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News Briefs I

Chicago Cardinal Bernardin, 68, Dies From Cancer

Los Angeles Times

Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago, whose gentle manner, passion for conciliation, and courage in the face of death touched the lives of ordinary Roman Catholics and world leaders alike, died Thursday. He was 68.

The senior active cardinal in the United States and one of the most prominent ecclesiastical figures in the nation, Bernardin died at his residence surrounded by family and friends.

Among the callers offering prayers and final goodbyes were Pope John Paul II and President Clinton.

"He was at once both a prince of the church exercising a gifted role of leadership, and a parish priest concerned with the hopes and anxieties of each parishioner," said Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles. "History will record Cardinal Bernardin as our nation's pre-eminent Catholic Church leader of the 20th century."

Bernardin's death was anticipated since he disclosed last August he had terminal pancreatic cancer. In a message to Chicago's 2.3 million Catholics, the pope said he learned of Bernardin's death "with great sadness" and spoke of "the cardinal's noble soul" and his "dignity and hope in the face of the mystery of suffering and death."

Court Upholds Baltimore's Bans On Alcohol, Tobacco Billboards

Los Angeles Times

A federal appeals court has upheld Baltimore's bans on billboards advertising tobacco and alcohol in most parts of the city, a ruling that could significantly bolster the Food and Drug Administration's efforts to keep alcohol and cigarette ads away from children.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., by a 2-1 vote Wednesday, upheld the 1994 statutes - the most restrictive of their type in the country. The laws ban "publicly visible" cigarette and alcoholic beverage ads except on property adjacent to an interstate highway, in heavy industrial zones and at sports stadiums.

The 4th Circuit said that government entities could constitutionally impose reasonable restrictions on cigarette and alcohol advertising in order to protect children from being exposed to this type of advertising.

Assistant Attorney General Frank W. Hunger said the Justice Department, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Baltimore's behalf, said the ruling's import extended beyond the Baltimore case. "This will further strengthen the ability of governments and governmental entities, such as the FDA, to keep alcohol and cigarette advertising away from kids," he said.

Clinton Expected to Announce U.S. Will Leave Troops in Bosnia

The Washington Post

President Clinton on Thursday prepared to announce U.S. willingness to participate in a new international peace-keeping force in Bosnia, a step that would reverse a longstanding commitment to bring U.S. troops home from the Balkans within approximately one year.

At a White House meeting with Clinton on Thursday evening, the president's top foreign policy advisers laid out the case for extending the U.S. military presence in Bosnia for a further 12 months, until the end of 1997. Earlier in the day, Defense Secretary William J. Perry went to Capitol Hill to start what is likely to be a drawn-out process of consultations with Congress on the shape of a new peace-keeping force.

White House spokesman Michael McCurry said the president still had a few questions that he wanted his advisers to address regarding the shape of the proposed new force. At the same time, however, officials tentatively scheduled a presidential appearance in the White House briefing room for 10:30 a.m. Friday to outline the president's plans for both Bosnia and central Africa, where the U.S. has promised to commit about 5,000 troops, including 1,000 ground forces, to an international relief mission.