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News In Brief

The US

With support from Christian conservatives, Pat Buchanan (above) won 13 of 21 Republican delegates in the Louisiana caucus to take the Republican lead. Sen. Phil Gramm suffered a setback by landing only eight delegates, even though his allies in the state largely engineered the event. All other candidates except talk show host Alan Keyes boycotted the contest in deference to next week's Iowa caucus. Keyes won no delegates.

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Despite a subpoena, the White House has yet to turn over 129 travel office documents, Republican Rep. William Clinger said. Clinger, chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, asked President Clinton's chief lawyer to turn over the documents. Some were first requested on June 14, 1995.

Two White House staff members who had access to the room where Hillary Rodham Clinton's billing records were found were expected to testify before the Senate Whitewater Committee today. Former Rose Law firm partner William Hubbell, who is serving a prison term for mail fraud and tax evasion, testified yesterday. And a federal regulator said the recent discovery of the records raises new questions about whether her work for the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan created a conflict of interest.

The US trade deficit dropped in November to its lowest total in more than 1-1/2 years. The monthly gap between exports and imports fell 13.5 percent to $7.06 billion from October's deficit of $8.16 billion.

The Secret Service recommended the use of a government plane for Hillary Rodham Clinton's book tour for security reasons, The White House said in response to GOP criticisms. Republicans questioned the cost to taxpayers of the travel. The plane costs $2,890 an hour to fly, which is more than her publisher is willing to pay. Mrs. Clinton's spokeswoman, Neel Lattimore, said Barbara Bush had the same arrangement when she promoted ''Millie's Book.''

The Supreme Court cleared the way for Georgia's new redistricting plan to be used in 1996 congressional elections. The court rejected an ACLU request to put on hold a ruling to scrap two of Georgia's three congressional districts that contain a majority of black voters. The court also rejected a request for an injunction requiring that an earlier redistricting plan be used, or for an order requiring a new plan. The ACLU represented a group of black voters in the state.

Maine's Supreme Court granted CBS permission to put hidden cameras in the jury room to record deliberations in a civil case for a documentary. It's the first time a commercial network has gained access to a jury room, judges involved in the case said. In 1986, publicly supported PBS taped deliberations in a Wisconsin case. CBS also has asked for a similar ruling concerning an Arizona criminal case.

Some 785,000 elderly, blind, and disabled non-citizens were receiving cash payments from the Supplemental Security Income program in December, a General Accounting Office report says. That's about 12 percent of all SSI recipients. The legal immigrants and refugees amount to nearly 25 percent of the recent growth of SSI, one of the nation's fastest-growing welfare programs, the report notes.

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Some 162 law-enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year, including 12 who died in the Oklahoma City bombing. The number represents a rise in deaths among police officers for the second straight year, though it was far below 1989's high of 190.

Sara Lee Corp. agreed to pay a record $3.1 million for failing to tell government antitrust watchers in advance of its 1991 acquisition of a line of shoe-care products. Sara Lee subsidiary Kiwi Brands had 90 percent of the shoe polish market in 1991 when Sara Lee acquired London-based Reckitt & Colman.

Four companies that together make three-fourths of the nation's carbon-dioxide supply agreed to pay more than $55 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of price fixing the fizz that goes into carbonated drinks.

The World

The arrest of two top rebel Bosnian Serb officers by the Muslim- and Croat-led Bosnian government could threaten the Dayton peace accord. NATO is concerned, rebel Serbs are angry, but the UN War Crimes Tribunal thinks it is a good idea. Bosnian authorities claim the officers are responsible for mass killings of civilians around Sarajevo. (Story, Page 1.)

A chartered airliner with 189 aboard crashed into shark-infested waters off the Dominican Republic. The US Coast Guard, which is leading rescue efforts, has found no survivors. The cause of the crash is still unknown. The flight carrying German tourists home took off from Puerto Plata, 100 miles northwest of Santo Domingo.

Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz was sworn in as Poland's premier along with a 20-member Cabinet. Parliament has two weeks to approve the government. Last month, Premier Jozef Oleksy resigned amid allegations that he spied for Moscow. US envoy Richard Holbrooke discussed NATO expansion and politics with Polish leaders in Warsaw. (Story, Page 6.)

