Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Article excerpt

Nation

SPACE SHUTTLE

Crew Gives Up Attempt To Get Satellite Launched

After three frustrating days, Discovery's crew gave up Monday on casting a satellite into space, one of the main purposes of the mission.

Astronaut Ronald Sega, who's in charge of the satellite, had little to say when Mission Control informed him flight directors were calling it quits and that the craft would remain aboard Discovery. But the tone of his voice said it all.

"Yeah, we copy," Sega said quietly.

The astronauts and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev had been trying since Saturday to deploy the Wake Shield Facility, a $13.5 million steel disk on which physicists hoped to grow pure semiconductor film. AP

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CALIFORNIA

Rain Ties Traffic In Knots, Puts Hill Dwellers In Peril

A rainstorm Monday choked Los Angeles' earthquake-crippled freeway system with rush-hour crashes, threatened hill dwellers with mudslides and caused high waves to pound at beachfront buildings.

At least 80 freeway collisions disrupted the morning commuter rush. More rain was expected.

The heavy rain was particularly troublesome in hillside areas devastated by the fall firestorms. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch because of the potential for flowing mud and debris. AP

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TEXAS

Branch Davidian Member Started Fire, Agent Says

An FBI agent testified Monday that he saw a Branch Davidian stoop behind an overturned piano and light a fire during the tear gas barrage last April that ended the 51-day standoff in Texas.

Agent John Morrison said he first saw the man inside David Koresh's compound in Waco, Texas, make hand motions as if he were spreading something around the front room. "I see a fire come up from right where his hands were," he said.

The fire ended a standoff that began Feb. 28, 1993, with a gunbattle between the sect and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. As many as 86 cult members are believed to have died in the inferno. Eleven surviving Davidians are on trial in the murder of four officers in the shootout. AP

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WORLD

ISRAEL

Envoy Defends Nominee For U.S. Diplomatic Post

Defending Strobe Talbott as "a very good man," Israel's deputy foreign minister said Monday his articles for Time magazine were no reason to reject his nomination to be U.S. deputy secretary of state.

Yossi Beilin, at a news conference, said Talbott's Jewish opponents in the United States do not speak for Israel and that "generally speaking, he is friendly to Israel."

Meanwhile, two Republican senators, accusing Talbott of "extreme views" on Israel, urged President Bill Clinton to withdraw his nomination.

Sens. Connie Mack of Florida and Alfonse D'Amato of New York said in a letter that Talbott had blamed Israel in part for instability in the Arab world, the Lebanese civil war and undermining U. …

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