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News Briefs

Simpson Trial Highlights

Los Angeles Times

Some of the key events Monday in the O.J. Simpson murder trial:

Summary: Prosecutors began the physical evidence phase of their case, starting with the testimony of LAPD criminalist Dennis Fung. Outside the jury's presence, Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito heard argument over efforts to define the limits of the questioning of a deputy medical examiner. He also heard testimony relating to the defense team's contention that police and prosecutors failed to promptly turn over a videotape of Simpson's home made the day after the murders. Ito did not rule on either.

Witnesses: Fung, a senior criminalist for the LAPD, described each of the blood drops and other pieces of evidence that he collected on the day after the murders. He admitted missing a few drops on a fence near the fallen bodies, but said he returned several weeks later and collected those as well.

Coming up: Fung returns to the stand Tuesday. Ito also is expected to hear argument over the disputed videotape and may issue a pair of rulings relating to the questioning of DNA experts.

Quote: "There is simply nothing funny about a threat to kill nine or 10 attorneys." - Defense lawyers in a motion seeking to question deputy medical examiner Irwin Golden on a remark he allegedly made

CIA Still Paying Guatemalan Informers, Officials Say

The Washington Post

The CIA is still paying informers in the Guatemalan military and has a post at the U.S. Embassy there, contrary to a statement Sunday by Secretary of State Warren Christopher that no CIA money was being spent in the Central American country, U.S. officials said Monday.

Meanwhile, in the snowballing CIA-Guatemala controversy, House Speaker Newt Gingrich [RGa.] said a Democratic House member who recently revealed that a CIA informer was linked to two murders in Guatemala should resign from the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

Gingrich called the actions of Rep. Robert G. Torricelli [DN.J.] "totally unacceptable" because intelligence panel members are sworn to keep classified information secret.

Torricelli said he received the information from government sources outside the committee, and made a point of not attending House panel meetings where discussion of Central America occurred. "An oath of confidentiality cannot be expanded to muzzle members of Congress from exposing criminal activity," Torricelli said.

Gingrich also said the CIA should be expanded, because of terrorists' activities and international uncertainty in the post-Cold War era. That put him sharply at odds with the agency's critics, including some prominent Democrats, who have called for shrinking or even abolishing the CIA.

The dispute came two weeks after Torricelli revealed that the CIA knew one of its paid informers, a Guatemalan army colonel, had had a hand in the murders of an American innkeeper and a Guatemalan guerrilla leader married to a U.S. lawyer. Torricelli also charged that the CIA had kept the information from other U.S. government officials who were attempting to provide accounts to the victims' relatives.