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News In Brief

The US

Defense lawyers say they will appeal the federal jury's verdict against Muslim cleric sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine others. The 10 were convicted Sunday in New York of planning to destroy New York City landmarks in an attempt to change US policy toward the Middle East. The sheikh faces life in prison. One of the sheikh's lawyers charged that pretrial publicity had generated an atmosphere of ''McCarthyism'' that prejudiced jurors against Muslims. Airports nationwide are stepping up security measures to the highest level since the 1991 Gulf war. (Story, Page 1.)

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President Clinton is preparing to relax restrictions on exports of high-performance computers, handing a long-sought victory to technology companies whose executives supported his 1992 election, The New York Times reported. The proposal would help American manufacturers sell billions of dollars worth of powerful computers to civilian customers in China, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, and India. But opponents fear powerful US computers will be diverted to military uses, such as designing missiles or nuclear w eapons.

Medical problems from prescription drugs among US outpatients cost the nation $76 billion annually, a new study estimates. Hospitalizations are the biggest part of the cost. An estimated 8.7 million hospital admissions due to drug-related problems total $47.4 billion each year, researchers said in a publication by the American Medical Association. Drug-related problems can result from unforeseeable complications or side effects, errors by doctors, or patients' failure to take medicine properly.

The Supreme Court let stand a California law limiting environmental claims that manufacturers or distributors of consumer products can make. The court also turned down an appeal by a white Maryland couple who says their black foster child was taken from them improperly and given to a black couple for adoption.

David Rockefeller, investment firm Goldman Sachs, and New York developer Jerry Speyer made a $297 million bid for Rockefeller Center Properties. It would allow the Rockefellers to keep an interest in the property.

Pope John Paul sets off for the US tomorrow. He will visit New Jersey, New York, and Baltimore during his week-long visit, his fourth to the US. His tour will include a meeting with Clinton and a major address to the UN. (Story, Page 3.)

Led by the Geo Metro, more than a dozen 1996 car models achieved 35 miles per gallon or better in combined city and highway driving, according to rankings released by the EPA. But the industry says in an era of cheap gasoline, few people are driving these vehicles. The EPA's top 10 fuel efficient cars represent less than 2 percent of passenger-car sales. (See chart right.)

Consumer spending rose strongly in August due to a surge in new-car buying even though incomes posted no gain at all from July, the Commerce Department reported. As a result, savings dropped sharply in August to 3.6 cents out of each dollar earned from 4.5 cents in July. The Conference Board is predicting an increase in business activity in the fourth quarter.

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The Clinton administration is set to announce that Clinton and China's Jiang Zemin will hold a summit meeting in New York later this month, The Wall Street Journal reported. Though China has been pushing for a full-blown formal summit in Washington, the Clinton administration refused to host such an event.

Employment of social workers will increase faster than the average for all occupations through the end of the decade, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated. Other industries with hot job prospects: hospitality, health care, and electrical engineering.

A federal arbitration board announced a new four-year contract between the US Postal Service and a union representing mostly clerical workers. The decision affects 365,000 union and non-union employees who have been working without a contract since last November. Milton Lavernia of Boca Raton, Fla., (above) stood in line to purchase a new series of stamps featuring cartoon characters.

The World

France set off a wave of response yesterday after detonating the second in as many as eight planned nuclear tests Sunday in the South Pacific. The blast, which was five times more powerful than the US bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, took place beneath Fangataufa Atoll in French Polynesia. Australia, New Zealand, and Japan delivered formal protests to their French ambassadors, and the US urged France to ''join in a global moratorium.'' Tahiti was calm but tense as pro-independence groups warned the te sts could ignite violence. At home, French youths burned cars and pelted police in the third night of rioting near Lyon after a prime suspect in a series of bombings was killed by police Friday.

US peace envoy Richard Holbrooke arrived in Sarajevo yesterday for talks with government officials. Meanwhile, government forces in the north appeared to be pressing an offensive toward the Serb-held town of Mrkonjic Grad, about 25 miles south of the heavily defended Serb stronghold of Banja Luka. And Bosnian Serbs were making significant gains in northwest Bosnia. Bosnian Prime Minister Silajdzic was expected to arrive in Moscow yesterday to discuss a political settlement in the former Yugoslav republ ic.

As Mexico resumed talks with the Chiapas rebels yesterday, the masked man known as Commandante Marcos emerged from the jungle where he had been hiding for eight months to speak to 200 supporters in a tiny Indian village. The military leader vowed to transform his movement into a political force.

United Germany plans to mark its fifth birthday today with celebrations throughout the country. The party started early: Some 80,000 people turning out in Berlin Sunday for a parade, and the partying continued yesterday. A newspaper poll showed that 57 percent of former East Germans surveyed felt they had profited from unity, up from 38 percent last year.

In Latvia, a fringe party led by an expatriate with extreme-right links is expected to come in at least second place in parliamentary elections, preliminary results showed Monday. The electoral success of the People's Movement for Latvia, led by German-born Joachim Siegerist, has stunned the Baltic nation. Established center-right parties, which were expected to make big gains, did not do as well as anticipated.

And the Socialists returned to power in Portugal after a decade, defeating the center-right Social Democrats. They were also seven seats shy of an outright majority in parliament. The results of Sunday's election allayed concerns the failure of either of the two major parties could undermine democracy.

Rwanda arrested or jailed nine officers and soldiers in its first action taken on Army killings of 110 Hutu villagers. The attack had raised concerns among diplomats that the Army was out of control.

Turkey was shaken Sunday by a magnitude-6 earthquake, killing at least 63 people. Almost 45 percent of Dinar's buildings collapsed - a city of 100,000.

Asian weather took a toll. Tropical storm Sybil raked the Philippines over the weekend, flooding wide areas and killing at least 48 people. Floods also ravaged northern Bangladesh, killing at least 180 people in six days. At least 50 people were killed in floods in three Vietnamese provinces in the Mekong Delta. And Thailand wrestled with months of deadly flooding.


Chephren, the second of the three Great Pyramids at Giza, will be closed for three months starting Oct.10 to repair the damage done to interior limestone walls by the moist breath of hundreds of thousands of tourists.When it reopens, visitors will have to pay extra to go inside.

As the baseball season ends, six out of 10 fans say they have less interest in the sport than before the 7-1/2-month strike last year, according to an Associated Press poll. Attendance at ballparks was down on average by more than 19 percent.

Archaeologists this week are to begin recovering a group of statues submerged for centuries in the Mediterranean Sea. But the 2,200-year-old Pharos lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, may never be recovered because of its immense size. Hundreds of ancient statues and temples lie broken under the sea off Alexandria, Egypt.

Warsaw plays host this month to pianists from around the world seeking recognition through interpreting Frederic Chopin's music. Yesterday, the first of some 140 pianists from 33 nations began performing.

1996 Automobiles With the Best Mileage

The following cars got the best combined city-highway miles per gallon, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Models with identical names have different mileage because of variations in engine size or transmission system.

Geo Metro 46

Honda Civic HB HX 41

Geo Metro 41

Suzuki Swift 41

Honda Civic HX 37

Ford Aspire 37

Toyota Tercel 36

Honda Del Sol 36

Honda Civic 35

Mitsubishi Mirage 35

Mazda Protege 35

Eagle Summit 35

- Associated Press

'' Unification was always a goal for Helmut Kohl. But he didn't know he would live to see it, and he especially didn't suspect that he would be given the opportunity to bring it about.''

- Horst Teltschik, formerly a close Kohl aid, on the chancellor's view of unification.

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