News In Brief
US President Clinton arrived in Canada for his first state visit. He and Prime Minister Chr demanded an investigation into the leak of French accusations of US spying. He said there is no crisis in US-French relations and France was only "recommending" that five Americans leave the country. In Washington, the State Department called the allegations "unwarranted," and US officials said they were astonished that the charges became public. (Story, Page 9.)
Israeli Foreign Minister Peres met with Egyptian President Mubarak and Foreign Minister Moussa, but did not reach agreement on nuclear nonproliferation. Israel has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Egypt has tried to organize Arab states against treaty renewal if Israel does not sign.
British, French, and German diplomats went to Belgrade to try to persuade Serbian President Milosevic to accept a new peace plan for the former Yugoslavia. Milosevic is demanding removal of UN sanctions before he will consider the plan. Meanwhile, a second UN aid convoy managed to reach northwest Bosnia, the fourth this month. Aid officials there warn of starvation, saying five convoys a week are needed.
Burundi's president, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, appointed Antoine Nduwayo as prime minister. Nduwayo, a Tutsi, will try to keep a lid on simmering Tutsi-Hutu conflict to prevent a repeat of last year's massacres in neighboring Rwanda. He urged people to "start using the language of peace." Some 50,000 Burundians died in ethnic violence after the first democratically elected president was killed in October 1993.
Eight US-Chinese working groups continued to try to avert a trade war that could begin Saturday. Deputy US Trade Representative Barshefsky reported "small progress." A Chinese think tank predicted that China will become the 10th-largest trading nation in 1995 but will be troubled by a swelling deficit and high unemployment. (Story, Page 6.)
A Pakistani court dismissed charges against a Christian boy and his uncle for allegedly insulting Islam. The two had been sentenced to death for allegedly scrawling anti-Islamic graffiti on a mosque, but the Lahore High Court said there was no evidence they had done so. Militant Muslims vowed to kill the pair anyway. Police in riot gear surrounded the courthouse, taking positions on surrounding rooftops.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Buthelezi refused to meet with South African President Mandela and Deputy President De Klerk. They wanted to discuss his party's walkout from Parliament. Buthelezi did attend a Cabinet meeting Tuesday as Home Affairs minister. He wants foreign mediators to settle constitutional disputes between pro-Inkatha Zulus and those allied with Mandela's African National Congress. Mandela wants to settle the matter internally.
Opposition parties are trying to form a government in India's Manipur State after elections in which no party won a majority. If they succeed, it would be another setback for Prime Minister Rao, whose Congress Party was routed in three state elections last year. The US
President Clinton said a GOP bill that would bar federal agencies from any rulemaking action until Dec. 31could endanger the health and safety of millions of people. The bill would suspend rules issued since Nov. 20. Speaker Gingrich accused Clinton of not cutting burdensome regulations that he said cost business $500 billion a year.
The number of newly laid-off Americans filing claims for jobless benefits increased by 2,000 last week to 349,000, the highest level in six weeks, the Labor Department said.
Businesses plan to boost spending on bigger plants and new equipment this year, but not as much as last year, the Commerce Department said. Investment spending is expected to grow by 6.6 percent to $593 billion, according to a survey of about 21,000 companies. That's less than half the 13.7 percent jump in new investment last year.
Overcoming months of uncertainty over the direction of the economy, the Dow Jones industrial average topped the 4,000 mark for the first time in history. Analysts said Fed Chairman Greenspan sparked the rise with hints Wednesday that the Fed was finished raising interest rates.
Republican leaders of a key House money panel proposed ending scores of federal programs for education, job training, and health as a way to help pay for federal disaster aid. Their plan would end 84 federal programs and cut 58 others, saving $4.3 billion. The panel met to develop its portion of a plan to cut $10 billion to $15 billion from spending this year.
While lawmakers continued to look for ways to reduce government spending, the General Accounting Office reported six high-risk areas of waste: handling of defense dollars; collection of money owed the government; new, multibillion-dollar computer modernization; Medicare fraud and abuse; government loan programs; and management of contractors.
Former Interior Secretary James Watt said he would defend himself at trial against charges he lied to Congress and a grand jury about consulting work he did after resigning in 1983. Watt is charged with perjury, unlawful concealment, and obstruction of justice.
The House approved an additional $3.2 billion for the Pentagon to cover the costs of US military operations in Somalia, Haiti, and elsewhere. The measure also includes money for pay raises for servicemen and women.
The Pentagon said it was shutting down or cutting back eight overseas facilities. Four installations in Germany are closing, and two are being scaled back. Operations at one facility in Italy are being reduced, and a naval-support facility in Antigua is being abandoned.
A House subcommittee voted to try to block Clinton's threat to issue an executive order denying federal contracts to companies that hire replacements for striking workers.
An Indianapolis judge declared a mistrial in a case of four tobacco companies accused of causing the death of a longtime smoker. The six jurors deliberated for 21 hours without reaching a verdict. The case was the first to go to trial since congressional hearings last year, at which witnesses said tobacco companies knew nicotine was addictive but hid the information from the public.
Of 386 police chiefs and sheriffs surveyed by the Death Penalty Information Center, most said capital punishment was not an effective law-enforcement tool, although they said they supported it philosophically. (Death-penalty appeals, Page 4.)
National parks are feeling the heat as Republicans push for an overhaul of the system and talk of closing smaller parks or federal monuments. The administration opposes tampering with the current federal system of 368 sites. Among the targets are Grant's Tomb and California's Santa Monica mountain park. Etcetera
CBS president Howard Stringer quit to start up a new media and technology business for NYNEX, Bell Atlantic Corp., and Pacific Telesis Group. The new venture will offer entertainment and interactive services. The network named Peter Lund, president of its broadcast group, to replace Stringer.
US Ambassador to France Pamela Harriman will auction off up to $20 million worth of art from her collection. Christie's says the auction of paintings by Picasso, Da Vinci, Renoir, Matisse, and others is set for May 11.
British TV personality Anneka Rice claimed a record for flying around the world on scheduled passenger flights. She returned to London Heathrow 43 hours and 43 minutes after taking off. She's donating the $40,000 she received for the stunt to Save the Children.
Help Wanted: Sheriff of Nottingham. Pay: None. Duties: Ceremonial. The job is open because the city's majority Labor Party refused to take nominations. The catch: It requires withdrawing from political life for a year. The Conservatives would love to take over the job, but by law aren't eligible. "Robin Hood must be laughing all the way to Sherwood Forest," their spokesman said. Top 10 Pop SinglesTop 10 Pop Singles
1. "Take a Bow," Madonna (Maverick-Sire)
2. "Creep," TLC (LaFace) (Platinum)
3. "On Bended Knee," Boyz II Men (Motown) (Platinum)
4. "Another Night," Real McCoy, (Arista) (Platinum)
5. "Baby," Brandy (Atlantic)
6. "Candy Rain," Soul for Real (Uptown)
7. "You Gotta Be," Des'ree (Music)
8. "Sukiyaki," 4 P.M. (Next Plateau)
10. "Hold My Hand," (Hootie & the Blowfish (Atlantic)(Platinum signifies more than 1 million copies sold.)
- Billboard-Soundscan Inc., Copyright 1995
``I think it would be nice for the president to take a constructive role instead of just firing potshots."
- Speaker Gingrich, on Clinton's opposition to a moratorium on federal rulemaking