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News Briefs II

Allied Countries Object to House Legislation Aimed at Iran and Lybia

The Washington Post

The House, spurred by public anger over international terrorism, approved legislation Tuesday that would penalize foreign companies for investing in the oil industries of Iran and Libya.

The bill, which has already cleared the Senate, passed easily on a voice vote despite vehement objections from allied countries, which accuse the United States of increasingly resorting to illegal bullying tactics in forcing other nations to join Washington's policy of isolating "rogue" states.

President Clinton will almost certainly sign the bill into law, congressional aides said, notwithstanding the outrage and counter-measures the law is sure to evoke abroad, especially in Europe.

The allies were already incensed over the passage earlier this year of legislation aimed at tightening the U.S. embargo of Cuba by punishing foreign firms doing business with Havana. They were only partially mollified by Clinton's move last week to defer some of the anti-Cuba law's harshest provisions.

Passage of the bill targeting Iran and Libya, which allegedly support terrorism, was eased following last Wednesday's crash of a TWA jumbo jet off Long Island. Although the legislation was already moving toward passage before the crash - though the cause of the disaster remains uncertain - opposition to the bill melted away amid widespread suspicion that a terrorist bomb blew up the plane.

The measure is intended to stop foreign firms from profiting on Iranian and Libyan oil projects that U.S. firms are banned from investing in.

Family Channel to Broadcase 11 Hours of GOP Convention Coverage

The Washington Post

The Republican Party is planning to broadcast its own prime-time coverage of the GOP convention next month on televangelist Pat Robertson's Family Channel, according to convention planners and Family Channel officials.

The sources said the Republicans' television operation, called GOP-TV, will air 11 hours of convention coverage on the Family Channel. Robertson and his son Timothy hold a controlling interest in International Family Entertainment, which owns the Family Channel. Robertson is also the founder of the Christian Coalition, the grass-roots conservative organization that has become a powerful force in Republican politics.

Paul Manafort, in charge of convention planning, said Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour decided the party should broadcast its own convention coverage because he was "concerned" that network coverage would be limited to prime time.

"Now they can tune in the Family Channel and see the full convention," Manafort said. "It's going to be another network covering the convention but covering the full convention. Our stalwart supporters will watch and maybe some of the swing people."

The programming will run during the hours that the Family Channel normally broadcasts reruns of Rescue 911 and the 700 Club, the daily television show hosted by Robertson, said Family Channel spokeswoman Ann Abraham.