News In Brief
President Clinton rejected last week's Supreme Court decision that threw out a federal law banning possession of a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. He called the law ''common sense'' in his Saturday radio address and gave Attorney General Reno a week to find a legal way around the ruling. She says she can. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma legislature may pass a law allowing its citizens to carry concealed handguns. Timothy McVeigh was originally charged with carrying a concealed weapon when he was arrested before becoming a bombing suspect.
One focus of the bombing investigation remains the Arizona connection. McVeigh lived there for a while before the bombing. The FBI wants to know how he might have raised the estimated $5,000-plus cost of building the bomb he allegedly used. In Oklahoma City, a police source said an automatic-teller video shows that a possible second getaway car carried an Arizona license plate, but not the one that had been on McVeigh's Mercury. The FBI is trying to reconstruct the truck and the bomb. The death toll stood at 126 at press time.
Oklahoma Senator Nickles said Clinton's suggestion that conservative radio talk show hosts fueled agitation leading to the bombing was irresponsible. But he praised Clinton's handling of the situation up to that point.
The GOP-controlled House opens for business again in Washington this week, and the focus will be on writing legislation to wipe out federal deficits over the next seven years. The venture is so difficult -- more than $1 trillion in reductions will be needed -- that some Republicans concede their 14-seat majority could be at risk. But others say their constituents told them over the three-week spring break that they are ready to face cuts in federal programs.
House Speaker Gingrich says Republicans have decided to present their own Medicare-reform proposals in a bill that will be separate from the overall federal budget proposal. The strategy is to show in one set of books how savings will enhance the Medicare program. Democrats charge that the GOP will take dollars from the health-care plan and use them to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
Black Americans still trail whites in wages and employment opportunities, despite significant gains in closing the education gap, a study for the Economic Policy Institute shows. Discrimination and trends that more adversely affect blacks were cited as reasons. Meanwhile, the National Academy of Sciences will recommend changes in the way poverty is defined and measured, the New York Times reported. If accepted, the change would increase the number of Americans classified as poor.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Packwood said he believes a tax overhaul could pass Congress this year. But he indicated a bill he is working on would only close loopholes. Other Republicans are pressing for more-drastic changes.
The Clinton administration was wrong to require corn-based ethanol be used as an additive in cleaner-burning fuel, a federal appeals court ruled. The petroleum industry had sued the EPA for bowing to farm-belt politicians in requiring ethanol, which the industry says provides no extra benefits to the environment.
US District Judge Harold Greene ruled that regional Bell companies can begin to provide long-distance service to their cellular telephone customers. The decision modifies the historic 1982 law dismantling AT&T; puts the Baby Bells in competition with AT&T, MCI, and Sprint; and is expected to lower rates.
Clinton trade officials indicated the US is on the verge of hitting Japanese products with stiff sanctions if the two-year talks with Japan on automobiles and auto parts do not make progress this week. The Clinton administration also notified eight trading partners they are on a watch list because of failure to adequately protect US patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
Bosnia's government refused to extend a cease-fire, but offered a UN negotiator an informal pledge not to attack rebel Serbs. Both the government and rebels have opposed extending the truce, which expires today. Fighting was light following fierce battles Saturday, when Serb jets violated the UN no-fly zone and dropped two cluster bombs on the Bihac region. UN officials said the planes belonged to the Croatian Serb forces; they did not summon NATO aircraft to respond.
In Taegu, South Korea, rescue workers continued searching the debris for victims of Friday's explosion. More than 100 people, including many teen-aged schoolchildren, were killed. Police blamed workers who illegally drilled a hole in a natural-gas line, sending gas into a subway-construction site.
Bad weather forced a UN official to cancel his trip to the Kibeho refugee camp in Rwanda. He had hoped to persuade 1,000 Hutu refugees still holed up there without water and food to return home. Several thousand refugees were killed by government troops and stampedes April 22 during forced evacuations.
