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News In Brief

The US

The State Department warned of retaliation against Americans at home and abroad after President Clinton ordered cruise missiles attacks on six suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical-weapons plant in Khartoum, Sudan. The president said the attacks were only the beginning of what could be a long campaign to combat terrorism. He banned financial transactions between US companies and Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, saying there was compelling evidence that his terrorist network was involved in coordinating the Aug. 7 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa and attacks on other US facilities.

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Public-opinion polls showed broad support for the missile strikes - from 66 percent in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey to 80 percent in an ABC News poll. As security was tightened at airports, national monuments, and tourist attractions, a White House spokesman said it was too early to fully assess the extent of damage inflicted by the missiles, but that damage was believed to have been "moderate to severe."

Residents from Florida to the Carolinas braced for Hurricane Bonnie, whose fringes brushed the central Bahamas and Cuba yesterday. Forecasters said the giant storm could become a category-four hurricane, one of the most dangerous types with winds exceeding 130 m.p.h. Top winds were already exceeding 100 m.p.h. as the storm continued to gather strength. Meanwhile, tropical storm Charley moved from the Gulf of Mexico into southern Texas, causing some flooding and wind damage but bringing relief from a searing drought.

A federal mediator ordered U S West and its employees union to return to the bargaining table yesterday as the strike affecting the company's service in 13 states entered a second week. U S West, the nation's sixth-largest phone company, accused the Communications Workers of America of stalling and bargaining for just 65 minutes since talks resumed Thursday.

Holocaust victims sued a German conglomerate, claiming it helped Nazis produce gas used in death camps and assisted in processing gold taken from the teeth of Jews. The class-action lawsuit - filed in a Newark, N.J., court - seeks all of Degussa AG's assets. Degussa Corp., a subsidiary, is based in Ridgefield Park, N.J. The subsidiary's general counsel said the corporation was formed in 1973 and had "no connection" to European events of the 1930s and 1940s.

A published report challenged the belief that professional sports provide major financial benefits to cities that manage to lure or keep teams. In a report published by the University of California, Berkeley, researcher Jack Sylvan looked at sales figures for years before and after a team moved to or left one of seven California cities that had professional teams between 1972 and 1995. His analysis found no differences in retail or total taxable sales that could be clearly related to the teams' presence.

A former Ku Klux Klan leader was convicted of ordering a 1966 firebombing that killed civil-rights activist Vernon Dahmer. In Hattiesbury, Miss., a jury of six whites, five blacks, and one Asian found Samuel Bowers guilty of murder and arson in the slaying. For Bowers, it was a fifth trial for the crime. Four trials during the 1960s - at least two in front of all-white juries - ended in deadlock. Prosecutors said Dahmer was killed for helping fellow blacks register to vote. Above,

Ku Klux Klan death threats against a Louisiana Supreme Court candidate and one of his campaign supporters are being investigated as hate crimes, an FBI spokeswoman said. Democrat Bill Quigley, a teacher at Loyola University Law School who volunteers as a lawyer for the NAACP, received one threat. The other went to Ron Chisom, an African-American who works with a group that helps people to combat racism.

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The World

Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his four-month-old government, under attack for its handing of the the country's economic crisis. In a tersely worded announcement, Yeltsin said he fired Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and was reappointing Viktor Chernomyrdin, who served as prime minister for five years until his dismissal in March.

Britain announced it had independent evidence showing that alleged terrorist-financier Osama bin Laden was behind the US Embassy bombings in East Africa. British Defense Secretary George Robinson said bin Laden was acquiring chemical and biological weapons and that Britain shared the Clinton administration's view that he was planning more attacks. UN officials were expected to consider today Sudan's request for an "urgent" Security Council meeting to condemn the attacks in Sudan and Afghanistan. Sudanese officials said the factory did not make chemical weapons, and a British engineer who had worked at the factory supported their claim.

Three Arabs have reportedly confessed to police they had bin Laden's financial backing to operate a fish business that was a cover for their preparations to bomb the US Embassy in Nairobi, a Kenyan newspaper said. One of the men, Mohammed Sadiq Howaida, had already been identified by investigators, the article said. Kenyan authorities and FBI officials would not comment on the reports.

Security guards at the US Embassy in Albania shot a man scaling the wall of the compound, Albanian and US officials said. The motive for the apparent break-in attempt by a man identified as an Albanian policeman was not immediately clear. The shooting came as Albanian and American agents were searching for suspects of a terrorist group that reportedly planned to attack the Tirana diplomatic compound. An Albanian police source said 10 Arab citizens were arrested after investigators raided several houses believed to have served as bases for terrorist suspects.

Another nationalist splinter group announced a cease-fire in Northern Ireland. The Irish National Liberation Army on Saturday joined a cease-fire declared Wednesday by "the real" IRA. The latter group, an offshoot of the Irish Republican Army, had earlier claimed responsibility for the bombing in Omagh that killed 28 people Aug. 22.

Congolese rebels claimed they had captured a key central city but said they had lost their main supply base to Angolan troops supporting Congo President Laurent Kabila. Angola would not officially comment on an alleged intervention in the war by its troops. Zimbabwe forces were also reportedly fighting the rebels. South Africa convened a summit of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community to discuss an immediate cease-fire, but the meeting was dismissed by observers as "superfluous" since Kabila, Zimbabwean and Angolan representatives were absent.

Indonesian human rights investigators said they had found enough evidence to show that the secessionist province of Aceh had been a "killing field." The government team said they had uncovered graves burying at least 12 people believed to have been killed in a crackdown on rebel separatists in 1989. Some say the graves may contain up to 150 other bodies.

Some 10,000 Cambodians joined a demonstration demanding a thorough investigation into allegations of widespread fraud during the country's general elections July 26.


" We are winning the argument, which is why more and more people are opting for peace."

- British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in an article written for Sunday's Observer newspaper after yet another nationalist splinter group announced a cease-fire in Northern Ireland.

Emad Ali Mohammad explained at his wedding in Amman, Jordan, that he wanted to get married "in a special way." So he and his bride, Mayssa al-Abed, hitched themselves to the front of a flower-covered bulldozer - complete with comfy couch - and rolled into their honeymoon amid a chorus of honking horns and cheering friends.

A prospector in Western Australia wasn't sure what to do with a football-size piece of gold he unearthed six years ago near his home in the gold-mining town of Kalgoorlie. So, using a little of the "ingenuity" so prized in those parts, he rolled it in a blanket and buried it in his back yard. Two years later, he returned home to find his dog had uncovered the nugget. The miner - last name Mitchell, no other moniker given - then moved his prize to a bank vault. The stone - which he dubbed "the evening star" - sold recently at Christie's for a cool $263,000.

The Day's List

States Boasting Biggest Cuts in Welfare Cases

Since an overhaul of the US welfare system became law two years ago, caseloads have fallen 32 percent nationwide, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. Caseloads are down in all states but Hawaii. Those with the biggest percentage declines from August 1996 to June 1998:

Idaho 81%

Wyoming 74%

Wisconsin 71%

Mississippi 59%

West Virginia 58%

Florida 52%

Kansas 48%

South Carolina 48%

Alabama 46%

Georgia 45%

Louisiana 45%

- Associated Press

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