The News in Brief

Article excerpt

The US Turner Broadcasting may accept Time Warner's takeover bid this week to form the world's largest media company. Turner's board was expected to meet as early as last night to vote on the $8 billion deal. Approval was expected, in part because of the recent spate of industry mergers. The deal had flagged in recent days, but several concessions to Tele-Communications Inc. head John Malone apparently broke the logjam. These included changing Time Warner's bylaws to allow Malone to buy a large stake in the new firm. Anthony "Tony Buck" Piccolo, and Vincent "Al Pajamas" Pagano were among the eight reputed Philadelphia crime bosses who went on trial yesterday. They are charged with a range of crimes from murder to extortion. Piccolo had reportedly been backed by New York's Gambino crime family and Italy's Sicilian mafia. Prosecutors were armed with hundreds of secretly recorded conversations in which defendants discuss in gruesome detail ways to kill their rivals. The US will open 20 tons of nuclear bomb-building material to UN inspection, the administration said yesterday. The move came in Vienna as the US pushed other nations to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Shuttle Endeavour landed in Florida yesterday. After spending much of 11 days fixing balky high-tech satellites, astronauts spent the last few hours in space fixing the most mundane of problems: plumbing. A clogged filter had jammed the shuttle's pipes. Hurricane Marilyn was moving toward Bermuda yesterday, as the island readied itself for 100 m.p.h. winds. It was not expected to hit the US mainland. In the Virgin Islands, shop owners tried to stop looting while authorities attended to more pres-sing needs: cleaning up after 80 percent of the island's buildings were destroyed. The Senate's welfare-reform bill was expected to pass last night. It would end federal guarantees of cash assistance, send funds in block grants to states, curb spending by $70 billion over seven years, and spend $8 billion for child care. It would need to be reconciled with a conservative House bill backed by Senator Gramm. The House plan would cut spending by $122 billion and ban benefits to underage unmarried mothers and to children born to welfare moms. Senator Gramm won a straw poll of GOP women in Albuquerque, N.M, Sunday. He got 35 percent of 1,200 votes at the National Federation of Republican Women's meeting. The results were partially based on who attended. Gramm brought his wife, Wendy. Lamar Alexander, who got second place, attended. Dole, who got third, did not. Should the government tell farmers what to plant? The GOP's "Freedom to Farm" plan would allow farmers freedom in choosing their crops and would cut $13.4 billion from federal agriculture subsidies by 2002. It would scrap the current crop-subsidy system and slowly phaseout crop payments. The plan, which Speaker Gingrich backs, is to be taken up by the House Agriculture panel tomorrow. The Republicans' "narrow extremist message" is Clinton's biggest reelection edge, Vice President Gore told Democratic supporters in weekend speeches. Recent polls, he said, show voters are leery of turning more power over to the Republicans. "The black community is ripe" for a renewal, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Sunday at a speech in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.'s poorest neighborhood. Black Americans have themselves to blame for high poverty, joblessness, and crime rates, he said, but the government has aided the decline by allowing corporate America to move jobs abroad. Solutions to the community's woes include lack of pride, which he hopes to rectify during a Million Man March next month in the capital. The World Croat troops and their Muslim allies have carved up Bosnia in recent days along the lines of a US-sponsored peace plan, UN officials said yesterday. But further expansion toward Banja Luka could collapse the plan: If Serb losses continue, they might break off negotiations and send the Serb-led Yugoslav Army to Bosnia, the officials added. …

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