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News Briefs

New Haiti Premier Begins Task of Rebuilding

Los Angeles Times

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti

Robert Malval, Haiti's first legitimate prime minister in nearly two years, left for Washington Thursday to receive the blessings of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and begin the difficult task of rebuilding this shattered nation.

"The rough road for Malval still lies in front of him," said one Haitian political expert, despite Malval's ratification by the National Assembly and the promise of a quick end to the international economic boycott that has left the country's infrastructure in tatters.

By the unanimous accounts of diplomats and Haitian experts, the first priority for Malval, a 50-year-old publisher and political moderate, will be to insure that Aristide, who was overthrown by the military in September 1991, returns as scheduled Oct. 30.

The military and much of the wealthy Haitian business and social elite have spent the interval trying to prevent his restoration, using murder and general terror to repress the majority of people, who want him back.

But under extreme pressure from Clinton administration and the rest of the world, including the highly effective petroleum boycott, the military high command agreed on July 3 to resign their offices and allow Aristide back.

Study Says Only 1 Type of HIV Can Be Spread Sexually

Newsday

NEW YORK

Potential vaccines now being developed to prevent AIDS may be targeting the wrong types of AIDS viruses, a leading New York City research team is to report today.

AIDS-infected people are known to have a mix of human immunodeficiency viruses in their bodies. In a study of seven New Yorkers, the researchers found that only one class of the viruses could pass to another person by sexual contact. Once inside the recipient's body, however, most of these viruses mutated into a non-infectious, but more deadly form of HIV that actually caused illness.

All AIDS vaccines currently under development are designed to stop the later stage viruses -- not the infectious types, according to Dr. David Ho, who discovered this pattern of viral mutation.

That might be good for therapeutic vaccines, intended for use by people who are already infected. But it's bad news if the goal of vaccination is to prevent infection in the first place, Ho said.

Ho said the finding, to be reported in the journal Science, has strong implications for treatment as well. Nearly all test tube experiments with potential AIDS drugs have been performed on the later stage viruses because they are the only ones that grow rapidly and multiply in the laboratory. Drugs have been tested to see how well they slow that growth.

Boy Says He Shared Bed, but No Improper Contact, With Jackson

Newsday

One of Michael Jackson's young friends came to his defense Thursday, saying the pop superstar never abused him although Jackson often hugged and kissed him and the two slept in the same bed at Jackson's Neverland ranch in Santa Ynez, Calif.

Brett Barnes, 11, told KNBC-TV in Los Angeles that he and Jackson often shared friendly hugs and kisses since the two met 18 months ago after Jackson responded to a fan letter years before.

"It's like I've known him all my life, and in a past life," Brett said. "He, like, loves you like he is your own father or brother or sister or mother."

On visits to Jackson's ranch, Brett said, Jackson let the boy sleep in his bed and never did anything improper. "I was on one side (of the bed), and he was on the other, and it was a big bed," said Brett, who's from Melbourne, Australia.

Weather

Hot Weather to Continue

By Michael C. Morgan
Staff Meteorologist

A ridge of high pressure over the northeastern U.S. will remain in place over the next the several days. The resulting weather for the period will remain much as it has been the last few days -- sunny, very warm days and partly cloudy warm nights. Haze and humidity will slowly increase as well. Immediate coastal areas may get a slight break, as winds turn onshore with afternoon seabreezes. Temperatures there may stay in the mid-80s (27-31C). Relief, in the form of cooler, drier air, will arrive during the weekend.

Meanwhile, out in the Atlantic we find Hurricane Emily. As of late yesterday afternoon, Emily was located at latitude 27.4N, longitude 62.5W or about 365 miles (590 km) south-southeast of Bermuda. The minimal hurricane was moving to the west at 6 mph (10 kph). Top winds with Emily were 75 mph (120 kph) and further slow intensification was anticipated over the next several days. The cyclone may threaten the eastern U.S. as early as the first half of next week.

Today: Mostly sunny and very warm to hot. Winds west-southwest 10-15 mph (16-24 kph). High 88-93F (31-34C).

Tonight: Partly cloudy and warm. Low 74F (23C).

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy with late day showers and thundershowers -- especially to the west and northwest. Highs 88-95F (31-35C).

Tomorrow night: Scattered showers and thundershowers. Lows 68-73F (20-23C).