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News In Brief


Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis performed a trumpet solo at the reopening of Centennial Olympic Park, playing the hymn "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" to a crowd of thousands. Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young called the event a victory of the international spirit of the Olympics over terrorism. Many carried flowers into the park as a tribute to those killed or wounded in the Saturday pipe bombing. Also, the FBI questioned several militia members, including a member of an Alabama militia who predicted two months ago an attack would be made on the Games, the Birmingham Post-Herald said.

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Investigators in the explosion of TWA Flight 800 plan to test a luggage bin that came from the forward cargo hold for traces of explosives. The test could help confirm that a bomb exploded on the plane. TWA said cargo records from the flight were turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration. Commercial cargo is generally placed in the front cargo hold, luggage in the rear. Also, the USS Grapple was to join search crews. The ship has an underwater vehicle capable of raising up to 13,000 lbs.

The government sued the Christian Coalition, charging the religious group violated federal elections laws by promoting Republican candidates for president and Congress. The Federal Election Commission charged the coalition performed a variety of activities - from distributing printed voter guides to using mail and telephone banks to get GOP voters to the polls - all with partisan intentions. Among those charged with receiving coalition help: President Bush, Sen. Jesse Helms, Senate candidate Oliver North, House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was to meet with President Clinton in the Oval Office. The Mideast peace process was expected to dominate the meeting, although Clinton could raise the issue of the transfer of Scud missiles from North Korea to Egypt or signs of friendship between Egypt and Libya.

A second judicial panel declared an Internet indecency law unconstitutional, saying the law goes too far in restricting free speech. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel in New York supports last month's decision in Philadelphia that blocked enforcement of the Communications Decency Act. The latest ruling found the statute, which makes it illegal to provide "patently offensive" material to minors through the Internet, "an overbroad prohibition on constitutionally protected indecent speech between adults."

A judge in a Roanoke, Va., case declared unconstitutional a federal law allowing rape victims to sue their attackers for damages. US District judge Jackson Kiser said that Congress exceeded its authority in passing the 1994 Violence Against Women Act. A Virginia Tech student filed the lawsuit, claiming two of the college's football players raped her.

Wages and benefits of US workers grew a moderate 0.8 percent in the second quarter, which should help quiet financial-market fears of higher inflation, analysts said. New-home sales fell 5.3 percent in June as mortgage rates hit a 14-month high. And consumer confidence rose 7.1 points to its highest level in six years.

A fourth doping case was reported at the Olympics. Russian swimmer Nina Zhivanevskaya, who placed eighth in the 200-meter backstroke, was disqualified from the Olympics after failing a drug test. He is the third Russian competing in the Olympics disqualified for drug use .

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Americans appear evenly split on whether the government is doing enough to prevent terrorism, according to a USA Today-CNN poll. Nearly 2 in 3 respondents say they aren't too concerned, or not concerned at all, about terrorist attacks affecting them or their families.


Ministers of the Group of Seven most industrialized nations and Russia adopted 25 steps to combat terrorism, and urged all countries to join them in a global fight to end political violence. Steps included improving transport safety, shutting down supplies of funds and weapons to terrorist groups, and investigating the abuse of charities and front organizations by terrorists. The group sidestepped a US issue to target Libya, Iran, and other countries suspected of supporting terrorism.

Western powers, determined to prevent India from blocking a global nuclear test ban treaty, are considering a risky diplomatic ploy to help push the agreement through if current talks fail. India says it won't sign unless the treaty includes a commitment from major powers on nuclear disarmament - a commitment that is not forthcoming.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel wanted to resume peace talks with Syria. Also, Palestinians were outraged by a road construction plan announced by Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon.The plan would link Jewish settlements in the West Bank with central Israel and comes a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli settlers he supported their expansion plans in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinians, who seek to establish a separate state in the West Bank and Gaza, said any such expansion would violate the Israel-PLO accords and could bring the peace process to a halt.

Indonesia's military announced that rioters would be shot on sight. The announcement comes after weekend rioting - the worst in 20 years - in which four people were killed. Also, 160 opposition supporters are missing after the riots.

Ugandan rebels killed 58 people in two attacks in the north, the Army said. The rebels have been fighting to overthrow President Museveni since 1988.

NATO air power was ready to strike at Bosnian Serbs several days before the fall of Srebrenica but was blocked by the UN, the alliance's outgoing commander in southern Europe said. Also, a Bosnian Serb mob stoned a UN bus carrying civilians to Serb-controlled Banja Luka. The passengers escaped safely. Also, Bosnian Croats said they would resist EU efforts to end their boycott of the Mostar city council.

The UN Security Council called for the restoration of Burundi's constitutional government and urged all parties to refrain from violence. But the council refrained from directly condemning last week's military coup that installed Maj. Pierre Buyoya as president. Also, Buyoya left for Uganda, reportedly to speak with President Yoweri Museveni, a day before an African summit on the Burundi crisis.

Catholic and Protestant negotiators agreed on rules for Northern Ireland peace talks but were stymied when they couldn't agree how to disarm rival gunmen. Both the Reverend Ian Paisley, a hard-line Protestant, and the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party insist negotiators must agree on a disarmament plan now. This same demand led to the breakdown of talks in 1995.

The European Commission approved measures aimed at countering US laws that seek to punish foreign companies doing business with its enemies.

US Defense Secretary William Perry arrived in Saudi Arabia to discuss with King Fahd ways for Saudis to fund increased security measures for US troops based in Saudi Arabia. Perry wants to move about 4,000 troops to a base outside Riyadh to safeguard against terrorist attacks.

Montserrat's volcano fired up after a recent quiet spell with one of its biggest eruptions in a year. The volcano sent ash flying 9,000 feet in the air and ava-lanches of hot rocks into the sea.


"How can you be educational and hip and cool at the same time?"

- Terry Thoren of Klasky Cuspo, producer of the children's cartoon "Rugrats," on a deal requiring broadcasters to air three hours of educational children's TV between 7 and 10 a.m. each week.

Clay tablets over 3,000 years old were found at the excavation site of the ancient city of Hazor, Israel. The Biblical book of Joshua refers to Hazor as one of the great Canaanite kingdoms. The tablets are apparently older than the Dead Sea scrolls.

Christopher Cox and Nina Khrushcheva met at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., to reflect on their grandfathers' contributions to history. Cox presented Khrushcheva with Richard Nixon's book "Leaders," which has a chapter on Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

Bird watcher Roger Tory Peterson, who died Sunday, is best known for his illustrated field guides. He wrote and illustrated 15 books that sold millions of copies. His books feature a unique identification system, which uses arrows to highlight birds' distinctive markings and characteristics.

Ukraine weightlifter Timur Taimazov beat his own world record by lifting 520 lbs. France's Marie-Jose Perec won gold in the 400 meters, becoming the world's fastest woman since 1986. Diver Xiong Ni from China won his first gold and his third medal in three Olympics for the springboard.


Finland's Foolish Fun

Finland has gained notoriety for its hosting of an array of oddball events. Some of the daffy ideas here are being highlighted at the International Nutcase Festival, which began Saturday in Kemi, and runs for nine days.

Ice-fishing from artificial ice-floes

Golf in the city streets


Mosquito-killing contest

Wife-carrying race

Sand-skiing contest

Marsh-wading contest

Building the world's largest ice castle.

Ice-breaker tours of the Gulf of Bothnia

-- Associated Press

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