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News In Brief

The US

The US Supreme Court rejected a White House effort to stop Whitewater prosecutors from seeing notes of conversations between presidential lawyers and Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying the notes are not protected by attorney-client privilege. The action means the notes must be surrendered to a federal grand jury in Little Rock, Ark.

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The Supreme Court announced two additional significant decisions. It said public school teachers may conduct remedial classes at parochial schools, holding that doing so would not violate the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state. And, the justices said states can keep violent sexual predators locked up after they complete prison sentences, even if they are not mentally ill. The justices said such people can be held if they are deemed mentally abnormal and likely to commit new crimes. Both decisions were taken on 5-to-4 votes.

President Clinton left the summit of world leaders in Denver for a long day in California, where he addressed a US Conference of Mayors meeting in San Francisco, touting some new "urban homestead" initiatives. They would give as many as 2,000 police officers 50 percent discounts on purchasing government-owned homes in low-income neighborhoods, provide some first-time homebuyers a $200 break on closing costs; and give some working families the chance to move from renters to owners with the help of federal vouchers.

The cost of the typical American home has topped $90,000 and soared above $110,000 in the suburbs, the Census Bureau said. The bureau said a study conducted in 1995 found the median suburban home valued at $112,836, compared with $98,503 in urban areas and $80,318 in rural regions.

The American Medical Association issued a bill of rights for seriously ill patients, saying they have the right to plan their care and that doctors should follow patients' wishes to withhold some life-sustaining measures. Dr. Thomas Reardon, vice chairman of the AMA Board of Trustees, said calls for physician-assisted suicide would be "drastically reduced," if end-of-life care was of the "highest possible quality."

Clinton said he may need up to a month to review the recent mammoth settlement between states and the tobacco industry. He appointed an advisory panel to study the accord and report on its potential impact. Many congressional leaders said they, too, want to study the pact before commenting.

Clinton and Senate GOP leader Trent Lott seemed to be at odds over a plan to require wealthier, older Americans to pay more for Medicare health coverage. Lott said on a CBS "Face the Nation" program that Clinton "wouldn't object" to a Senate provision raising deductibles for such Medicare recipients. But at a news conference in Denver, Clinton said the provision could undercut his balanced-budget agreement with congressional Republicans.

FBI and CIA officials paid $3.5 million to informants to help apprehend Mir Aimal Kansi, the Pakistani charged in the 1993 shooting deaths of two people outside CIA headquarters in Reston, Va., Newsweek reported. Also, Time magazine said Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright personally contacted Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif to gain approval for the June 15 raid that captured Kansi.

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The NAACP plans to debate its traditional support for public school integration at its national convention next month in Pittsburgh, The New York Times reported. The paper said those pushing for a new policy believe the group's focus should be on making predominately black schools better.

Compaq Computer Corp. has agreed to acquire Tandem Computers Inc. for about $3 billion in stock, the companies announced. The combined company would become the world's leading supplier of servers. Compaq is already the world's leading producer of personal computers.

The World

Analysts said Britain had "no cards left to play" against China after agreeing to allow 500 more People's Liberation Army troops into Hong Kong before its transfer to the Beijing government. China asked for the reinforcements to provide additional security for President Jiang Zemin, who plans to attend the July 1 handover ceremonies. About 200 unarmed troops already have been deployed. Britain had objected to the extra soldiers because of the Army's role in crushing the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests.

The US asked Canada to seek extradition of Pol Pot for trial outside Cambodia. The request could bring the notorious Khmer Rouge leader before a court for crimes against humanity. But one of Cambodia's rival co-premiers cast doubt on the plan. Norodom Ranariddh said unidentified people or countries that had supported Pol Pot might prefer to see him dead rather than risk being implicated in a high-profile trial. He reportedly is in custody of Khmer Rouge dissidents.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu appeared likely to win a no-confidence vote in the Knesset today. But it was not clear how many lawmakers from his ruling coalition would register their unhappiness with his leadership by abstaining. The opposition needs 61 votes to force new national elections.

