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News In Brief

The US

The Supreme Court planned to hear arguments in a 10-year-old challenge of federal campaign spending limits. (Related story, Page 3.) The court also refused to free the owners of Price Club stores from a shareholders' lawsuit that says the company hid financial bad news before a 1992 drop in the stock's price. Among cases the court agreed to consider: whether states may enforce their own prevailing wage laws, which set trade-by-trade minimum compensation for workers on state construction projects; and an Idaho dispute over control of waterways within the Coeur d'Alene Indian reservation.

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The push is on in Congress to draft compromise antiterrorism legislation that could be approved sometime this week. President Clinton could then sign it into law by Friday, the first anniversary of Oklahoma City federal building bombing. The Clinton administration expressed disappointment about two items left out of the legislation: putting identification markers on explosives, and making it easier legally to wiretap suspected terrorists.

A list containing the names of about 25 University of California-Berkeley math professors reportedly was found in Una-bomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski's cabin. Also, Saturday Review published a 222-word letter by Kaczynski in 1970 that attacked the construction of highways and the use of cars. The letter outlined similar ideas as those found in the Unabomber's antitechnology manifesto. And another letter written by Kaczynski reportedly threatened a woman he dated briefly.

China quietly admitted it sold nuclear equipment to Pakistan, and the US is weighing sanctions over the sale. The Wall Street Journal says China continues to deny publicly the sale that Chinese officials say was completed without their leaders' knowledge.

Stocks opened firmer Monday in a mild extension of Friday's gains, but investors remain anxious about earnings reports coming out soon.

About 15,000 people joined a National Organization for Women "Fight the Right" march in San Francisco. Participants protested right-wing politics and a California ballot issue they said may halt affirmative action programs. Among the marchers: women's right leader Gloria Steinem (left) and Mary Chung (right) of the National Asian Women's Health Organization. Speakers included civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, and NOW President Patricia Ireland.

Higher speed limits in California have resulted in more deadly car crashes, according to an Associated Press study. In the first 11 weeks of higher speed limits, such crashes increased by more than 17 percent after being on the decline since 1987. But highway patrol and state transportation officials said its too early to blame the accident increase on the rise in speed limits.

Airline quality rose last year for the first time in five years, according to the annual airline quality survey by two university professors. Southwest Airlines ranked first in the study covering 1995, followed by American, United, Delta, America West, Northwest, US Air, TWA, and Continental. The rankings are based on on-time perfomance, accidents, lost baggage, and overbookings.

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A truck bombing that injured a federal worker and his wife was reportedly preceded by an ominous phone call. "You guys are all dead. Timothy McVeigh lives on," said the call to the Labor Department's mine and safety office in Vacaville, Calif.

A tornado bounced through three Arkansas counties, killing seven people and injuring at least 30. The twister ripped off roofs, uprooted trees, and destroyed a mountain campground.

Atlanta is bracing for this weekend's invasion of black college students for the annual Freaknik celebration. Thousands of students are expected to cruise city streets. City officials are trying to manage crowds by distributing lists of attractions to try to get students off the streets.

The World

Israel bombarded towns in southern Lebanon as Hizbullah guerrillas continued rocket attacks on Israel in the fifth day of fighting. Lebanon dismissed Israel's demands that it disarm the guerrillas as a step toward ending the conflict. Lebanon is filing a formal protest with the UN Security Council. Hizbullah has threatened to retaliate against Israeli interests worldwide. Also, Israel is raising the number of Palestinians allowed back to work in the Jewish state to 7,000, easing a closure that has stifled the Palestinian economy. The closure was in response to suicide bombings that killed 58 Israelis. About 53,000 Palestinians are still out of work.

A truce in Liberia is holding, allowing Monrovian leaders to focus on ending the standoff between rival militias at a military barracks that has left 60,000 Liberians homeless. Militia leader Charles Taylor (above, right), who has named himself president, says he will not negotiate with rival Roosevelt Johnson over the release of hundreds of hostages. And the US halted airlift operations that have evacuated about 1,800 people.

Chechen rebels shot down a Russian helicopter, killing four soldiers on board, Interfax reported. Russian troops were set to start a gradual withdrawal from peaceful areas in Chechnya.

Hong Kong legislators plan to stage a hunger strike protesting China's exclusion of pro-democracy advocates in talks on how to manage the 1997 changeover. And hundreds protested against Beijing's plan to dismantle an elected legislature when Hong Kong reverts to the mainland. Separately, China is suppressing Buddhist activities in Tibet in the harshest wave of repression since it imposed martial law on the Tibetan capital in 1989, a human rights group reported.

The US agreed to close seven military facilities on Okinawa and cut back four more in response to residents' demands. The US will return 20 percent of the land. Also, the US and Japan signed an agreement that for the first time will enable the Japanese military to provide support and transportation for US forces. The signing comes on the eve of President Clinton's visit to Japan to discuss security issues.

Australia is prohibiting its defense force from using land mines and is calling for a worldwide ban of the devices, which maim and kill 26,000 annually.

Venezuelan President Caldera was expected to announce increases in gasoline prices of as much as 850 percent, The Wall Street Journal reported. Gas now costs 13 cents per gallon. The increase is part of measures designed to cement an IMF loan.

Eighty Nigerians have died and more than 6,000 have fled tribal warfare in eastern Nigeria. The clashes erupted last week between the Karimjo and Fulani people over an attempted rape.

Thousands of Bosnian Muslims demonstrated, demanding to return home to Brcko, which is now under Serb control. Also, Europe's security envoy accused Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic of undermining country-wide elections to be held by mid-September under the Dayton accord.

Seoul staged a civil defense drill on the eve of Clinton's visit to discuss security issues on the Korean Peninsula. The US will reaffirm its promise not to negotiate with North Korea for peace, a Seoul official said.

After being interrupted by a bomb threat, South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings resumed in East London. A police search found no explosive devices. The hearings are looking into apart-heid-era human rights abuses.

Libya could complete a massive poison-gas factory this year with components provided by companies in Switzerland, Italy, China, and Thailand, Germany's Der Spiegel magazine reported.


A new poll finds that Britons prefer Princess Anne over her brother Prince Charles as the next monarch. Britain's Independent Television found that 33 percent chose Anne. Charles, the heir apparent, was second with 26 percent.

The American contingent of the NATO peace force for Bosnia based in Hungary has been asked by the Budapest Zoo to fly three giraffes from Frankfurt to Hungary. A businessman is giving them to the zoo. Veterinary rules require they be airlifted in, and military cargo planes have the space.

Nick Faldo came from six strokes down to overcome fading leader Greg Norman and win the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., by five strokes.

Eccentric Fellowships

Sixty $16,000 Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowships are given out each year to college students for post-graduate study and foreign travel. Here are some of the student-proposed projects that made the grade.

The dying craft of gondola building.

Fly-fishing on three continents.

Musicians and jam session in southern Asia.

Rug making in Turkey and Germany.

The Japanese tea ceremony.

The influence of volcanoes on local cultures.

Aquaculture in Ecuador, Chile, and the Philippines.

Prospects for the Internet in the Middle East.

The East African publishing industry.

Street food in South America.

- Associated Press

" It is too early to negotiate."

- Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, when asked about Israel's conditions to end the fighting with Hizbullah guerrillas in Lebanon.

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