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News Briefs 1

Young Children Fall Victim to Urban Violence

Los Angeles Times

Police Saturday announced the arrests of three suspects in the shooting death of a 3-year-old girl whose killing as she rode in a car abruptly escalated into a national symbol of senseless urban violence.

The suspects, whom police refused to identify, were arrested late Friday and booked on suspicion of murder in connection with the ambush-style shooting last Sunday that resulted in the death of Stephanie Kuhen and minor gunshot wounds to her 2-year-old brother and the family friend who was driving the vehicle.

Meanwhile, police said a 12-year-old Whittier boy became another victim of an unprovoked attack on a motorist when he was shot in the head late Friday while riding home on a freeway after seeing a Los Angeles Dodgers game with a cousin and a friend. Richard Andrew Bautista was listed in critical but stable condition Saturday after undergoing surgery .

Bautista, described as a model student and Roman Catholic altar boy dedicated to soccer, was in the front passenger seat of a car being driven by his 18-year-old cousin. A man in a yellow van opened fire for no apparent reason as the van approached Bautista's car from behind with its high beams on, police said.

Christopher Urges U.N. to Streamline, Restructure

The Washington Post

Secretary of State Warren Christopher told the 50th anniversary meeting of the U.N. General Assembly Monday that if the world body is to retain the support of the American people, it must undergo major reform to slim down and focus "on the tasks it performs best."

"On this 50th anniversary year, we must shape the U.N.'s agenda as if we were creating the institution anew," Christopher said as he used the opening of this year's assembly meeting to press the Clinton administration's call for reforms capable of defusing growing anti-U.N. sentiment in Congress.

He called on the United Nations to become leaner and more efficient, taking on fewer tasks and performing them more effectively for less money. He also made clear that the United States believes the member countries must stop using the United Nations as a pork barrel and source of patronage, and crack down hard on waste, fraud and corruption that provide an inviting target for its enemies.

"It is time to recognize that the U.N. must direct its limited resources to the world's highest priorities, focusing on the tasks that it performs best," Christopher said. "The U.N.'s bureaucracy should be smaller. Each program must be held to a single standard - that is, it must make a tangible contribution to the freedom, security and well-being of real people in the real world."

Dole Warns Clinton to Consult Before Committing Troops

The Washington Post

Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.), in a tepid note to President Clinton, warned Monday that Congress should be consulted before committing U.S. ground troops to Bosnia but did not disapprove outright of the deployment as some other congressional Republicans have done.

"There should be no doubts that without the concurrence of the Congress these commitments (to send peacekeepers) will not be fulfilled," said the letter, signed by Dole and nine other Senate Republicans. "We hope you will begin to consult earnestly and forthrightly with the Congress in the very near future," it concluded.

Other congressional Republicans, including many in the House, have already begun to say they would not approve of sending U.S. ground troops to Bosnia to police a peace accord in fulfillment of a previous U.S. pledge to NATO allies.