News In Brief
World leaders at the so-called Summit of the Eight in Denver worked on a final communique. An earlier economic statement criticized Japanese trade surpluses, bemoaned record European unemployment, pledged more aid to Ukraine to deal with results of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and endorsed efforts to make bribery of public officials by foreign companies illegal.
Jubilant state attorneys general announced a $368.5 billion settlement with the tobacco industry, but whether it would remain intact was uncertain. In addition to paying to settle state, individual, and certain class-action suits, the industry agreed to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, to curb advertising and marketing of cigarettes, and to be subject to penalties if youth smoking were not reduced. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop called the pact "paltry" and said he feared it would be watered down in Congress and that lawyers would find loopholes in it.
Clinton will unveil initiatives to improve inner cities in an address to a US Conference of Mayors meeting in San Francisco today, White House officials said. One proposal reportedly would give police financial incentives to live in public-housing projects. Another would reduce mortgage rates for low-income homeowners to help rebuild and create safer neighborhoods.
California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) leveled a scathing attack at the president, accusing him of undermining equality through reverse discrimination, the Los Angeles Times reported. Addressing an audience of radio talk-show hosts, the governor reportedly charged Clinton with fostering divisiveness by supporting federal and state affirmative-action programs that undermine colorblind competition - and suggested that the president lacks faith in the American people to treat one another fairly.
Leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to change their constitution to support fidelity "in all relationships," softening a ban on same-sex marriages and gay ministers. The amendment, which was approved 328 to 217, would not change a 1978 policy banning the ordination of "self-affirming, practicing homosexuals." It must be approved by a majority of the denomination's 172 presbyteries before taking effect.
House Republicans retreated from some positions, in an effort to ensure passage of budget-balancing legislation. They accepted a $1.5 billion provision to help the low-income elderly pay monthly Medicare premiums and agreed that welfare recipients placed in public-sector jobs must be paid the minimum wage. Under a veto threat from Clinton, GOP leaders also said they would provide welfare benefits for legal immigrants who become disabled. In addition, they tentatively agreed to retain a federal tax break for ethanol through 2000.
General Motors reached a tentative accord with United Auto Workers members at a parts plant in Grand Rapids, Mich., averting a potentially crippling strike. More than 2,300 workers were set to walk off the job last week, but agreed to stay while talks continued. Terms of the agreement were not released. The union scheduled a ratification vote for Thursday.
Tens of thousands of former newspaper workers and their supporters marched in Detroit after an administrative-law judge ruled in favor of unions that went on strike for 19 months. The judge said the strike, which ended in February, was caused by unfair labor practices. He ordered the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, and Detroit Newspapers Inc., which runs the papers' business and production operations, to take back as many as 1,100 workers even if it meant displacing replacement workers. Newspaper officials vowed to appeal.
The prison population rose by about 55,900 inmates last year, reaching a record 1,182,000, the Justice Department said. The US system was operating at 25 percent above capacity at the end of the year, holding 105,544 inmates. State prisons were operating at 16 to 24 percent above capacity, the report said. State prisons hold the vast majority of US inmates.
Pol Pot is alive and being held by Khmer Rouge dissidents, Cambodia's deputy Army chief said. Gen. Nhek Bunchhay said he had seen Pol Pot, despite claims by one of the country's co-premiers that the notorious guerrilla leader was dead. Bunchhay also said the Khmer Rouge formally would end their antigovernment rebellion today.
Prime Minister Netanyahu's office denied broadcast reports that Israel would confine Palestinian officials to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel Radio had said 20 Palestinian leaders were being blamed for inciting more than a week of riots in the two areas. Palestinians deny they are behind the violence. But an official statement over the weekend saluted "the masses defending their land and confronting" the Israeli government.
Large concentrations of police massed at two towns in Northern Ireland to prevent trouble as Protestants prepared for some of the first parades of the marching season. Local Catholics planned a counter-demonstration in Bellaghy, 45 miles northwest of Belfast. Catholics also were marshaling support in Omagh, 80 miles west of the capital, where the Orange Order planned its annual celebration of Protestant dominance.
Iraq responded to UN threats of new economic sanctions by urging that chief weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus be tried for "flagrant aggression." It said Ekeus had ordered the search of churches in Baghdad for hidden weapons of mass destruction. Late Saturday, the Security Council voted unanimously to impose tough new penalties unless Iraq cooperates fully with inspectors by Oct. 1. Ekeus had complained that Iraq blocked his inspectors three times this month and endangered their helicopter crews.
In what analysts said was a blow to the Swiss government, a leading politician called for scrapping its planned $5 billion fund for genocide victims - especially those of the Holocaust. Christoph Blocher also slammed official US criticism of Switzerland's ties to Nazi Germany, calling it "intolerable" and "insulting." Blocher's influence was responsible for defeating a 1991 move to merge Switzerland into a European free-trade zone.
South Africa's National Intelligence Service denied a report that it helped to evacuate crates of diamonds and more than $40 million in cash for ousted Zairean President Mobutu as he fled into exile. The Sunday Independent said the agency chartered a jet that shuttled between South Africa and Zaire during Mobutu's final hours in power May 18.
The Philippines Election Commission expected to receive petitions bearing almost 6 million signatures, demanding constitutional change that would let President Fidel Ramos run for reelection in 1998. A citizens group said the petitions would prove that a majority of Filipinos want Ramos to continue serving, despite the June 10 Supreme Court ruling that upheld a constitutional provision limiting the president to one six-year term.
Protests may be held on the day Hong Kong is handed over to China provided they are quiet, leader-in-waiting Tung Chee Hwa said. But he vowed that "nothing will spoil the happiness" of the occasion and that police will assume increased powers even before a new law granting them can be approved by the new Beijing-appointed legislature.
Taiwan was to begin live-fire war games today, despite warnings that they could anger China as it prepares to assume control of Hong Kong. The US had warn-ed against holding the drills in the Taiwan Strait and Tainan Province, calling them "counterproductive." President Lee Teng Hui was to observe the exercises and to make what his office cal-led a key policy statement, which analysts speculated would cover relations with the mainland.
"In essence, the Marlboro man will be riding into the sunset on Joe Camel."
- Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, on the landmark settlement between states and tobacco companies.
Young David Shiffler had just watched the film "The Land Before Time." So when he announced he'd dug up a dinosaur egg with his toy backhoe, his father said, "Yeah, sure." But the Albuquerque resident agreed to take the find to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. The museum sent it to a paleontologist at the University of Colorado, who determined it was indeed a fragment of a dinosaur egg - perhaps 170 million years old. Said David: "I knew it!"
Police in Torquay, England, intervened to halt the confused wanderings of a Japanese tourist who assumed she was in a far different place. She hadn't made herself clear in London when asking directions to Turkey. One long train ride later, she got off in the town that serv-ed as the inspiration for the TV series "Fawlty Towers." She returned to London to resume her trip - by plane.
The Day's List
States That Did Not Sue US Tobacco Companies
Any deal approved by Congress between US cigarette makers and the 40 states suing them to recover the costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses, will benefit all states equally. Legal experts are crediting these lawsuits with forcing the $368.5 billion settlement announced late last week. But it is worth noting that 10 states did not sue. The list, in alphabetical order:
- Associated Press