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World Briefs I

Yeltsin Appoints Potential Successor to His Cabinet

Los Angeles Times

Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin lured a potential presidential successor into his camp Monday, appointing charismatic young governor Boris Y. Nemtsov to a powerful post in his Cabinet.

Yeltsin's surprise move, on the eve of his summit in Finland with President Clinton, gave the job of first deputy premier to the popular, 37-year-old governor of Nizhny Novgorod - who not long ago was leading protests against nuclear power and Yeltsin's war in Chechnya.

"I will not lie; I will not take bribes or steal," pledged Nemtsov, who has been a leader in his region's economic reconstruction. In his first act in his new post, he called on government officials to give up their Mercedes and Rolls-Royces and get into Russian-made cars - which are the main product of his home region.

The appointment of Nemtsov was one of several moves Yeltsin made Monday in an effort to revitalized his troubled government and jump-start the country's stagnant economy. Several conservative ministers were replaced by market-oriented Yeltsin allies, who will now take firm control of the Cabinet.

Wang Jun's Visit to White House Deemed Inappropriate

The Washington Post

China International Trust and Investment Corp. (CITIC) said Monday that although Lehman Brothers Inc. invited CITIC's chairman, Wang Jun, to visit the United States in February 1996, the principal intermediary for Wang's attendance at a White House coffee for Democratic fund-raisers was the Little Rock, Ark., restaurateur Charles Yah Lin Trie.

As explained by Wang last week, the purpose of his U.S. visit was to explore the American market's interest in possible new Chinese bond issues. His explanation raised the possibility that his visit might have been linked to efforts of American financiers seeking to court CITIC and Wang for their business, rather than Wang seeking to sway U.S. government policy.

The issue of what Wang was doing in the United States and at the White House has been controversial because Wang, in addition to running China's most influential financial and industrial conglomerate, also is chairman of a Chinese arms-trading company under investigation for alleged involvement in a weapons smuggling case in San Francisco.

Clinton has called Wang's attendance at the White House coffee "clearly inappropriate."

Panel Rebukes Torricelli for Claims in Guatemala Murder Cases

Los Angeles Times

In a rare public rebuke to a fellow member of Congress, the Republican majority of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has concluded that Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., made false allegations about the CIA's role in two high-profile murder cases in Guatemala involving a U.S. citizen and a rebel married to another American.

But in its final report on the lingering controversy on the CIA's role in Guatemala, the House intelligence panel still agreed with earlier government investigations that the CIA's paid informants in the Guatemalan army were involved in serious human rights abuses, that CIA officials knew of their involvement and kept that information from Congress.

Torricelli's office angrily responded to the House report, saying in a statement: "It is the Central Intelligence Agency and not Sen. Torricelli that has failed in its duty to the American people."

The statement said Torricelli stood by "the general accuracy" of his contentions, and maintained the facts remained murky.

Democratic members of the House intelligence committee also dissented from the Republican majority report, disagreeing that Torricelli had been discredited.