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News Briefs, part 2

Miami Picked as Site of Western Hemisphere Summit

The Washington Post

President Clinton has chosen Miami as the site for a Western Hemisphere summit meeting late this year that will bring together democratic leaders from Canada to the tip of South America, administration officials said Thursday.

In his State of the Union Address in January, Clinton proposed a "Summit of the Americas" where he and other hemispheric leaders could discuss ways of strengthening democracy and promoting greater prosperity throughout the region. But, the officials said, the White House only recently chose Miami from among several cities that had been competing to host the summit.

The officials added that the summit, due to be announced Friday, will be scheduled for November or December so as not to interfere with several elections scheduled to take place in Latin America during coming months.

However, the broad outlines of what the administration wants to discuss were sketched in a speech scheduled for delivery in Atlanta Thursday night by Richard E. Feinberg, director of inter-American affairs on the National Security Council staff.

Judge Orders Ames, Wife To Transfer Funds to U.S.

Los Angeles Times

A federal judge, declaring there is "a substantial probability" that Aldrich H. Ames and his wife will be convicted of espionage, Thursday ordered them to transfer to their U.S. accounts hundreds of thousands of dollars they hold in overseas banks.

Ruling at the request of federal prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton also extended indefinitely a freeze on the Ameses' domestic holdings.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Hulkower told the court the couple had "dissipated" most of the estimated $2.5 million they allegedly received from their Russian handlers, frustrating government efforts to recover the money.

At a two-hour court hearing, an FBI official also disclosed that Alrich Ames' superiors at the CIA first were alerted to his signs of sudden wealth in 1989 when he paid cash for a $540,000 house in suburban Virginia.

Ames, a 31-year veteran of the agency, rose to become chief of Soviet counterintelligence in the CIA's Soviet-East European division. He and his wife were arrested on Feb. 21, nine months after being placed under surveillance by the FBI.

Despite Public Snub, Nixon Says He Remains Friends' With Yeltsin

Los Angeles Times

Ignoring a public snub, former President Nixon said Thursday that his friendship and support for Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin remain untarnished. "I came here as his friend and I remain his friend. I wish him well," Nixon said at a reception in his honor hosted by the U.S. ambassador.

A day earlier, an angry Yeltsin had announced that neither he nor any member of his government would receive the 81-year-old former president, one of Yeltsin's earliest supporters.

Yeltsin aides said Thursday that Nixon's transgression was meeting with opposition leaders before first paying his respects to Yeltsin. Especially offensive to Yeltsin was Nixon's Monday meeting with former Vice President Alexander V. Rutskoi, who was recently released from jail after being accused of treason in attempting to overthrow Yeltsin last October.

"The president was absolutely right not to receive Nixon because the latter's schedule initially contained disrespect to Russian statehood," Foreign Minister Andrei V. Kozyrev said in a television interview. "The problem is not that he met with representatives of the opposition, ... The problem is that he did it wrong, in the wrong order, ignoring courtesy and tact."

But Nixon aide Dimitri K. Simes said it was the Yeltsin administration that had suggested the dates for Nixon's visit; then, at the last moment, officials said Yeltsin would not be able to see Nixon until the very end of his trip.

Latest Count of U.S. AIDS Cases Much Higher Than Expected


When the federal government changed its definition of AIDS last year, it anticipated a 75 percent increase in the number of new reported cases. But figures for 1993 showed a surprising 111 percent jump.

Last year, 103,500 people over the age of 13 in the United States were diagnosed with AIDS, according to Friday's Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. In 1992, 49,016 people in the same age group were reported to have come down with the disease.

"There were a lot of people out there with severe HIV disease that weren't getting counted before," said Kent Taylor, a CDC spokesman. "And this new definition captured them. We have now captured the total backlog of unreported AIDS cases."

Under the former definition, people had to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus and suffer key secondary diseases, notably pneumocystis pneumonia, mycobacterium avium and lymphomas. Critics said the definition, adequate to distinguish AIDS in gay men, did not fit the syndrome seen in many women and heterosexual men.

The new definition includes cases of HIV infection with no secondary diseases, as long as there is evidence of sharp immune system deficiency (T-cell counts below 200). It also includes cases wherein the only secondary infection is TB or cervical cancer. The new definition brought the shifting demographics of the AIDS epidemic into sharp focus, showing that cases among gay men.