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News Briefs 1

Kennedy Camp Jumps In With Quick Ad on Crime Bill

The Washington Post
BOSTON

Less than 12 hours after passage of the crime bill, the re-election campaign of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., had created a television ad incorporating the crime-busting message into this year's political mix.

By editing film of the senator shot earlier, the campaign assembled a 30-second spot that gives Kennedy credit for putting "2,300 new police on Massachusetts streets" and imposing life sentences on third-time violent offenders.

The ad also reminds voters that Kennedy, a former Judiciary Committee chairman, earlier wrote laws abolishing parole for federal crimes and denying bail to dangerous suspects.

Although Kennedy has no Democratic opponent and faces no primary, the campaign decided to air the advertisement now in order to address the public's concern about crime, according to Kennedy's nephew and campaign manager, Michael Kennedy.

He said the "tough-on-crime" theme is not an attempt to reposition the senator, who is one of the nation's foremost liberals, but an effort to build awareness of the senator's record.

The ad, which was produced by the political consulting firm of Doak, Shrum, Harris, Carrier, Devine, began its airing Friday evening, during the New England Patriots football game.

Israeli-Appointed Mayor Steps Aside in Jericho

The Washington Post
JERICHO, West Bank

The Israeli-appointed mayor here resigned Sunday, handing over power to a new council made up of members from all the major Palestinian political factions.

"Now, thank God, I'm free," said Jamil Khalaf, as he stood under a picture of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and gave his desk keys, official car and a pile of dog-eared financial records to Hassan Saleh, chairman of the new council.

Khalaf, who said he had asked Arafat to accept his resignation, added that the new council "will have to start from zero and work. We are starting with our test to have peace, to be a democracy."

The 13-member council is a significant achievement because of the participation of all the political groups, including the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, both of which reject the self-rule accord that Arafat signed with Israel.

"If a dog bites a man, it's not news. But if a man bites a dog, it's news. So now, if we have unity among the Palestinians, it's news," Saeb Erekat said. As local government minister in the Palestinian Authority, Erekat brokered the long, arduous negotiations among the factions that preceded the council's formation.

"I think it's a very, very important day not only for Jericho but for the Palestinian people, to have been able to achieve a national unity list with the participation of all the parties," he added.

His success contrasts with the troubles encountered in forming a Gaza City council. After the new mayor appointed by Arafat there took too long in setting up a council, Arafat abruptly replaced him and approved a council heavy with supporters of his own Fatah faction and without the consent of other Palestinian political groups.

Clintons Vacate Capital For Martha's Vineyard

The Washington Post
EDGARTOWN, Mass.

President Clinton, bruised from the battle over the crime bill and bracing for a fight on health care next month, began his vacation here Saturday in the classic Clinton style: frenetically.

After arriving with his family Friday night for their second annual Martha's Vineyard summer retreat, Clinton was up for an early morning, four-mile jog before playing 18 holes at the Farm Neck Golf Club with Washington lawyer Vernon Jordan, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman Warren E. Buffett and movie producer George Stevens.

Clinton shot an 82, short of his birthday wish to break 80. "I didn't make a single putt," the president said.

Then, the Clintons were off to dinner at the house of Washington Post Co. executive committee chairman Katharine Graham, where the guest list included Buffett, Jordan and Microsoft Corp. founder William H. Gates.