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News In Brief

The US

FBI agents continued to look for evidence that would point them toward those responsible for sabotaging the Amtrak train that derailed Monday in Arizona. One person was killed and 83 were injured when four of the train's cars plunged off a 30-foot-high bridge. A note found at the scene was signed by a little-known neo-Nazi group called the ''Sons of Gestapo'' and referred to the federal sieges at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, that have angered antigovernment groups. But one federal investigator said it could be a way to deflect attention away from the real motive. (Story, Page 3.)

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Democrats and Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee continued to bicker over whether $270 billion can be saved from Medicare over seven years without slashing care for the elderly and disabled. Much of the savings would be achieved by driving many Medicare recipients from fee-for-service heath care into managed health-care plans. Democrats, who are staunchly against the bill, charge that the savings would be used to finance the GOP tax-cut proposal.

The House and Senate will soon begin compromising on a final welfare bill, but they remain divided on whether the government should refuse support to children born while their families are on welfare. Supporters argue it's wrong for single mothers to have more babies when they can't afford the children they already have. But some opponents worry that women on welfare will have abortions if their children's benefits are taken away.

Policymakers from more than 175 nations gathered yesterday in Washington for the formal start of the IMF/World Bank annual meeting. Their primary concern: Efforts to fight poverty could be seriously threatened by reductions in aid from the US and other nations for loans to the poorest countries. ''This is a dangerous moment ... for multilateralism,'' World Bank President James Wolfensohn (pictured) said at a press conference Monday. (Story, Page 1.)

The Supreme Court yesterday turned down an appeal by Shannon Faulkner, who waged a legal battle to end The Citadel's 153-year ban on women before dropping out in August after less than a week as a cadet. The court also rejected an attempt to substitute Faulkner with Nancy Mellette, another young woman interested in attending the state-funded military college in South Carolina. The court left intact a lower court's ruling that said Cuban refugees being held at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay lack constitutional rights and could be returned forcibly to Cuba. The court is considering a landmark gay-rights case.

President Clinton opened a one-day summit with Mexican President Zedillo yesterday in Washington, saying Mexico's economic crisis was easing because of Zedillo's politically controversial austerity measures. Zedillo came bearing a $700 million check representing early repayment of the first installment on a $12.5 billion bridge loan borrowed from the US. (Editorial, Page 20.)

US Economist Robert Lucas won the Nobel Prize in Economics yesterday. The University of Chicago professor was cited for his work on how ''rational expectations'' have transformed macroeconomic analysis and helped clarify economic policy. (Story, Page 1.)

Hurricane Roxanne, with winds at about 80 m.p.h. and strengthening, could turn toward south Texas today or tomorrow, forecasters said. Reports yesterday indicated the hurricane was 125 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico, and headed westward across the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Some 5,000 workers at the country's largest car-hauling company were expected to return to work yesterday after a month-long strike. Teamsters Union leaders on Monday approved a new four-year contract with Ryder Automotive Carrier Group. The strike threatened to strangle the auto industry's fall season. Ryder controls more than a third of the US car-haul business. (Story, Page 3.)

Despite a bus strike yesterday in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the morning rush hour came and went without the predicted gridlock. Police said the 100,000 commuters used car pools and shifted their work hours. Still, no negotiations are scheduled to resolve the labor dispute.

The World

The UN said yesterday it hoped a Bosnia-wide cease-fire would begin at one minute after midnight tonight, following the restoration of utilities to Sarajevo. The cease-fire would begin 24 hours behind the original target. The government on Monday night refused to agree to the cease-fire, saying preconditions stipulating that utilities must be restored had not been met. But Russian gas began flowing toward Sarajevo yesterday, and electricity lit up part of the city.

An earthquake that rocked the Pacific coast of Mexico killed at least 30 people as it toppled houses and hotels, cracked bridges, split highways, and cut power and phone services. More than 90 people were reported injured in the 7.6-magnitude quake. In Manzanillo, a popular resort 330 miles west of Mexico City, rescue workers searched for survivors after a seven-story hotel collapsed. (Story, Page 1.)

