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News In Brief

The US

As promised, President Clinton vetoed the bill to extend the government's borrowing authority yesterday (above). And he was set to veto the plan to extend the government's operating ability. The short-term consequences of Clinton's moves - partially shutting down the government and sending 800,000 government workers home - were not seen as dire. But long-term effects are of greater concern. If no debt-limit extension is agreed to by mid-week, when the US hits its $4.9 trillion debt limit, Treasury Secretary Rubin will have to start juggling funds to meet US debt obligations. Experts are split on whether a default would have a long-term impact on world financial confidence in the US. Standard & Poor's said Friday the US Triple-A credit rating is in jeopardy.

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The Supreme Court will take up cases involving age bias and pornography on cable TV in the new session. Yesterday, the court agreed to hear cases involving a 56-year-old sales manager fired for being too old for his job and a free-speech challenge to a federal law aimed at restricting indecent programs on cable. The court also let stand several lower decisions including: a ruling requiring a lesbian mother to let her ex-partner be involved in her son's life; and a libel suit that a lower court threw out, in which a former Florida congressional candidate sued a paper for linking her to Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Two deals down. Two to go. negotiators at Bosnian peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, are reportedly inching closer to resolution on the two remaining issues: redrawing the map, including who will control Sarajevo and Gorazde; and the constitutional structure of the new Bosnian state. Bosnian Serbs want control of one-third of Sarajevo, while the Muslim-led government insists the capital be undivided. And the current constitutional plan would unify Muslim-Croats and Serbs in one nation, but each would have a local legislature.

Some 23 percent of those arrested for weapons crimes in 1993 were juveniles - up from 16 percent in 1974, the Justice Department reported Sunday. And teenage violence - especially among 14- to 17-year-olds - has risen since 1985. The federal government's response includes: last year's crime bill, which makes gun ownership by minors illegal and bars adults from giving or selling guns to minors; and Attorney General Reno's allocation of $8 million to six cities - from Boston to St. Louis - to test anti-gun programs for teens.

Wells Fargo & Co. yesterday increased its hostile bid for First Interstate Bancorp to nearly $10.9 billion from its original $10.1 billion offer. Wells Fargo also said it was maneuvering to legally block First Interstate's planned merger with ''white knight'' First Bank Systems Inc.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is set to offer $4 billion for Aetna Life & Casualty Company's property-casualty operations, The Wall Street Journal said yesterday. In a second KKR bid worth up to $2 billion, talks were under way for acquisition of some of Xerox Corp's property-casualty units.

Jury selection began in Lumberton, N.C., yesterday in the trial of a man accused of killing basketball star Michael Jordan's father. Prosecutors want the death penalty for Daniel Green in James Jordan's death.

Apple Computer Inc. shipped the most personal computers in the US in the third quarter. And contrary to popular belief, Apple has the top US market share - 13 percent - with Compaq and Packard Bell in the second and third slots, Dataquest says. Worldwide, Compaq leads in market share; Apple is second.

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Snoop Doggy Dogg's song ''Murder Was the Case'' has become a reality as the rapper's murder trial began yesterday in Los Angeles. Dogg and a former bodyguard have been charged in the drive-by shooting of an Ethiopian immigrant. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

The World

President Clinton pledged yesterday to devote ''enormous effort'' to finding the perpetrators of two bomb explosions at a military facility in Saudi Arabia that killed five Americans. About 60 people - including 30 Americans - were injured in what appeared to be car bombs that destroyed a building leased by the US for training the Saudi National Guard. (Story, Page 1.)

Bus loads of Palestinian police moved into the West Bank town of Jenin yesterday (above) to the cheers of thousands of Palestinians lining the streets. Israeli troops completed their pullout before dawn. Meanwhile, two right-wing rabbi settlers denied accusations that they gave Jewish ritual approval for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. (Story, Page 7.) Also, the Labor Party unanimously approved Shimon Peres as its new leader Sunday.

Six leading Bosnian Croat officials were charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed against Muslims in 1993, the UN criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia said yesterday. The list includes Dario Kordic, vice-president of the Croatian community in Bosnia, and Tihomir Blaskic, chief of staff of the Bosnian Croat army. (Related story, Page 6.)

