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News Briefs

Russian Joblessness Low, But Officials Warn of Crunch

The Washington Post


Western economists, hard-line Communists and others have warned for two years that capitalism would cost millions of Russians their jobs as droves of inefficient businesses were forced into bankruptcy.

As visits to unemployment centers and statistics here attest, joblessness on a massive scale is one misery Russia has been spared so far.

But the absence of mass unemployment is a mixed blessing. The problem, say many economists, is that jobs are being sustained artificially by easy credit and cheap loans to businesses by Russia's Central Bank.

It remains unclear whether Yeltsin is willing to take the next step and risk the political consequences of soaring unemployment while fighting with parliament over the reforms. Nor is it certain how the Russian people, already hurt by higher prices and shrinking buying power, would react to a wave of layoffs after nearly eight decades of practically guaranteed employment.

Support Increasing for Perot

Los Angeles Times


"We're losing our government," Michael Xirinachs, an impeccably dressed elderly man, warns the group in an impassioned speech that elicits loud applause. "We don't have any time to waste. This is urgent."

In Michigan, Connecticut, Arkansas, Florida, California, Virginia and many other states, groups of Perot followers are adopting by-laws, electing officers, and plotting strategy. Their goal is to form a self-commissioned citizens' army dedicated to ridding American politics of what they see as the seeds of its destruction: the arrogance of incumbency, partisan gridlock and tolerance of the federal deficit.

Perot and United We Stand America have been embarrassed by recent reports of turmoil within the organization. Several former members have gone on national television to accuse Perot of being dictatorial and trying to control all aspects of the organization from his office in Dallas. Indeed, internal bickering has sapped the group's strength in several states, such as Wisconsin and Illinois.

Yet, despite the many problems inherent in building a nationwide grass-roots organization with diverse membership, there is ample evidence that United We Stand is growing steadily and becoming better organized under the supervision of Perot-paid directors in 38 states.

In fact, the group is so strong in some places that political analysts are predicting it could assist in unseating a few incumbent members of Congress in the 1994 elections or undermining President Clinton's bid to win congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Haitian Sanctions Unusual Success

The Washington Post


The selection last week of a new prime minister for Haiti and the restoration of legitimate government there represented a rare development in recent diplomatic history: Economic sanctions worked.

Invoked frequently in the past 20 years as an instrument of international pressure on disfavored regimes, economic sanctions have hardly ever had the direct, swift and apparently effective impact they had on Haiti.

Less than three months elapsed between the United Nations Security Council vote to impose an oil embargo and trade restrictions on the military regime of Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras and Friday's unanimous decision to suspend the sanctions because Cedras has agreed to resign and let elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide return to office.

Far more common have been economic and trade sanctions that remain in place for months or years with little perceptible impact on their targets.


Emily Threatens Southern New England and Mid-Atlantic Coasts

By Michael Morgan
staff meteorologist

As of 5 p.m. yesterday afternoon, hurricane watches were in effect from Cape Romain, S.C. northward to Fenwick Island, Del. and for the lower portion of the Chesapeake Bay. During the day yesterday, Emily developed a more northward component to her track, and consequently portions of the Mid Atlantic states stand the most threatened by this hurricane. Emily remains a fairly minimal hurricane with winds of 80 mph (128 kph), but forecasters still expect her to intensify before making landfall early Tuesday on the coast of North Carolina. The storm is then expect to track to the north, then northeast -- crossing over eastern Long Island and perhaps easternmost southern New England during the afternoon on Wednesday.

Our weather until then will be dominated by a high pressure ridge which will crest over the area today and move offshore tonight and tommorow. Winds will be fairly light today and that should allow cooling afternoon sea breezes to occur. Once the high is offshore warm, muggy weather will return.

Today: Partly cloudy and mild. High around 80F (27C).

Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy with areas of fog developing. Becoming a bit more humid. Low 65F (18C).

Tuesday: Partly cloudy, warm, and humid. An isloated afternoon shower or thundershower possible. High 80-84F (27-29C). Low 65-69F (18-20C).