News In Brief
Yet another poll indicated most Americans believe President Clinton should not resign or be impeached - and give him high marks for job performance. In the Los Angeles Times survey, 41 percent said Congress should drop the matter completely, 34 percent said Clinton should be censured, 18 percent said he should be impeached, and 7 percent did not express an opinion. Slightly more than 70 percent said the recent charges had not changed their opinion of the president.
The White House responded to calls for Clinton to abandon legalistic denials of perjury charges. Spokesman Jim Kennedy said the president's admission that he had an improper relationship and then misled people to keep it private was not incompatible with his lawyers' contention that independent counsel Kenneth Starr's "allegations would not support a case of perjury in a court of law." The comments came after Democratic leaders in the House and Senate urged Clinton to abandon "hair-splitting" defenses.
Starr's office released a $4.4 million estimate of the cost of its eight-month probe of Clinton-Lewinsky matters. Sen. Frank Murkowski (R) of Alaska had requested the information as he and others discussed the possibility that Congress could demand that Clinton pay restitution to cover some of the costs of the inquiry as one form of punishment that might also include a vote of censure.
The CIA provided Tibetan exiles with $1.7 million a year and paid the Dalai Lama a subsidy of $180,000 annually during the early 1960s, the Los Angeles Times reported. Citing declassified historical documents released last month by the State Department, the Times said the CIA helped support Tibetan guerrillas in Nepal, a military-training site in Colorado, Tibetan centers in New York and Geneva, and education for Tibetan operatives at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
The US backed off an earlier assessment and said an object launched by North Korea two weeks ago was "a very small satellite" not a long-range test missile. But a State Department spokesman said the military implications were similar because North Korea had demonstrated a capability to deliver "a weapons payload against surface targets at increasing ranges." The satellite failed to achieve orbit.
One in four new cars sold in the US four years from now would have advanced air bags under rules proposed by the Department of Transportation. The new systems are intended to sense the severity of impact and regulate inflation accordingly. The plan would increase in stages the percentage of cars with new air-bag technology to 100 percent by the 2006 model year, beginning Sept. 1, 2005.
US prosecutors in Miami announced the biggest roundup of alleged Cuban spies since Fidel Castro came to power nearly 40 years ago. They charged eight men and two women with trying to infiltrate military bases, anti-Castro groups, and political organizations. The 10, held without bond, could face life imprisonment and fines of up to $750,000.
The nomination of Richard Holbrooke to be UN ambassador will not reach the Senate this year, The New York Times reported, quoting administration officials. The State and Justice departments are reportedly probing Holbrooke's relations with former colleagues after he left the State Department two years ago.
Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in August as consumers snapped up clothes and home furnishings, the Commerce Department said. That followed a 0.6 percent decrease in July retail sales, affected by the General Motors strike.
An Oct. 15 date was set for the opening of the Microsoft antitrust trial. A US district judge in Washington, D.C., rejected attempts by the company to have him dismiss allegations of illegally preserving and trying to extend a monopoly.
Senior International Monetary Fund officials - at the invitation of new Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov - were due in Moscow for urgent discussions on the Russian financial crisis. Primakov said President Yeltsin had OK'd his strategy for rescuing the economy, and the new central-bank chief announced he favored printing more rubles to help pay back wages to millions of Russians but would wait for approval by the bank's new board of directors. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry warned the grain harvest would be the smallest in 40 years.
Calm returned to the streets of Cambodia's capital for the first time in three weeks as the parties to an election dispute prepared to discuss their differences. But opposition leader Norodom Ranariddh warned that antigovernment protests could spin out of control if Premier Hun Sen made no concessions. Ranariddh and ex-Finance Minister Sam Rainsy, another opposition leader, claim the July 26 election won by Hun Sen's party was rigged. The premier's hand-picked election commission has rejected all such protests.
A relentless campaign against Islamic militants will be the price of returning more West Bank land to the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said. He spoke as border crossings were reopened to thousands of Palestinians whose jobs are in Israel after the latest round of West Bank violence. Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Arafat were to meet separately with US envoy Dennis Ross before his return to the US. But Palestinians demanded that Ross publicly blame Israel for the failure of his current mission.
With fingers raised in a victory sign, thousands of opposition supporters defied a police ban and marched silently through Albania's capital, Tirana, in protest against the murder of one of their leaders. Heavily armed security forces watched but did not interfere, and the marchers dispersed peacefully. There were no signs, however, of willingness to comply with a government order to hand in their weapons.
Using helicopters, boats, and four-wheel-drive vehicles, the Mexican government was ferrying 250 tons of food, water, and medicines a day to the badly flooded southern state of Chiapas, President Ernesto Zedillo said. But reestablishing even temporary highway access to the region would take at least two weeks, other officials said. Five days of heavy rain last week are blamed for at least 121 deaths, with another half-million people homeless or without electricity.
More than 270,000 Iranian troops were ordered to the border with Afghanistan and told to be ready for attack as tensions mounted between the two countries over the deaths of eight diplomats and a journalist. Two other Iranian diplomats remain missing after a battle for control of an opposition stronghold in northern Afghanistan last month.
Amid signs that the peace process in Angola was rapidly running out of options to prevent the resumption of civil war, the UN Security Council was expected to extend by another month its mission there. President Jos Eduardo dos Santos - in a letter to the council - said his government no longer would deal with former UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi and would recognize instead a group that had broken away from the movement.
In the year since Britain yielded control of Hong Kong, the latter's population grew by just under 3 percent, the Chinese government announced. The census bureau said 161,800 people - 87 percent of the total - had migrated from mainland China.
"It is hard to get electorates to do things when they don't perceive there is an urgent need to do them." - Jane Edwards, senior Lehman Brothers economist, on doubts about G7 nations' will to solve a global financial crisis.
Call North Platte, Neb., Mayor Jim Whitaker a promise-keeper. No, not the group that believes it's necessary to fulfill the vows that men agree to when they marry. In this case, his honor was - well - honoring a promise to walk naked through town if the local humane society raised $5,000 in a pledge drive. Well, last Saturday, the time came to do the deed, and Whitaker stepped out in full view of the public. But he wasn't unclothed. Naked ... turned out to be the name of a dog rescued from North Platte's animal shelter. It trotted along on a leash in the mayor's hand.
London, one of the world's most expensive cities, nonetheless has a newly available and very secure 200-room bed-and-breakfast for an affordable $83 per night. The place also promises supper, a wake-up call, a morning meal, of course, and a "fascinating experience not easily forgotten." The catch? The rooms are cells in a refurbished wing of Brixton Prison. And the offer - a fund-raiser for charity - is for one time only: Oct. 1.
The Day's List
Country With the Least Human Poverty: Sweden
Sweden has less "human poverty," in proportion to its total population, than any of 17 industrialized countries, a new UN study indicates. To assess their standing, the UN Development Program examined 1995 income, education, life-expectancy, and long-term unemployment. The US - although it had the highest per-capita income - trailed the others in life expectancy and had the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line. The 10 countries found to have the lowest rates of human poverty:
2. The Netherlands
- Associated Press