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News Briefs I

U.N. to Lift Sanctions on Bosnia

The Washington Post

The U.N. Security Council is expected to formally lift economic sanctions against Serbian-led Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serbs next week following the certification in the next day or two of results of the Sept. 14 Bosnian elections, a senior U.S. diplomat said Thursday.

The sanctions have been suspended since last autumn's Dayton peace accords, but it has been possible for the United States or another power to insist on reimposing them at any time. Once the sanctions are abolished, as now expected, it would take a unanimous vote of the council to reimpose them.

Assistant Secretary of State John Kornblum, the U.S. point man for Bosnia, outlined the timetable for lifting sanctions after Secretary of State Warren Christopher met here with foreign ministers of the five-nation "contact group" on Bosnia, President Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia and the foreign ministers of Yugoslavia and Croatia.

His announcement indicated that differences have been resolved within the contact group of mediators over ending sanctions. There had been suggestions that the Clinton administration had wanted to delay lifting sanctions until the Serbs cooperated in such steps as participating in a joint meeting of the new, three-member presidency in Sarajevo, the traditional Bosnian capital.

The United States wants to maintain maximum pressure on the Bosnian Serb faction to avoid secessionist tendencies and help ensure that the new government is a viable confederation of Muslims, Serbs and Croats.

Initially, the newly elected Serb representative on the presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik, had refused to go to Sarajevo for the joint meeting. However, that roadblock was pushed aside Thursday by Kornblum's announcement that an organizational meeting of the presidency now is scheduled for Sarajevo early next week.

Senate Upholds Clinton's Veto Of Late-Term Abortion Ban Bill

Los Angeles Times

The Senate Thursday upheld President Clinton's veto of a bill that would have outlawed a controversial late-term abortion procedure, an issue that could tip scales in congressional elections but so far has failed to resonate in the presidential campaign.

But even as senators rebuffed efforts to ban "partial-birth abortion," abortion foes claimed victory and plotted a move into the high-stakes game of presidential politics.

"It's a winning issue" for Bob Dole, insisted Christian Coalition president Ralph Reed, who renewed calls for the Republican nominee to confront Clinton over his April veto of the bill.

Fifty-seven senators voted to override the veto, nine short of the two-thirds majority required. Forty-one lawmakers sided with Clinton.

The Dole campaign responded to the vote with a stinging denunciation of Clinton's veto. "Bob Dole knows, like every every mother and father, that there is no defense - none - for a procedure so cruel that even members of Bill Clinton's own party describe it as infanticide,"' said Christina Martin, deputy press secretary of the Dole campaign.

Lebed Blasts Leaders for Gridlock

Los Angeles Times

With Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin hospitalized and out of the Kremlin for the rest of the year, the ambitious general who is considered most likely to succeed him jumped into the power vacuum Thursday with a damning harangue against the current administration.

Alexander I. Lebed, a retired war hero, celebrated his first 100 days as Security Council chief with loud public laments that Russian leaders have beggared their armed forces to the point of mutiny and pushed this society's neglected citizens to the verge of revolt.

He directed most of the blame toward his chief rival for power, Prime Minister Viktor S. Chernomyrdin, but also distanced himself from the ailing Yeltsin.

Lebed complained in one newspaper interview that some in Yeltsin's inner circle are "yesterday's men"; in another he said that he was excluded from the clique making decisions in the president's absence.