Most of Guatemala plunged into darkness at 12:15 am yesterday, but a backup transformer allowed the country to continue counting votes from Sunday's presidential election. An election cease-fire called by Guatemala's guerrillas had expired at midnight. Reform-minded businessman Alvaro Arzu claimed victory in the low-turnout elections, but he needs 51 percent of the vote to avoid January runoff elections.

Peru's President Fujimori yesterday denied his candidate's loss in Lima's mayoral race was a personal defeat. He said he is satisfied with the outcome because it was unmarred by guerrilla violence and boosted Peru's image abroad as a democracy.

In Mexico, the ruling PRI held a slim lead yesterday in the Michoacan governor's race. But exit polls and preliminary results suggested the conservative opposition PAN was leading in mayoral races for the state capitals of Puebla, Culiacan, and Oaxaca.

Nigeria's foreign minister denied yesterday wrongdoing by the military regime and refused even to confirm whether the executions of nine Nigerian human rights activists occurred. Meanwhile, before a final session yesterday, the Commonwealth formed a committee to monitor and promote democratic and human rights standards in Nigeria and other member countries.

South Korea welcomed a Japanese Cabinet minister's resignation yesterday after a comment by him threatened a summit with Japan. Takami Eto, head of the Management and Coordination Agency, had said that Japan did ''good things'' during its colonial rule of Korea.

Investigators in Cambodia found human remains that may be those of Americans missing from a May 1975 mission to rescue the crew of the Mayaguez in the Gulf of Thailand. US and Cambodian teams have been seeking the remains of 18 Americans killed in a battle that followed the seizure of the US intelligence-gathering vessel shortly after the Khmer Rouge took control in Cambodia.

Accusing the Dalai Lama of fraud, China on Sunday rejected the Tibetan leader's choice of a young boy as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, a top Buddhist official in Tibet. A Chinese government-approved search committee has narrowed the hunt for the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama to three boys, none of whom was the boy named by the Dalai Lama. (Story, Page 6.)

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl slapped China on the wrist yesterday by giving Premier Li Peng an Amnesty International list of 15 Chinese political prisoners as German firms signed trade deals worth $1 billion.


New York's Columbia University is taking over management of Biosphere 2, the glassed-in environment in Arizona. The experiment was criticized when eight people tried to live there in self-supporting isolation for two years but were found to have smuggled in supplies. In the new deal, Columbia will run the huge greenhouse for five years, making it available to scientists and tourists.

German Silva of Mexico finished Sunday's cold, wind-swept New York City Mara-thon in 2 hours, 11 minutes. Tegla Loroupe of Kenya did it in 2:28:06. Both repeated their victories of a year ago. Nearly 28,000 runners competed in the yearly event.

Parents' Software Picks

The nonprofit group Parents' Choice picked these CD-ROM software packages as the best available for kids. Among their criteria: that they excite curiosity and stimulate logical thinking.

Richard Scarry's How Things Work in Busytown. $49. Ages 3-6. Emphasizes the importance of community cooperation in farm and city life.

Alphabonk Farm. $49. Ages 3-9. Helps kids learn ABC's by discovering farm-life factoids.

Davidson's Kid Phonics. $40. Ages 4-7. Six off-the-wall characters help teach reading skills via phonics.

Troggle Trouble Math. $46. Ages 6-12. This tough but entertaining math adventure involves Sparky the Math Dog, Troggle creatures, and Munchers.

The Everything You Want to Know About Sports Encyclopedia. $29.95. Ages 7-14. Tidbits, including video and audio clips, for 50 sports.

I.M. Meen. $49.95. Ages 9 and up. Trolls, gargoyles, and spiders cast spells as kids bone up on grammar and spelling.

Oregon Trail II. $57. Ages 8 and up. This tough but exciting adventure simulates crossing America in the mid-1800's.

Counting on Frank. $39.95. Ages 8-12. Zany characters help solve math word games.

The Amazing Writing Machine. $45. Ages 6-12. A writing lab that encourages creative writing through essays, letters, diaries, and poems.

- Parents' Choice (Waban, Mass.)

'' It's as if I owned the whole world.''

- Nawal Ahmed, who brought her children dressed in their best clothes to see the Palestinian police take control of the West Bank town of Jenin yesterday.

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