US Secretary of State Christopher secured a commitment from Syria to continue peace talks with Israel. He later flew from Damascus to the Gaza Strip where he congratulated Palestinian President Arafat on his election victory (above). And Christopher urged the PLO to delete references in its charter that call for Israel's destruction.

Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng plans to file an appeal with the Supreme Court for the 14-year sentence he received for sedition, his brother said. (Opinion, Page 20.) Separately, military officers were told to obey the Chinese leadership and President Jiang Zemin. The official directive reportedly is seen as an effort to assert Jiang's authority and contain Army factionalism.

Tamil rebels ambushed a military patrol in northeastern Sri Lanka, killing 11 soldiers, the Army said. The Tamil rebels, claiming discrimination by the Sinhalese majority in the island nation, are fighting for an independent homeland.

Violence in Bangladesh escalated ahead of next week's parliamentary elections. Supporters of Premier Khaleda Zia and opposition activists clashed in 10 towns, and bombs were hurled at telephone offices across the country. At least one person was killed and 50 injured.

Britain and Ireland tried to revive deadlocked Irish peace talks. At the meeting, the Irish delegation was expected to ask Britain to convene all-party talks. In February, Britain angered Irish Catholics by proposing elections as a first step toward peace in Northern Ireland befoe talks.

About 6,000 black parents and students rallied in Potgietersrus, South Africa, demanding that an all-white primary school open its doors to blacks. Racial inequality still exists in many rural pockets of South Africa.

Iraqis danced, sang, and lit up the night sky over Baghdad with gunfire while celebrating the start of talks with the UN on limited oil sales to meet humanitarian needs. Economic sanctions have impoverished Iraqis. The Iraqi dinar was trading at 500 to the US dollar, up from about 3,000 early last month.

Chechnya's Russian-backed government adopted a resolution to break up a peaceful four-day-old protest in Grozny, claiming rebel fighters were gathering to take over key facilities. The Chechens are protesting the presence of Russian troops in the region.

Japanese Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto said his support groups received political donations from mortgage firms that are part of a controversial bailout scheme. Hashimoto faced criticism after announcing $6.52 billion of public money will be used to bailout the ailing firms, which lost money in speculative real estate deals.


CFCs are guilty ''beyond reasonable doubt'' of destroying Earth's ozone layer, US space scientists report in the journal Nature. Satellite observations prove conclusively that man-made chlorofluorocarbons have made their way to the stratosphere and started destroying the protective ozone layer.

Third-grader Chaymara Vasquez plans to give away her favorite book, which is on penguins. She and other grade-schoolers in Massachusetts are participating in ''Spread the Word.'' The premise is simple. Students bring books to school to share. The books are then sent on to another school. Several schools participate and swap the book collections. Chaymara's school in Boston, for instance, received 1,600 books from a school in Sharon, Mass.

The Denver Nuggets will again offer tickets for guns in the fourth annual ''Operation Cease-Fire'' program. The pro basketball team will give a pair of tickets to anyone who turns in a gun during a March 9 exchange. Since the program started in 1993, more than 900 firearms have been turned in.

Candidates' Leisure Time

When they aren't campaigning, the GOP candidates enjoy an occasional movie or book. Four chose ''Braveheart'' as their favorite flick.

Favorite recent movie:

Alexander: ''The Madness of King George''

Buchanan: ''Braveheart''

Dole: ''The American President''

Dornan: ''Braveheart''

Forbes: ''Braveheart''

Gramm: no response

Lugar: ''Apollo 13''

Last book read:

Alexander: ''The Creators,'' by Daniel Boorstin

Buchanan: ''The Trap,'' by Sir James Goldsmith

Dole: ''Lincoln,'' by David Hebert Donald

Dornan: ''Crossing the Threshold of Hope,'' by Pope John Paul II

Gramm: no response

Lugar: ''New Passages,'' by Gail Sheehy

- Associated Press

'' If I don't win in New Hampshire, I'm outta here.

I'm going to go somewhere warm and play golf.''

- Michigan businessman and Republican presidential hopeful Morry Taylor.

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