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World Briefs I

Pope Offers Apology For Past Killings, Calls For Christian Unity

The Washington Post

Surrounded by a candlelit ocean of young Catholic pilgrims from around the world, Pope John Paul II preached Saturday night a message of Christian reconciliation marked by an apology for the massacre of thousands of Protestants by French Catholics exactly four and a quarter centuries ago.

"Christians did things which the Gospel condemns," the pope said in French during a three-hour prayer vigil he led on the outskirts of Paris. He was referring to the slaughter of thousands _ and perhaps tens of thousands _ in the streets of Paris on St. Bartholomew's Day _ Aug. 24, 1572 _ that helped spread a religious war in France and still casts a shadow over religious discourse here.

"Belonging to different religious traditions shouldn't constitute a source of opposition and tension. On the contrary, our common love of Christ pushes us relentlessly to seek the path of unity," the pope said to cheers from an ebullient crowd that covered the infield of the Longchamp racetrack on the western edge of Paris.

According to police estimates, more than 700,000 people turned out to see and hear the pope on his sixth visit to France in his 19 years at the Holy See.

The gathering is the last to take place outside Italy as the Vatican works toward the celebratory climax of the new millennium and 2,000 years of Christian history. The pope hopes the events will generate an international revival of Roman Catholicism.

Thompson Vows Panel Will Probe DNC-Teamster Ties

The Washington Post

Sen. Fred D. Thompson, R-Tenn., meeting in Indianapolis Saturday with Midwestern GOP activists, said the Senate committee he heads will fully investigate whether Democratic National Committee officials illegally contributed to the re-election campaign of Teamsters President Ron Carey.

Thompson, chairman of the Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee, said the Teamsters had raised some concerns about the breadth of a subpoena issued by the committee and had not been cooperative. He said the committee would take up the issue in September or October.

"If their idea is to stonewall, then we're going to have some problems," Thompson said, surrounded by reporters before speaking at luncheon at the Midwest Republican Leadership conference.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that the Justice Department was investigating whether the DNC contributed to Carey's campaign in return for union contributions to President Clinton's campaign last year.

"If the allegations that have been reported in some detail in The Washington Post today are true, it's a very disturbing matter," he said. "It's just another indication we had a situation in the last presidential election that was out of hand."

In his speech at the luncheon, Thompson said the GOP should take the lead on campaign finance reform. He said he would support a campaign finance bill sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell Feingold, D-Wis. McCain has said he hopes to bring the bill to floor next month, and Thompson said he would support attempts to attach it to unrelated legislation to help it pass.

Census Study Proposes Solution for Racial Identification


A four-year study by a U.S. Census task force has produced a solution for Tiger Woods.

Woods, the celebrated golfer, describes himself as "Cablinasian," reflecting his Caucasian, black, American-Indian and Asian background. So he might have had difficulty with 1990 census forms that require him to designate his race as either white, black, Asian (or Pacific islander), American Indian, Eskimo or Aleut. Or he could check the "other" box.

After studying census procedures the task force, representing 30 federal agencies, recommended that the "other" box be eliminated and that people be able to check more than one of the rest.

Census officials estimate that multiracial families make up 1 percent to 2 percent of the population. But the number is growing, which has prompted controversy over the proper way to record that diversity in the upcoming 2000 census.

The task force weighed retaining the "other" designation as well as adding a "multiracial" designation before opting for a multiple-choice solution. "There is no general understanding of what the term (multiracial) means," the task force concluded last month. "Having a separate category would, in effect, create another population group and no doubt add to racial tension and further fragmentation of our population."