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News Briefs I

Jury Selection Begins in Trial of John C. Salvi III

Special to the Washington Post

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of John C. Salvi III, the 23-year-old apprentice hairdresser charged with going on a shooting spree inside two Boston-area abortion clinics just over a year ago, killing two receptionists and wounding five others.

Salvi entered Norfolk Superior Court Monday in shackles, handcuffs and a bulletproof vest. Cleanshaven and alert, he looked intently ahead during most of the routine preliminaries and ignored his parents, who sat a few feet away.

As he has at earlier court dates, Salvi asked the court's permission to make a statement and was denied. Defense attorney J. W. Carney Jr. said the statement was a new version of Salvi's view of a global conspiracy against Catholics. "It doesn't mention the crime. It doesn't mention abortion," Carney said.

Yeltsin Hints at Peace Plan For Chechnya as Election Nears

Los Angeles Times

With signatures from a million war-weary citizens on his desk and images from a huge peace rally on his television, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin on Monday prepared a fresh effort to halt his widely despised war against the separatist republic of Chechnya.

Just last month, Yeltsin had talked tough about destroying the Chechen rebels once and for all, slamming his fist into his hand as he vowed to root out the militants and flatten their hideaways.

But public frustration with the costly, bloody war has swelled. Yeltsin, just one week away from announcing his re-election plans, increasingly looks ready to listen.

He has already announced plans to spend $4.2 billion rebuilding the Chechen roads, hospitals and factories his troops bombed to rubble. On Monday, he huddled with top advisers after dropping hints that a new peace initiative is in the works.

Judge Orders Clinton To Testify

The Washington Post

A federal judge in Little Rock Monday ordered President Clinton to provide testimony under subpoena in the bank fraud and conspiracy trial of a couple who had been the Clintons' partners in the failed Whitewater land development.

U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. issued the order Monday directing the Arkansas court to issue a subpoena for the president. Susan McDougal and her former husband, James B. McDougal, who were business partners of the president and first lady in the Ozarks real estate venture, had sought the president's testimony in connection with their trial scheduled to open on March 4.

Judge Howard, in his order, said lawyers for the McDougals and for Clinton should work out the logistics of obtaining the testimony and decide whether the president should appear in person, on videotape or by satellite transmission from the White House.

Mrs. McDougal is accused of fraudulently receiving a $300,000 loan that David Hale, a former Little Rock banker, says Clinton and others pressured him to make to her in 1986. Clinton, who has not been charged, has denied Hale's accusation. Mrs. McDougal had sought the president's testimony to bolster her contention that Hale is lying about the circumstances of the loan, which was backed by the federal Small Business Administration.

The McDougals and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker were accused by Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr with obtaining $3 million in loans from federally backed lenders to benefit themselves illegally. The three were indicted last year by a federal grand jury under Starr's direction.

They were named in a 21-count indictment that alleged that a string of transactions made through McDougal's failed savings and loan, Madison Guaranty, and Hale's now-defunct loan company, Capital Management Services, were designed to defraud federal regulators. Madison eventually failed, costing taxpayers as much as $65 million. Hale has said his small business loan company, which received federal backing to make loans to disadvantaged borrowers, was improperly used by prominent members of the Arkansas Democratic "political family" in the 1980s to help them with financial problems.