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News briefs

3 Senators Press Hanoi on MIAs

The Washington Post


Anyone who doubts that the era of hostility between the United States and Vietnam is rapidly approaching an end would have been baffled by the scene that unfolded Monday around a green baize table in the government's guest house here.

With television cameras rolling, three U.S. senators and five Vietnamese officials analyzed detailed files on Americans still missing from the Vietnam War as each side pledged to clear up remaining discrepancies and put the issue behind them.

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs, handed over a blue binder containing some of the 4,800 photographs from the war recently made available by the Vietnamese, and asked for help in identifying some of the pictured men. Four photos show live U.S. prisoners whom the Pentagon has been unable to identify, he said, and 11 show dead Americans who have not been identified.

Kerry also urged the Vietnamese to evaluate 17 of the remaining alleged "live sightings" of missing Americans for the committee's final report at the end of December.

The Vietnamese agreed, whereupon Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Needham, commander of the Pentagon's Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, offered to provide U.S. aircraft or any other equipment the Vietnamese might need to get the job done.

Senior officials of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who would be in a position to object if, as expected, a favorable report from the committee leads President Bush or President-elect Bill Clinton to lift the 17-year U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam, watched the meeting approvingly and said later that they favor the process of putting the MIA issue to rest.

Grenade Kills Palestinian Butcher in Jerusalem

Los Angeles Times


A Palestinian butcher was killed Monday by a hand grenade thrown into the crowded meat market of Jerusalem's Old City, as the cycle of Arab-Israeli violence continued. Twelve other persons, including two of the butcher's sons, were wounded by flying shrapnel.

Arab shopkeepers said that a Jew, perhaps one of the 200 Israelis who have recently moved into the Old City's Muslim Quarter, threw the army-issue fragmentation grenade through an opening in the market's dome-shaped roof shortly after 1 p.m. The grenade fell into the butcher shop of Marzouk Idkeidik, 60, killing him and wounding his two sons, police said. The other victims were shoppers and merchants standing near the store.

As medical teams struggled to get through the Old City's narrow, winding streets to reach the market, three young Jews appeared on an adjacent roof, according to shopkeepers, who said the youths jeered at the wounded and shouted that the attack was in reprisal for recent Arab assaults on Jews. "They were screaming at us, saying that they would kill us all," one shopkeeper said.

Survey Shows Decline In Anti-Semitism Among Americans

Los Angeles Times


Anti-Semitism has been slowly declining over the last 28 years, but one in five adult Americans still hold deeply prejudicial views of Jews, the Anti-Defamation League reported Monday as it released a survey of race relations in the United States.

The poll by the Boston firm of Marttila and Kiley conducted for B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League showed that anti-Semitism is most prevalent among people who are over 65 years of age, have a high school education or less and are blue collar workers.

The latest data underscored the fact the vast majority of Americans reject most anti-Semitic stereotypes, but there remains a core of about 35 million to 40 million people who are unquestionably prejudiced.

"The good news is fewer Americans than 28 years ago harbor anti-Semitic attitudes," said Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL's national director. "The bad news is that an ugly and more dangerous element -- political rather than social -- has begun to take hold in the United States.


`Snizzle' on the Way

By Michael Morgan
Staff Meteorologist

Periodic light snow and rain will continue into Wednesday as a series of weak cyclones passes to our south. High pressure will build offshore on Wednesday allowing skies to partially clear. Later, winds will turn onshore along the coast. This setup could allow coastal clouds and "snizzle" -- snow and drizzle -- to develop.

Today: Intermittent light snow and rain. High 38F (3C).

Tonight: Cloudy with a flurry possible. Low 29 to 31F<\p>(-2 to -1C).

Wednesday: Becoming partly cloudy with a flurry possible along the coast. Light snow and drizzle possible on the south coast and Cape. High 35 to 40F (2 to 4C). Low 25 to 28F<\p>(-4 to -2C).

Thursday: Partly sunny and continued cold. High around 38F<\p>(3C). Low in the 20's (-4C).