Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The News in Brief

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The News in Brief

Article excerpt

THE US

Stay away from drugs, liquor, and sex. That's the message Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala hopes to convey to nine- to 14-year-olds in a new campaign to steer them from danger and into school, sports, and the arts. She was expected to announce the program at an American Public Health meeting in Washington. The campaign plans to bring Hollywood celebrities and sports stars together to deliver the message. A 1995 study found increasing drug and cigarette use among eighth-grade girls since 1991. One-fourth of the girls surveyed had used alcohol the previous year.

The US decided to deliver a shipment of military hardware to Bosnia after the ousting of two defense officials in the country's Muslim-Croat federation. The US had withheld the shipment after objecting to the two men. Ambassadors from Croatia, Yugoslavia, and Bosnia returned to Dayton, Ohio, to measure the effectiveness of the peace accord they initialed there a year ago. The Federal Aviation Administration announced at the ValuJet hearings that it is hiring scores of new inspectors to check for hazardous cargo aboard passenger planes. The FAA has been criticized for lax oversight of potentially dangerous cargo. A Valujet executive said in earlier testimony the carrier is responsible for the work of its contractors. The carrier has blamed an outside maintenance company for not putting safety caps on oxygen-generating canisters considered the likely cause of a fire on ValuJet Flight 592, which crashed in Florida's Everglades. Citing a top-secret CIA report, The Washington Times reported that China recently sold Iran missile technology and components for an advanced radar system. Beijing also shipped hundreds of tons of chemicals used to produce nerve agents and riot-control gas to an Iranian chemical center, the Times said. The report contradicts Clinton administration assertions that China has curtailed its weapons-proliferation activities. Heavy rains were blamed for the collapse of a section of major highway in Oregon, which fell into the South Umpqua River near the city of Roseburg. Two trucks drove into a 30-foot sinkhole resulting from the collapse of Interstate 5, and at least three people were injured. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people were still without power in Oregon, where the governor has declared a state of emergency in three counties. For the first time, the head of the FBI's investigation of TWA Flight 800 expressed doubt on the theory that a bomb or missile caused the explosion. James Kallstrom said there was no sign of bomb damage after 95 percent of the plane was reconstructed. He also dismissed a claim by Pierre Salinger, a former ABC correspondent and press secretary for President Kennedy, that the plane swerved wildly to avoid a missile. Early in the investigation, a bomb was considered the most likely cause of the crash. Ninety House Democrats and two Republicans signed a letter to Speaker Newt Gingrich and minority leader Dick Gephardt requesting passage of campaign-finance reform within the first 100 days of the 1997 congressional session. Democrats are on the defensive because of questionable money-raising activities recently by the Democratic National Committee. The Democratic Party, which already returned $762,000 in suspect campaign contributions this fall, announced it was giving back an additional $253,500 from an Asian-American business consultant because the donations were actually made by another person. Scientists worked to correct an alignment problem with an ultraviolet telescope dropped into space by the shuttle Columbia. The crew is expected to retrieve the telescope, a $93 million joint US-German project, near the end of the 16-day mission. An explosion at a shoe store in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that nearly destroyed a a six-story building, killed at least 12 people and injured 25. Authorities cited leaking natural gas as the possible cause. …

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