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News In Brief


"The Taxpayer Bill of Rights" is on its way to President Clinton for his expected approval. The Senate approved the bill by voice vote last week. It gives taxpayers the right to sue the IRS for up to $1 million for reckless collections - 10 times the current amount, and allows people to sue anyone filing a false information return, such as a W-2 or 1099. Also, House Republicans agreed to pass a welfare reform bill without attaching a Medicaid overhaul to it. Clinton called it a breakthrough. And the House rejected a business-backed effort to ban repetitive-stress safety rules.

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Cleanup began on Topsail Island, N.C., where Hurricane Bertha's 115-m.p.h. winds destroyed 40 to 50 homes and washed four-ft. deep water through the town. Police rescued about 100 residents who chose to brave the storm. Areas from Virginia to New England were hit with high winds, heavy rains, and high tides. Also, tornados spawned by the hurricane touched down in Virginia. A condominium complex in Pine Knoll Shores, N.C., was damaged by erosion from the storm.

Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, facing up to 10 years in prison for two felony counts, is expected to resign today. Earlier, his lawyers filed a motion asking that his conviction be overturned and a new trial ordered because a Whitewater juror who voted to convict him married a man during the trial who had been denied clemency by the governor.

Astronaut Shannon Lucid, who is expected to break the 115-days US space endurance record today, had her stay on Mir extended by 1-1/2 months. NASA delayed her transportation home from the space station after deciding to replace two solid-fuel booster rockets on space shuttle Alantis, which is now scheduled to lift off around July 15. She has plenty of food for the longer stay, and said she brought lots of books just in case something like this happened. Her two Russian crewmates also had their stays extended: A funding shortage is keeping them in orbit until the end of August, a month longer than planned.

In the latest Time-CNN presidential poll, Clinton is leading presidential hopeful Bob Dole by 15 percent in a two-man race and 16 percent with Ross Perot on the ballot. Perot got 13 percent of the vote in the poll. Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm, who who said he would seek the Reform Party nomination, was projected to receive only 4 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

Oil-fire specialists dug a trench around a natural gas well that blew up in Dime Box, Texas. But experts say it will take two to 10 days to extinguish the blaze. Two workers were killed in the explosion that shot flames into the sky that were seen over 20 miles away.

A Cuban flotilla returned to Key West, Fla., after travelling to the edge of Cuban waters. The flotilla gave tribute to 41 refugees who died two years ago when their fleeing boat was sunk by Communist gunboats.

The Justice Department reopened an investigation into allegations of misconduct by the New Orleans Police Department. The inquiry will delve into allegations of police brutality, especially on the basis of race, a department official said.

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Clinton expressed sympathies for the family and friends of veteran NBC newsman John Chancellor, who died Friday. Also, Pandro Berman, the producer of such acclaimed films as "Top Hat" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" died Saturday after a career that spanned four decades.

Dole said his staff failed to inform him of an invitation to address the NAACP convention. He has been buffeted by criticism by Clinton and others for refusing the invitation.

Chrysler Corp. earned $1.04 billion in the second quarter, the third-most-profitable quarter in its history. Sales increased 27 percent from 12.52 billion to 15.8 billion.

A federal judge ruled New Mexico's Indian casinos are illegal, opening the way for a complete shutdown of the state's multimillion-dollar Indian gaming industry. U.S. District Judge Martha Vasquez said agreements signed last year between Gov. Gary Johnson and 14 of the state's tribes to allow the gaming houses are invalid and that the dozen or so casinos must close within 15 days. The tribes vowed to fight the ruling.


A car bomb exploded outside the Killyhevlin Hotel near Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, injuring several people. It was the first bombing in Northern Ireland since a 1994 cease-fire by the IRA, and has raised concerns about a return to terrorism. The IRA denied responsibility for the blast. The bombing came after several days of rioting and unrest following a disputed march by Protestant Orangemen through a Catholic enclave in Portadown.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly is sending Palestinian President Arafat a list of conditions that must be met before he will agree to discuss pulling out of Hebron or lifting the closure of the West Bank and Gaza. An Israeli newspaper said the conditions include shutting down Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem and a crackdown on Islamic militants. Also, a religious party threatened Netanyahu with a coalition crisis if he doesn't fire several top police officers. The threat came after police used water cannons to disperse a protest by ultra-Orthodox Jews following a court decision cancelling a ban on traffic on Bar Ilan Street during the Sabbath. Ritual Jewish law bans traffic on the Sabbath.

