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News Briefs I

South Korea's Ruling Party Loses Control of Parliament

Los Angeles Times
SEOUL, South Korea

President Kim Young Sam's ruling party lost control of South Korea's parliament in legislative elections Thursday as the key opposition party gained seats - but not as many as expected.

The results dealt a serious blow to the presidential ambitions of long-time democracy advocate Kim Dae Jung, 72, leader of the National Congress for New Politics, and it was not immediately clear whether he would still run for president next year.

By taking 139 seats in the 299-seat National Assembly, down from 150 in the old parliament, Kim Young Sam's New Korea Party did well enough that it may be able to cobble together a working majority by attracting independents and some opposition legislators in a de-facto coalition.

Kim Dae Jung's National Congress for New Politics took 79 seats, up from 55 in the old parliament, but it had expected to win at least 90 and hoped for 100.

FBI Finds Items Linking Suspect To Sketch of Unabomber

Los Angeles Times

Federal investigators searching the mountainside shack of Theodore J. Kaczynski have discovered a hooded sweatshirt and aviator sunglasses that closely resemble those reportedly worn by the elusive Unabomber the one time he is believed to have been sighted while placing a bomb.

The glasses and sweatshirt were a prominent feature of a sketch of the suspected Unabomber that has been circulated since February 1987, when a worker at a Salt Lake City computer store reported that she saw a man with a mustache, dark glasses and a sweatshirt put something under the wheel of her car in the store's parking lot.

The parcel exploded when another worker moved the item. The woman is believed by authorities to be the only person to see the Unabomber planting a bomb.

Officials also disclosed that lists found in Kaczynski's cabin included names of at least three prominent timber association executives from the Northwest. Government officials have told the executives to "keep their eyes open and be careful" on the off chance that a bomb might already have been planted, industry officials said.

HIV-Like Viruses Might Be Tool For Gene Therapy, Research Shows

The Washington Post

The same characteristics that make the AIDS virus such a cunning and effective killer may make it ideal as a medical tool for gene therapy, new research indicates.

In Friday's issue of the journal Science, a team from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., shows that certain slow-acting viruses such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS can be exploited to change the genetic content of cells that are difficult or impossible to target by conventional gene therapy.

To replace defective genes or supply missing ones in their patients, gene therapists often employ viruses as the vehicle (or "vector") because they are notoriously talented at hijacking healthy cells and inserting viral genes in place of the cells' normal genetic material.

Scientists splice the desired human genes into a modified form of the virus, infect the human subject and wait for the virus to rearrange the cells' genetic code.