The US Air Force announced three commanders in Germany were
relieved of duty as a result of an investigation of the plane crash
in Croatia that killed Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 34 others.
The brigadier general and two colonels were responsible for
overseeing maintenance of the aircraft. The Air Force said its
local commander had lost confidence in their ability to perform
The House dropped plans to vote on holding the White House in
contempt over documents related to the travel office firings.
President Clinton turned over an 11-page list of documents he has
been withholding based on a claim of executive privilege. Also, the
House Appropriations Committee approved an $11.9 billion foreign
aid budget for 1997. The bill would include a $200 million
reduction from 1996, and is $1 billion less than what Clinton
requested. The House expects to vote on the bill next week. Also,
the House voted for cuts in the $19.7 billion civilian science
authorization bill. The cuts would affect programs at the
Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department.
The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the
first quarter of 1996. That's more than four times faster than the
rate of growth for the gross domestic product during the fourth
quarter of 1994. Also, sales of new homes increased by 6.7 percent
in April, exceeding 700,000 for the fourth consecutive month as
activity surged in the Northeast. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve
said banks are tightening their standards for loaning money because
of a rising rate of delinquencies.
US authorities arrested 11 people in an international immigrant
smuggling ring. The alleged ringleader, a Honduran woman, earned as
much as $1 million a year, The New York Times reported. The illegal
immigrants, who paid up to $28,000 each for passage, were ferried
across the border to Reynosa, Texas, on inner tubes.
Clinton, in New Orleans, was scheduled to endorse a Justice
Department report that supports curfews for youths. He planned to
laud a New Orleans curfew for youths under age 17 credited with
reducing juvenile crime by 27 percent and lowering auto theft by 42
percent. The government plan would exempt youths who are married,
accompanied by an adult, traveling to or from work, responding to
an emergency, or participating in a supervised event. Clinton also
announced a new program to train teachers in computer use at a
Washington ceremony honoring US blue-ribbon schools.
Federal agents evicted reporters and cameramen from a two-mile
range of the "freemen" compound in Jordan, Mont. The action took
place after a Fox network news crew arranged interviews with the
antigovernment group without informing the FBI.
An international group of scientists and physicians in
Washington said certain man-made chemicals such as dioxin and PCBs
can cause physical and behavioral abnormalities in humans and
wildlife. Governments must urgently work to stem the problem, they
added. After a week-long meeting in Italy, they said there may be
no safe threshold for the chemicals.
Tornados touched down during severe storms in North Carolina and
Texas. In Kentucky, officials estimated that 192 homes were
destroyed and more than 250 sustained major damage after a tornado
tore through suburbs south of Louisville.
The Clinton administration sent letters to Canadian, Mexican,
and Italian businesses warning they may be subject to sanctions
because of their Cuba investments. In response, visiting British
Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and Dutch Deputy Prime Minister
Hans van Mierlo decried the law in separate statements in
Washington. Mexico also protested US pressure on a company that
owns a 49 percent stake in Cuba's phone company.
Community groups, schools, and churches are to descend on
Washington tomorrow for the Stand for Children rally. More than
3,000 organizations are sponsoring the event, which includes a
children's march to the Lincoln Memorial. …