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News In Brief

The US

President Clinton's televised speech to the nation about sending 20,000 US peacekeeping troops to Bosnia was expected to hammer at several themes, including: the US role as the world's only superpower and its need to fill what would otherwise be a global leadership vacuum; that without military force, diplomatic efforts in the region thus far will be for naught; and that the cost in US lives will be kept to a minimum by striking back at attackers with firm force.

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The so-called ''Secret Seven'' - a group of seven prominent politicians - has been meeting secretly to forge a ''radical center'' in American politics. Members include former Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas (above, left) and New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley (above, right). The group says it has considered forming a third party but denies reports that it will mount a 1996 presidential bid. (Story, Page 4.)

Speaker Gingrich ended months of speculation when he said he will not run for president in 1996. Separately, Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson endorsed Senator Dole's 1996 White House bid.

Waiting for a FedEx package? It could be a little late. Despite last-minute company concessions that included a 4 percent pay raise and new work rules, pilots for the world's largest overnight delivery service began a ''slowdown'' by refusing to work overtime and holidays. Pilots, who average $128,000 per year, want improved pay, retirement programs, and job security. The company wants to cut vacation, change work rules, and cancel profit sharing. No talks were scheduled. FedEx, which delivers 2.4 million packages every work day, promises that all deliveries will be on time.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by anti-abortion protesters. They claimed a lower-court order to pay $100,000 in lawyer fees to a Sacramento, Calif., clinic they targeted violated their free-speech rights. The court also rejected a plea in an Alabama suit to integrate the South's all-white timber industry. The justices also refused to rule on the case of a ninth-grader whose English research paper received no credit because its subject was Jesus Christ's life.

''We expect him to leave,'' said US National Security Adviser Anthony Lake of Haitian President Aristide. Aristide had pledged to step down, but since calls for him to remain in office have grown - and as violence in the island nation has increased - he has been considering canceling the Dec. 17 elections and remaining in office.

The supersecret National Reconnaissance Office is opening some of its files. The agency - whose very existence was not confirmed until 1992 - will show off some satellite images it collected during the cold war in a Discovery Channel documentary that is to be aired in March. Subjects of the photos could range from rain forest deterioration to Soviet nuclear sites.

Sales of previously owned homes dropped 1.9 percent in October, the first drop in six months, the National Association of Realtors said. But sales are 6.5 percent above last year's September rate. And the industry says that as mortgage rates continue to fall, the market will remain strong.

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An attack on a New York City subway token clerk was eerily similar to one in the movie ''Money Train.'' In the film, and in real life, assailants squirted flammable liquid into a token booth and set it on fire. Harry Kaufman, the New York clerk, was in critical condition after the attack. Columbia Pictures, which released the film, had no comment.

The International Herald Tribune agreed to pay $210,000 to Singapore's former Prime Minister Lee Kuan for an article Lee says defamed him. The paper is jointly owned by The New York Times and The Washington Post. The October 1994 story referred to ''intolerant regimes in the region,'' some of which rely ''upon a compliant judiciary to bankrupt opposition politicians.''

The World

''There will be carnage'' if NATO forces try to arrest Bos-nian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic or any of his fellow citizens for war crimes, Karadzic said in an interview. Sarajevo will become ''the Beirut of Europe'' if the city is reunified as specified in the Dayton, Ohio, peace plan, he said earlier while demanding international protection for Serb-populated suburbs of the capital. Thousands of Serbs have been protesting the peace accord daily in Sarajevo. Above, a Sarajevo resident picks cabbages for a pie in an area heavily shelled last summer. (See also US In Brief.)

In his first visit to China tomorrow, Cuban President Fidel Castro will likely engage in a socialist pow-wow. His visit will overlap with that of Vietnam's leader Do Muoi, who in a meeting with China's Jiang Zemin agreed that ''historical'' disputes of territorial claims should not block improving relations. China and Vietnam, allies before ties soured in the '80s, are attaching great importance to the talks.

South Korean Chung Tae Soo became the first business tycoon indicted in a $654 million slush fund scandal involving former president Roh Tae Woo. The chairman of the Hanbo Group reportedly gave Roh a $13 million bribe. Also, 1,000 stick-wielding students battled police in Seoul. They were demanding the arrest of Roh and another former president, Chun Doo Hwan, for the violent crackdown on a 1980 pro-democracy uprising.