Britain's opposition Labour Party threw overboard its commitment to public ownership of the means of production. Leader Tony Blair pushed through the amendment to the party constitution Saturday. The vote came five days before local-council elections in England and Wales in which Labour is expected to gain on Prime Minister Major's Conservative Party.
Italian President Scalfaro said Prime Minister Dini can stay in office several more months. The comments came following the failure of Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition to win enough regional elections to force parliamentary voting in June. Observers expect balloting for Parliament to take place in October.
Israeli Prime Minister Rabin told his Cabinet he had personally approved seizures of Arab land in Jerusalem to build two Jewish neighborhoods. Palestinian leaders condemned the confiscations and Hamas threatened attacks in response. Meanwhile, a Scottish doctor found that a Hamas militant who died in Israeli secret-police custody was tortured to death. Earlier, Rabin said Israel's Army is preparing to withdraw troops from population centers in the West Bank under the peace accord with the PLO.
Russian President Yeltsin told Time magazine he favors creating a new NATO-type security organization rather than expanding NATO to include East European nations. NATO expansion is one of several contentious issues Yeltsin and US President Clinton will discuss during next week's summit. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin held a meeting to organize his new centrist party.
A Japanese newspaper reported that members of the Aum Shinri Kyo religious group got weapons training from Russian special forces. Reuters reported that police have confiscated memos indicating the sect planned to buy Russian tanks and submarines. Japanese police have still filed no charges against the group stemming from the Tokyo subway poison-gas attack. Russian officials have ordered a halt to the group's activities in their country, where it claims 30,000 members.
The wives of two Americans detained in Iraq for illegally crossing the border arrived in Baghdad. They hope to visit their husbands and may ask President Saddam Hussein for clemency. An Iraqi lawyer is preparing an appeal. Iraq imposed a news blackout on the visit.
The Bolivian government and unions reached an agreement on release of 300 labor leaders. The accord ends an eight-week teachers' strike but does not end a state of emergency imposed April 18. That followed weeks of violent union protests over industry privatization and school reform.
I want the action to be constitutional, but I am determined to keep guns away from schools. We must reverse the practical impact of the court's decision.''
-- President Clinton, on last week's Supreme Court decision overturning a federal gun law.
Airline passengers could face a ban on electronic gadgets. Aviation experts warn devices such as laptop computers can put aircraft in danger. Research shows electromagnetic interference has affected up to 100 flights and may have caused a 1991 disaster over Thailand in which 223 people were killed.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch reportedly plans to back a new conservative magazine. The New York Times says he will finance a weekly being put together by a group of well-known conservative writers and strategists. ''The Standard'' is due out around Labor Day.
One in 3 children in a British school survey did not know who World War II leader Winston Churchill was. The survey was conducted prior to the 50th anniversary of the war's end.
The storms that drenched northern California during the winter reduced this spring's crop of butterflies to less than 10 percent of normal, a University of California entomologist reports.
Reading Proficiency Of Fourth-Graders, By Participating State
Percentage reading at or above proficient level in 1994; followed by the percentage change (in bold) from 1992
Ala. 20 3 Mo. 26 0
Ariz. 21 3 Mont. 29 *
Ark. 20 0 Neb. 29 2
Calif. 14 -3 N.H. 30 -4
Colo. 23 1 N.J. 29 -2
Conn. 33 3 N.M. 17 -3
Del. 19 -2 N.C. 26 4
Fla. 19 1 Pa. 26 -2
Ga. 22 0 R.I. 27 -3
Hawaii 16 1 S.C. 16 -3
Ind. 27 0 Tenn. 22 2
Iowa 29 -3 Texas 22 2
Ky. 22 3 Utah 25 -1
La. 12 -1 Va. 23 -5
Maine 35 4 Wash. 22 *
Md. 22 1 W. Va. 22 0
Mass. 31 -1 Wis. 30 1
Minn. 27 -1 Wyo. 26 -2
Miss. 15 3
* Did not participate in 1992
-- National Assessment of Education Progress