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News In Brief

The US

President Clinton made it a national goal to develop an AIDS vaccine within a decade and said a research center would be established at the National Institutes of Health to aid the effort. The commitment, reminiscent of President Kennedy's vow to put a man on the moon in the 1960s, came in a commencement speech at Morgan State University, a predominantly black college in Baltimore.

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Earlier, the President apologized on behalf of the country to a group of black men whose venereal disease went untreated for years as part of a government study he described as shameful and racist. The study, which began in Tuskegee, Ala., in 1932 and continued until 1972, involved 399 low-income black men who were left untreated so that doctors could track the course of the disease, even though medical methods of treatment were available. Five of eight surviving participants attended the ceremony.

A statement confessing to the sin of racism and asking for forgiveness was issued by bishops of the Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Methodist churches in South Carolina. The statement, signed after a two-day conference, asks Christ to "help us in our struggles to overcome the sin of racism, the powerful prejudice which pits one race against the other to the damage of all." The bishops also announced plans to make a public confession at a service in Greenville, S.C., in January.

Astronauts and cosmonauts worked to move thousands of pounds of supplies and equipment onto and off Russia's orbiting space station, Mir. In an important swap, they replaced Mir's broken-down oxygen generator with a new unit from the US space shuttle Atlantis. The shuttle, which docked with Mir late last week, is scheduled to be linked to it for five days.

Immigrants - even illegal ones -- benefit the US economy, the National Research Council said. Its report conceded that immigrants raise the cost of public services in some areas. But it said the newcomers may add as much as $10 billion annually to the US economy while doing little to harm the job opportunities of most citizens. Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas criticized the study, saying it overemphasized the positive aspects of immigration.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced he had used $50,000 in personal funds to make an initial payment on his $300,000 House ethics-committee penalty. Gingrich also said he was cutting in half the size of a loan he would accept from former Senate majority leader Bob Dole to meet the penalty. He had said earlier that he would borrow $300,000 from Dole. The new arrangement resulted from negotiations between Gingrich and the ethics committee, congressional sources said.

Senate minority leader Tom Daschle said he may support a GOP bill banning what abortion opponents call "partial-birth" abortions. The statement came after the Senate had defeated on a 64-to-36 vote his own proposal for limiting late-term abortions. Daschle said he wanted to consult constitutional experts before deciding how to vote on the GOP proposal.

The House voted 343 to 60 to consolidate more than 60 job-training, adult-education and dislocated-worker programs into three new block grants. The restructuring is designed to give states and communities more control and some powerful incentives to improve the programs. The measure now goes to the Senate.

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The Republican-led House Budget Committee approved the balanced-budget accord reached between the White House and congressional leaders. The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to take up the measure Wednesday and both houses of Congress are expected to approve it by Friday.

The nation's first female B-52 pilot will ask for an honorable discharge rather than face a court-martial, her lawyer said. First Lt. Kelly Flinn is scheduled to go to court tomorrow at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., on charges of adultery and fraternization in connection with two affairs the Air Force says she had over the past year.

The World

Rebels completed their take-over of Zaire's capital virtually unopposed, disarming units of deposed President Mobutu's Army and executing some soldiers. Rebel leader Laurent Kabila declared himself the new head of state and pledged to form a transitional government by tomorrow. He made no mention of holding national elections. Meanwhile, conflicting reports put Mobutu in his home village in northern Zaire and in Morocco on his way to exile.

Turkey defied international criticism and vowed to continue an offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq until its objectives were met. Kurdish sources scoffed at Turkey's claims that 902 guerrillas had been killed and 126 captured in the first five days of the campaign. They said the rebels had been preparing for an invasion since January.

In a counterprotest to one the weekend before, tens of thousands of Turks marched in Ankara against efforts to make their country more Islamic. The crowd dispersed peacefully after chanting "Turkey will remain secular!" But the rally was estimated to be far smaller than one in Istanbul May 11 calling for a more radical Islamic regime.

Saying "It would not be a wise policy for Japan alone to voice caution," the Tokyo government dropped its opposition to allowing Russia to attend the G-7 conference June 20-22 in Denver. All other governments participating in the summit favor admitting Russia, which has attended as an observer since 1991. Behind Japan's opposition is a territorial dispute over the Kurile islands, which Russia seized in World War II.

US Commerce Secretary William Daley was in Chile to try to reassure the government that the Clinton administration is still serious about bringing it into the North American Free Trade Agreement. Chilean patience is said to be wearing thin because progress on membership has been slow. Chile already has bilateral deals with Mexico and Canada, the other two NAFTA members, and a signed "association agreement" with MERCOSUR, the South American trade bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

Cuban exiles who staged a floating protest off Havana over the weekend were due back in Miami. The group, known as the Democracy Movement, was kept in international waters by US Coast Guard vessels to avert a possible incident. A spokesman for the group said its aim was to incite peaceful protest in Cuba against the regime of President Fidel Castro and against deteriorating economic conditions.

Opposition parties claimed fraud in weekend elections for 180 seats in Cameroon's parliament. More than 40 parties entered candidates. But some parties said their supporters had not received voter-registration cards and others reported that their followers were arrested, beaten, or prevented from entering polling booths. At least seven people were killed in the campaign leading up to election day.

A brotherly hug between Tajikistan President Imomali Rakhmonov and opposition leader Sayid Abdullo Nuri sealed an agreement on democratic reforms in the former Soviet republic. It calls for legalization of three Islamic-based political parties and the news media, an amnesty, and an exchange of prisoners. Four years of civil war left tens of thousands of Tajiks dead or homeless.

Voters in Mongolia went to the polls to choose a new president in what analysts said was a turning point for its fledgling democracy. Incumbent reformer Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat was seeking a second four-year term against Natsagiin Bagabandi of the formerly communist People's Revolutionary Party, which had ruled for 75 years. Bagabandi aimed his campaign at voters who have lost jobs in Mongolia's switch from centralized planning to a capitalist market economy.


"We should ask our Lord to inhabit the hearts of those who will rule our country."

- A Roman Catholic priest in Kinshasa, as rebel forces consolidated their takeover of Zaire's capital.

Four fugitives are on the loose in rural Pennsylvania. They're not jail birds, but big birds - specifically emus. It's pretty hard to keep up with an on-the-run emu. These natives of Australia can't fly, but they can sprint up to 30 m.p.h. Some have escaped from the farm of Dave Burrows near Pittsburgh. He's trying to round them up, but says once in the open they're almost impossible to arrest.

A campaign to "buy Russian" isn't even being enthusiastically received in the place where it originated: the Kremlin. An initiative to buy domestically produced cars came from Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, a past governor of the auto-making center of Nizhny Novgorod. Then President Boris Yeltsin latched onto the idea. But it means auctioning off imported state limousines, so even Cabinet ministers will have to drive less-reliable and less-fashionable homemade vehicles.

Eating out late in Budapest? Check out the prices before you do. Restaurateurs there are taking the conversion to capitalism seriously. One restaurant charged two Danish tourists $6,000 for dinner and drinks. After they complained, the restaurant revealed its policy to authorities: "Charge whatever the market will bear."

Where Americans Plan to Vacation This Summer

The Travel Industry Association of America says confidence in the US economy and about personal finances will send consumers on more - and longer - vacation trips during June, July, and August. Following are the destinations cited most often by respondents to a survey conducted by the TIAA and the American Automobile Association:

1. Florida

2. California

3. Hawaii

4. (tie) New York


6. Colorado

7. Arizona

8. Texas

9. Washington, D.C.

10. Alaska

- Associated Press

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