Rivals India and Pakistan agreed on a formula to negotiate five obstacles to peace - among them the status of Kashmir, the Himalayan region that has been at the center of two wars. India previously insisted that Kashmir was not open to discussion. The two countries wrapped up four days of talks at the foreign-secretary level in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital.

Delegates from almost 180 countries gathered in New York for a five-day conference to review progress made since the 1992 Earth Summit. The unofficial theme of the UN meetings: Is the world better off environmentally today than five years ago? The conference was to be addressed by Chancellor Kohl of Germany, prime ministers Blair of Britain and Hashimoto of Japan, and by presidents Chirac of France and Clinton of the US.

Two months after bringing his country's hostage drama to a successful end, Peruvian President Fujimori plunged to his lowest public-approval rating yet, a poll in Lima found. Only 27 percent of respondents said they liked his performance in office - down from 70 percent just after the April 23 raid on the Japanese ambassador's residence. The poll blamed the low rating on "perceived authoritarianism."

The Red Cross suspended its work in Brazzaville as heavy fighting resumed in the Congo Republic. A shaky cease-fire had allowed aid workers to remove casualties of the violence from the streets over the weekend. But fresh shooting broke out.

New reports of atrocities and abuses blamed on the forces of Laurent Kabila filtered out of Congo, the former Zaire. Witnesses in the Lake Tanganyika port of Uvira said troops loyal to the former rebel commander, now president, fired into a crowd of unarmed demonstrators last month, killing more than 200. Kabila's men also were accused of going door-to-door and taking away people who never were seen again, of pillaging, and of nightly incidents of harassment.

Overnight shooting in the Central African Republic abated, and residents awaited the arrival of mediator Amadou Toumani Toure, the former military leader of Mali. At least 30 people died and 70 others were wounded in three days of fighting around the capital, Bangui, between disaffected Army troops and African peacekeepers backed by French soldiers. Under a January deal, the unhappy troops were to rejoin their units, but the process snagged early this month.


"If you are given a Rolls Royce, it doesn't make much sense to ... tinker with the engine. You just turn on the ignition keys and off you pop."

- Hong Kong Gov. Chris Patten, on why China should leave the colony's capitalist economy untouched after July 1.

Estonia isn't often in the headlines. But that doesn't mean the small Baltic nation never produces newsmakers. Take Mait Lepik. He won a free trip to the Canary Islands - courtesy of a fruit company - by wolfing down 10 bananas in three minutes. He had spotted a loophole in the rules that gave him that crucial competitive edge. No helpers were permitted to peel the bananas for the contestants. But since peeling wasn't actually required, he ate them skins and all.

And, if you're keeping score at home, Wim Alaerds is your new world pole-sitting champion. The Dutchman shattered - or is it squashed? - the International Pole-Sitting Contest record when the runner-up fell asleep during a break and didn't respond to the signal to return to his pole. Alaerds finally dismounted from his 8-ft.-high perch after 51 days. The record had been 21 days. The prize: $15,000. The annual competition is held in Soltau, Germany.

Ranking TV's 10 Best Episodes of All Time

The top-rated TV-series program so far is a 1975 episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," as judged by a panel of editors from TV Guide magazine and the Nickelodeon cable channel after "lots of arguing." Of their 100 best shows, 27 aired in the '90s. The top 10, out of 750 nominees:

1. Mary Tyler Moore Show, "Chuckles Bites the Dust" 1975

2. I Love Lucy, "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" 1952

3. ER, "Love's Labor Lost" 1995

4. Seinfeld, "The Boyfriend" 1992

5. Odd Couple, "Password" 1972

6. Honeymooners, "The $99,000 Answer" 1956

7. Cheers, "Thanksgiving Orphans" 1986

8. Dick Van Dyke Show, "Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth" 1965

9. Bob Newhart Show, "Over the River and Through the Woods" 1975

10. The X-Files, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" 1995

- Associated Press

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