Briefs Nation/world

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NATION

INDIANA

Pressurized Tank Explodes, Killing 3

A pressurized, fluid-filled tank exploded at a steel mill Wednesday in Portage, Ind., sending workers running for cover and hurling debris up to a quarter-mile. Three employees were killed and nine injured, one seriously.

"All of a sudden there was a huge explosion, like a time bomb," said Lee Spitka, a supervisor at Beta Steel, about five miles east of Gary, Ind.

"People were just running all over the place," he said. "They were scattering because they didn't know what was going to fall next."

About 50 to 60 employees were in the mill at the time. But because of a shift change, most were not on the production floor.

AP

F. LEE BAILEY

O.J. `Backlash' Has Hurt Fund Raising

F. Lee Bailey's brother said Wednesday the famed defense lawyer's role in winning the O.J. Simpson case is making it hard to raise money to get him out of jail.

Bailey, who has been behind bars for three weeks for contempt of court, needs $2.4 million to win his freedom from the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Fla., where he is serving a six-month sentence.

His brother, attorney Bill Bailey, said in Miami he believes the struggle to raise the cash is the result of "a very severe backlash from the O.J. Simpson case. I don't think Lee had any idea about the depth of the resentment of his participation in the Simpson case."

Reuters

TRAVEL CONTROVERSY

O'Leary Curbs Foreign Trade Missions

Faced with continuing criticism of her expensive foreign travel as well as an ongoing investigation, Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary has agreed not to undertake any new international trade missions until her department resolves well-documented problems in arranging overseas trips.

O'Leary also has ordered new procedures for approving and planning international travel by department members, pending the outcome of an inquiry by its inspector general. These measures are meant to improve accountability and cost-efficiency.

Los Angeles Times

MANUEL NORIEGA

Judge Denies New Trial For Ex-Leader

Ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is not entitled to a new trial, even if Colombia's Cali cocaine cartel bribed a key witness to surrender and testify against him, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in Miami.

Defense attorneys argued last month that Noriega's trial was tainted by witnesses with ulterior motives - one who took $1.25 million in cartel bribes and another who claimed he was promised a greatly reduced prison sentence.

AP

YALE UNIVERSITY

Food-Service, Custodial Workers Strike

Yale University food-service and custodial workers went on strike Wednesday, shutting down dining halls and leaving trash uncollected on the New Haven, Conn., campus.

Local 35, representing 1,100 workers, walked off the job one day after talks broke down over Yale's decision to subcontract some services. …