L.A. FIRE SUSPECT IS ARRESTED Law enforcement officials in Los Angeles have arrested a man suspected of threatening to set fires to get even with the government. Detectives are now investigating whether he is to blame for 19 suspicious wildfires in southern California, including one that killed three people. So far, the man will be charged only with sending threats through the mails. Meanwhile, the Malibu blaze that began early last week and burned across 19,000 acres, was 100 percent contained on Sunday evening. Eighteen other fires that began Oct. 26 and burned across more than 200,000 acres were confirmed as arson or being investigated as arson, authorities said. Mideast peace talks
Israelis and Palestinians met in Cairo yesterday to work out a new negotiations track after talks stalled last week in Taba. In a related development, PLO leader Yasser Arafat met with European Community foreign ministers to discuss distribution of $600 million in aid to the territories. Meanwhile, thousands of Jewish settlers blocked highways throughout the West Bank with burning tires and stone barricades to protest the killing of one of their own by Palestinian gunmen. Scandal in Japan...
Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa's most powerful ally in his effort to clean up Japanese politics, co-leader of the Japan Renewal Party Ichiro Ozawa, denied yesterday that he took illicit donations from a construction company. The charges against Mr. Ozawa are a major embarrassment to Mr. Hosokawa's government, which took office promising to clean up politics. ... And in Taiwan
Twenty-three Taiwanese military officials have been punished in an arms scandal involving the upgrading of 32 antisubmarine planes by Grumman Corporation of the United States. The officials, including a number of admirals and generals, allegedly wasted taxpayers' money by awarding a $370 million contract to Grumman even though Lockheed Corporation had offered to perform the same work for $140 million. The revelation is the latest to result from a series of inquiries into corruption that the government has launched since suffering an election setback. Senate tackles crime
The US Senate went back to work yesterday on a package of anticrime bills, hoping to complete action before Congress adjourns for the long Veteran's Day weekend. The legislation provides money for new prisons and more police officers. Among the other provisions, the bill would also require juveniles age 13 and older to be tried as adults if guns are used in some federal crimes. Search for bomb suspects
An 18-year-old white supremacist jailed in Sacramento, Calif., as a suspect in five racially motivated firebombings may not have acted alone, police said. The firebombings hit the home of an Asian-American city councilman, the office of the Japanese American Citizens League, an office of the NAACP, a synagogue, and a state Employment and Housing Department office. There were no injuries in any of the bombings, which occurred between July and October. Cincinnati boycott
Gay rights activists are calling for a boycott of Cincinnati after residents voted last week to repeal a year-old law protecting homosexuals from discrimination. A similar boycott was begun in Colorado after an anti-gay-rights amendment passed last November. Many conventions there were canceled. The figure has been disputed, but recent testimony in a lawsuit shows the boycott loss figure to be $81 million. Spooky sales
``Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas'' scared up $7.5 million to claim the No. 1 spot at the box office for a second straight weekend. The stop-action animated film was followed by the Meg Ryan-Dennis Quaid thriller ``Flesh and Bone,'' according to preliminary box office estimates. ``The Remains of the Day,'' a sophisticated account of an English butler and suppressed passions, came on strong to earn close to $16,000 per location.