Russian President Yeltsin was released from the hospital and transferred to a suburban Moscow sanitarium to continue treatment for a heart ailment. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev was expected to speak today before the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on European security and Moscow's role in NATO missions in Bosnia. He is also expected to meet with US Defense Secretary William Perry. The two men agreed earlier this month that 2,000 to 3,000 Russian troops would become part of a US division, but they wouldn't answer directly to NATO's commander in Europe.

Japan is expected to announce a new national defense policy today for the first time in two decades. The policy will emphasize a streamlined, high-tech military for the post-cold war era, the government said. Separately, shareholders sued top Daiwa bank executives for mismanagement and demanded they pay $990 million in damages.

Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas said his brother Raul must explain how he amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune in foreign bank accounts. Mexican authorities are investigating Raul, under arrest for allegedly masterminding the murder of a top PRI official, for illicit enrichment while in public office.

Egypt is expected to try to get Israel and Syria to talk peace at a Europe-Mediterranean conference in Barcelona, Spain. Meanwhile, Cairo police arrested a Muslim Brotherhood candidate for parliament and some 125 of his supporters on charges of disturbing public order and causing a traffic jam. The arrests came just days before elections. In a separate incident, six Brotherhood members were arrested in Assiut, 200 miles south of Cairo. And a military court sentenced 54 of the Brotherhood's most dynamic leaders to at least five years in prison last week. Egypt has accused the Brotherhood of forging ties with Islamic militants.

The Ivory Coast's ruling Democratic Party appears headed for victory in National Assembly elections: It claimed 61 of the 68 seats decided after early counting. Main opposition leaders are barred from the election, and opposition rallies are banned.

Poor health care, inadequate schools, and war in many countries are ''robbing children of their childhood,'' a scathing report on children's rights says. The International Forum on the Rights of the Child released the study, which was sponsored by UNESCO, at a meeting in Paris.

Former Barings Bank futures trader Nick Leeson, awaiting trial in a Singapore prison, was formally charged with fraud and forgery in the $1.4-billion collapse of Britain's oldest merchant bank. He faces a maximum 14 years in prison, but legal experts say he could get off with a much lighter sentence if he plea bargains and accepts guilt.


The Atlantic hurricane season, which began in June and ends Nov. 30, was the busiest in more than 60 years. There were 11 hurricanes and eight tropical storms; 121 people were killed, and there was $7.7 billion in damages. In the US, 36 died, and property damage was $5 billion.

A Singapore engineer has reportedly developed an army boot designed to let a soldier step on a land mine and walk away. The sole of the boot is made of materials usually found in bulletproof vests and aircraft wings, according to officials at Singapore Technologies Ltd.

The largest collection of Claude Monet paintings, 159 works from 66 museums and 36 private collections in 15 countries, has ended its 18-week run at the Art Institute of Chicago. A record-breaking 950,000 people saw the works of the French Impressionist master.

Beijing officials can stop longing for that forbidden foreign car. China now has its own luxury sedan - a sleek reincarnation of the bulbous Red Flag limousine. First Auto Works in Jilin Province began producing the so-called ''Little Red Flag'' last month.

Hot Toys for Tots

The Toy Manufacturers of America made a list and checked it twice to predict the most popular toys of the season. These less-expensive toys on their list could be stocking stuffers under $10.

Hot Wheels cars, Mattel, $1

Matchbox cars, Tyco, $1

Crayola Crayons,Binney & Smith, $1

Mortal Kombat figures, Hasbro Toy Group, $5

Star Wars figures, Hasbro Toy Group, $5

Batman Forever figures, Hasbro Toy Group, $6

Gargoyles Heroes, Hasbro Toy Group, $6

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Bandai America, $7

Barbie's Baby Sister Kelly, Mattel, $10

Sky Dancer, Nintendo, $10

- Associated Press

'' Any rogue elements - they are going to be whacked. As simple as that.''

- US Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright, on how US troops would react to opponents of peace taking potshots at US soldiers in Bosnia.

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