A new Israel-PLO accord got off to a fitful start yesterday as hundreds of Palestinian prisoners refused to leave jail. Israel was scheduled to release about 1,000 prisoners to mark the start of a new accord for greater Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank. Only 100 walked out. The prisoners refused to leave until Israel also releases four Arab women prisoners who were denied pardons last week.

Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui marked National Day yesterday by calling on Communist China to respect Taipei's democratic system and urging Beijing to respond to the desire for democracy among its own population. Although Lee has said before that democracy in China was one precondition for reunification, the emphasis he gave it yesterday elevated it to a position of paramount importance. The president (pictured) waved to about 250,00 people packed in a square outside the presidential office in Taipei.

A one-day strike by 5 million public sector employees brought French railways, buses, underground trains, schools, post offices, and a host of other services and state-owned firms to a near-standstill. Trade unions called the stoppage - the biggest in almost a decade - to protest the government's refusal to increase civil-service pay next year beyond its contractual commitments.

Guatemala's defense minister resigned, and a regional army commander was ousted, days after soldiers killed 11 former refugees of the civil war. Monday's shakeup dealt a blow to the Guatemalan Army, under increasing pressure to end its long history of human rights abuses as the country prepares for a Nov. 12 presidential election.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin seemed reluctant yesterday to endorse a proposed state of emergency for the Chechen capital, Grozny, after a recent attack on a top Russian general. Yeltsin said he was concerned about exacerbating the problem but maintained that the government hasn't exhausted all means to stabilize the situation. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, meanwhile, called for massive military action to disarm the rebels.

A senior government minister warned Britain's ruling Conservatives at the start of their annual conference yesterday that vote-winning tax cuts would require painful cuts in public spending. Conservatives hope Prime Minister Major will revive morale by promising two tax-cutting budgets before the next election.

The sixth round of talks on the disputed Spratly Islands opened yesterday with host Indonesia urging claimants to reduce tensions and avoid turning the area into Asia's next flashpoint.

Turkish troops began withdrawing from northern Iraq yesterday after a four-day operation against Kurdish guerrillas fighting the Ankara government, security officials said.

Etcetera

Garry Kasparov retained his world chess title Monday when he held on to draw the 17th game of his championship match with Viswanathan Anand, raising the score to 10-7 in his favor. The winner of the 20-game Professional Chess Association contest must score 10.5 points, but match rules state that in the event of a 10-10 tie, Kasparov would keep his title. The 18th game, set for yesterday, was to decide the division of the $1.35 million in prize money.

US Navy Secretary John Dalton Monday commissioned the last Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine, the USS Columbia, to be built at the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn. The sub could be the last hurrah for hundreds of workers in Groton.

Britain's Prince Philip agreed to save 20 ancient oak trees, threatened by a sapling planting plan, in the royal family's Windsor Great Park. Some protesters had been camping on platforms in the trees.

The Bermuda Bowl Open biennial bridge world championships kicked off in Beijing this week. Sixteen countries, led by defending champion the Netherlands, are taking part. Two round-robin tournaments will last two weeks.

A pumpkin weighing 968 pounds won the International Pumpkin Association's annual contest. Paula Zehr of New York won for the second year in a row.

The 10 Fastest-Growing Cities in the US

With populations greater than 100,000.

City % Growth

1. Henderson, Nev. 57.0

2. Palmdale, Calif. 47.2

3. Chandler, Ariz. 32.7

..4. Las Vegas 27.0

5. Plano, Texas 23.1

6. Lancaster, Calif. 22.5

7. Laredo, Texas 22.0

8. Chesapeake, Va. 18.8

9. Fontana, Calif. 18.5

10. Naperville, Ill. 17.9

- US Census Bureau/AP

'' China has to recognize that it cannot resist the trend of freedom and democracy.''

- Taiwan President Lee, calling on Beijing to respect Taipei's democratic system.


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