar,'' $4.4 million

4. ''Dangerous Minds,'' $2.9 million

5. ''Clockers,'' $2.7 million

6. ''Unstrung Heroes,'' $2.6 million

7. ''The Usual Suspects,'' $2 million

8. ''Hackers,'' $1.7 million

9. ''Braveheart,'' $1.5 million

9. ''Angus,'' $1.5 million

9. ''Babe,'' $ 1.5 million

- Associated Press

'' With just one-hundredth of what has already been published [about the scandal], any other government anywhere in the world would have fallen.''

- Opposition Sen. Enrique Gomez, on the drug money scandal that is rocking Colombia's government.

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