The EU will decide today in Brussels whether to impose sanctions on Burma for suppressing its democracy movement and the death of an international consul. Denmark is expected to lead the call for sanctions, while Great Britain and other members wish to make sure there is international support before taking such a step.

A riot erupted in a soccer stadium in Tripoli, Libya's capital, after fans reportedly ran onto the field to challenge a referee call they said favored a team controlled by Muammar Qaddafi's son, Al-Saadi. Al-Saadi's bodyguards opened fire, and up to 50 people were killed or wounded in the gunfire and a subsequent crush to leave the area, an opposition source said. Libya declared a day of mourning.

Bosnia's Muslim-led government hinted it may boycott September elections if Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic remains in power. Also, tensions in Bosnia rose after a bomb exploded at an international police station, damaging several vehicles and injuring two officers. Separately, a US diplomat is recovering after being shot in the back near Sarajevo. Officials say there's no indication the attack was politically motivated.

Turkish troops attacked Kurdish rebels in the southeast, killing at least 22, the governor's office said. At least 21,000 people have died in the Kurds' 12-year fight for autonomy.

British and French warplanes flew over the Champs Elysees in Paris for the first time to celebrate Bastille Day. Also, South African President Nelson Mandela reviewed troops as the special guest of French President Jacques Chirac.

Russian troops sealed off villages in southeastern Chechnya, where rebels are believed to be planning fresh offensives, officials said. In Grozny, two Russian soldiers were killed when rebels opened fire on a convoy of Interior Ministry special forces. The fighting coincided with a visit by US Vice President Al Gore, who called for a return to the pre-negotiated truce.

Colombia's leading newspaper, El Tiempo, suggested President Ernesto Samper consider resigning in light of recent US action. The US revoked Samper's visa because of suspected connections to the Cali drug cartel.

International traders have turned India into a dumping ground for illegal hazardous waste, Greenpeace said. Greenpeace and Srishti, an Indian environmental group, claim to have investigated customs data for key ports, which they say the government has trouble monitoring. India says it keeps a tight rein on toxic waste by only licensing five companies to accept it.


"On welfare reform, President Clinton has changed direction more times than Hurricane Bertha."

--Rep. John Boehmer, chair of the Republican Conference Committee, questioning Clinton's resolve to reform welfare.

Southwest airlines is celebrating its 25th anniversary with $25 tickets for routes across the Midwest and West. United and TWA responded with matching rates. The one-way tickets must be purchased by July 23 for travel from Aug. 19 to Oct. 31 on any of Southwest's nonstop routes.

Last year was the hottest on record, James Hansen, NASA's top world temperature-taker said. The globe's average temperature hit an estimated 59.8 degrees Fahrenheit, barely edging out the record set in 1990. Temperatures are cooler this year because of a slight chilling of the Pacific Ocean, he said.

More than 1,000 exotic fish attended the wedding of Sea World Curator of Fishes John Kerivan and Grace Pawlak, a science teacher. The bride swam to her groom in the Tropical Reef aquarium at Sea World where they met four years ago.


Congress's Big Spenders

Here are the percentages of spending allowances used to run each House office in 1995, compiled by the National Taxpayer's Union, a nonpartisan group. Reps receive a spending allowance accounting for geographical variations in office rent and travel costs to and from Washington. Overall spending totalled $341.8 million, a $6.8 million decline from 1994. Democrats spent an average $38,500 more than Republicans; and 33 of the 50 biggest spenders were Democrats.

1. Walter Tucker (Former D. of Calif): 100%+ $883,931

2. Harold Ford (D. of Tenn.): 99.78 % $845,655

3. David Bonior (D. of Mich.): 99.56% $866,813

4. Richard Baker (R. of La.): 99.44% $883,203

5. Constance Morella (R. of Md.): 99.14% $851,041

6. James Clyburn (D. of S.C.): 99.09% $843,479

7. Donald Payne (D. of N.J.): 98.89% $849, 782

8. Bill Richardson (D. of N.M.): 98.78% $862,247

8. Sidney Yates (D. of Ill.): 98.78% $876,892

10. Ray LaHood (R. of Ill.): 98.55% $823,718

-- National Taxpayers Union

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