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News briefs

Yeltsin Appoints Himself Acting Defense Minister

the washington post


Russian President Boris Yeltsin on Monday established a Defense Ministry and named himself acting defense minister, paving the way for the creation of a Russian armed force and the final dissolution of the Red Army, the last significant institution of the Soviet Union.

Yeltsin, returning from a two-week vacation, signed a decree establishing the first Russian Defense Ministry since the Bolsheviks abolished the czar's war ministry 75 years ago, according to Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai.

Yeltsin advisers stressed that Russia will continue to participate in a joint military structure with other former Soviet republics, both for control of nuclear weapons and for conventional forces. Shakhrai gave few details of what a new Russian force will look like.

South Africa Prepares For Apartheid Vote

los angeles times


In a final push for today's crucial referendum, South Africa's white leaders yesterday took out newspaper advertisements, handed out leaflets and appeared on radio talk shows to persuade thousands of still-undecided voters to make a final break with apartheid.

President Frederik W. de Klerk, who has vowed to resign if he loses, said in an open letter to South Africans that a "no" vote would "lead us to a dead end of division and destruction."

But right-wing leaders countered that a "no" majority would be a vote for the right of all ethnic groups in South Africa to govern themselves in their own separate lands.

Investigators Claim Part Of Earhart's Plane Found

los angeles times


The tiny stitching in a woman's shoe, the cap of a medicine bottle, and the letters on a scrap of metal were held out Monday as proof that legendary aviator Amelia Earhart died on a waterless South Pacific atoll, rather than in the ocean or at the hands of Japanese soldiers.

At a packed press conference here, an investigator with a non-profit group asserted that his organization's four-year search had solved a mystery that has puzzled and fascinated the world since Miss Earhart and her navigator disappeared during their 1937 attempt to circle the globe.

Other experts remained unconvinced, however. Gillespie's group turned its evidence over to the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency that investigates plane crashes. While it found nothing inconsistent with Gillespie's theory, officials also found no absolute proof that the debris substantiates it.

Senate Counsel Subpoenas Journalists' Phone Records

the washington post


The special Senate counsel investigating leaks of Anita F. Hill's charges of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Monday subpoenaed all telephone records of the two journalists who first reported the allegations for the two-week period before the charges were disclosed.

The action prompted strong protests from attorneys for Timothy M. Phelps of Newsday and Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio, who said they were considering asking the Senate Rules and Administration Committee or a federal court to intervene and block the special counsel's action. The subpoenas cover the journalists' home telephones and those of their news organizations.


Winter Is Not Over Yet

By Michael C. Morgan
Staff Meteorologist

While it may appear to many that winter weather is past us, don't be fooled. In recent years, the latest accumulating snow in the local area was on April 28, 1987, when four inches of wet snow blanketed the Boston metropolitan area. So don't count winter weather out, yet.

Our recent bout of colder weather will be briefly broken today and part of tomorrow as southwesterly winds ahead of a cold front usher in warmer weather from the central U.S. Once the front sinks to our south during Wednesday, colder air will slowly become established over southern New England. A disturbance out of the southwestern U.S. will move northeast passing south of New England late Thursday into Friday. Temperatures should then be cold enough to give us a period of snow and/or sleet and rain. Looking into the distant future, the cold weather should remain in place into next week. Two more possible snow events threaten us this Saturday and Monday of next week.

Tuesday afternoon: Partly cloudy with a shower possible. Highs around 47F (8C).

Tuesday night: Cloudy with a shower possible, then turning colder. Low 32 - 35F (0 - 2C).

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy early and becoming chilly. High near 40F (4C). Low 25F (-3C).

Thursday: Increasing clouds with snow developing. Colder. High 30 - 35F (-1 - +2C). Low 24 - 29F (-5 - -2C).