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News Briefs

DOE Unveils ŒRevolutionary' Lighting System

The Washington Post

The Department of Energy Thursday unveiled what it called "a revolutionary 21st century" lighting system that uses a bulb of sulfur bombarded by microwaves to produce bright illumination resembling sunlight-and does so at a fraction of the cost of many conventional systems.

The prototype lamp, invented by a Rockville, Md., start-up company called Fusion Lighting Inc. and developed under contract to DOE, consists of a closed quartz sphere filled with an inert gas and a tiny amount of sulfur. One golfball-sized sulfur bulb, when irradiated by the kind of compact microwave generator found in ordinary kitchen ovens, puts out as much light as hundreds of high-intensity mercury vapor lamps.

Commercial products are not expected until some time in 1995, and the first applications are likely to be used in lighting extensive outdoor and indoor spaces such as shopping centers, aircraft hangars and factories. Illuminating such areas now costs the United States approximately $8 billion per year, Ervin said.

Atomic-Bomb Exhibit Now Has Anti-War Groups Up in Arms

The Washington Post

Veterans groups are pleased with recent changes and the promise of more in the script for the Smithsonian Institution's planned exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan. But revisions intended to mollify one set of critics appear to have energized others with a different point of view.

Representatives of 17 peace organizations, arguing that the exhibit should renew its focus on the suffering the bombs caused, wrote the director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on Wednesday to protest the script changes.

And some anti-war activists are also planning to hold a sidewalk demonstration at the museum with photographs of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the exhibit opens in May.

Responding to criticism from those who viewed the exhibit as too sympathetic to Japan, the Smithsonian announced three weeks ago it would overhaul the script. It acted after two marathon meetings with representatives of the American Legion, the nation's largest veterans group.

The museum sent its latest "interim script" last week to the Legion and other military organizations that had charged that earlier scripts portrayed the Japanese as innocent victims of racist Americans determined to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The planned exhibit, titled "The Last Act: The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II," is to include the forward fuselage of the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945. A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9 by Bock's Car. The war ended Aug. 14.

Mexico Probe Unravels Amateurish Assassination Plot

Los Angeles Times

All Carmelo Herrera Gomez knew when his lover summoned him to meet a well-connected businessman at a cheap Mexico City hotel last June was that it involved "a matter of a lot of money."

When he got there, according to Herrera's sworn testimony released Thursday, he learned he would have to kill for it.

The target: Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu. The reward: Nearly $100,000.

At the prodding of his girlfriend, Herrera agreed. It wasn't until several days later, Herrera stated, that he learned his prospective target was no less than the second-ranking official in Mexico's powerful ruling political party.

According to the latest testimony made public, that was the second time the alleged masterminds of a killing that rocked the Mexican nation last month were burned by hired guns who skipped town with their money. And it was the latest evidence that the political aides and underworld figures now charged with plotting Ruiz Massieu's murder here on Sept. 28 were amateurs, at best.