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News briefs, part 2

Serb Leader Accepts Bosnian Plan

The Washington Post

GENEVA

The leader of Bosnia's Serbs, after a day of confusion, Tuesday provisionally accepted a compromise peace plan to end the Bosnian war.

Radovan Karadzic said he will sign a peace plan that denies his people a separate state inside Bosnia, but only if the assembly of his self-proclaimed government supports the agreement within seven days.

Karadzic said he came around to this qualified concession, which followed a morning meeting during which he bluntly rejected the peace plan, after retiring to his Geneva hotel room for a 20-minute nap.

But a far more important factor may have been the pressure exerted on him Tuesday afternoon by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, the hard-line nationalist blamed for instigating the Bosnian war last April who suddenly has presented himself this week as an impassioned believer in the Geneva peace process.

The co-chairman of the peace talks, Cyrus Vance for the United Nations and David Owen for the European Community, were considerably less ebullient about Karadzic's conversion. In fact, they refused to meet the Bosnian Serb leader when he came back to the Palais des Nations conference center to announce his change of heart.

Vance and Owen "have to greet this development as a step forward," according to their spokesman, Fred Eckhard. But Eckhard added that they have "very mixed feelings" about another delay in the conference while fighting continues in Bosnia, where tens of thousands of people face death this winter from lack of fuel and food.

Another suspension in the peace talks occurred last week, on almost precisely the same language in the peace plan, when Karadzic insisted he had to return to his assembly for its approval. Only last Friday, that body, which is not recognized as a legal institution by any world government, overwhelmingly rejected the peace plan, which would divide Bosnia into 10 autonomous provinces under a weak central government.

Tax Charges Delay Appointment Of Israeli Envoy to U.S.

Los Angeles Times

JERUSALEM

In a further embarrassment to the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's supreme court delayed the appointment Tuesday of the new Israeli ambassador to the United States until prosecutors have examined charges of tax evasion against him.

The order temporarily barring Itamar Rabinovich, former rector of Tel Aviv University, from taking up his post in Washington followed charges by the state comptroller Monday that Rabin's Labor Party had accepted illegal contributions amounting to more than $100,000 in last year's parliamentary elections.

The court order was sought by a member of Parliament from the right-wing opposition Tsomet Party in what Israeli political commentators read as much as a protest against Israel's negotiations with its Arab neighbors as against Rabinovich, who has been Israel's chief negotiator in peace talks with Syria.

"Discredit Rabinovich, discredit the peace talks," a Rabin adviser said angrily. "Our opponents are trying to leave the impression that we play fast and loose and consequently would sell out the country. It's nonsense -- worse than that actually -- but Rabinovich is now seen as less than honest."

Rabinovich, a Middle East specialist, disclosed this week that he had paid a $14,000 fine to settle a dispute with Israeli tax authorities over a $26,000 bank account that he had while teaching in the United States and had not immediately closed when he returned home as required by Israeli law.

Crayola Looks to Public for Help In Naming 16 New Crayon Colors

The Allentown Morning Call

EASTON, Pa.

A spokesman for Binney & Smith Inc., maker of Crayola crayons, denies that the company has run out of ideas. But he admitted that the Easton company had failed to develop names for 16 new crayons and is asking for help.

"No one is losing a job because of this," said Brad Drexler, a spokesman for Binney & Smith. "The job is usually done by individuals from our art department and our research and development department ...There's a very scientific way for naming a new crayon."

Not this time.

Binney & Smith is asking boys and girls, men and women, artists and scientists from across the world to name these 16 new brilliantly colored crayons.

The prize is eternal, or as long as kids enjoy the newly named crayons. Once chosen, new names will appear on an estimated 20 million crayons annually, ensuring the author a place in crayon history.

In addition, contest winners' personal names will appear on crayons for about one year, and their likenesses will be enshrined in the Crayola Hall of Fame in Easton.

The new crayons have been placed in Crayola's 96 "Big Box," which is being introduced in stores this week. Entry instructions are on the new "Big Box."

But Drexler said that name suggestions and one-sentence descriptions of why thenames are appropriate should be sent to: Crayola New Color Contest, P.O. Box 342, Conshohocken, Pa., 19428, by Aug. 31.