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News Briefs II

Sentencing of Rep. Kim Is Postponed Until January

Los Angeles Times

A federal judge has postponed until Jan. 14 the sentencing of U.S. Rep. Jay C. Kim, R-Calif., and his wife, June, who pleaded guilty in August to misdemeanor charges of knowingly accepting and concealing more than $230,000 in illegal campaign contributions from corporate and foreign donors.

The Kims were to have been sentenced Oct. 23, but Judge Richard A. Paez granted a delay at the request of the federal probation office, which is preparing a pre-sentencing report on the couple for the court.

Under terms of a plea agreement with the Kims, the U.S. Attorney's office agreed to seek no more than six months jail time for them.

Ex-Ruler Regains Congo Republic

The Washington Post

One day after his militia forces and their Angolan allies captured the Congo Republic's two principal cities, the country's former military ruler declared Thursday that he had regained power.

The Congo Republic's capital, Brazzaville, and its main Atlantic port, Pointe-Noire, were reported quite in control of Denis Sassou-Nguesso's militia, which has had crucial support from Angolan troops. President Pascal Lissouba, in hiding, declared that he remains the country's elected president, but he appeared to have little hope of reversing his defeat in a four-month civil war.

Foreign powers accepted Sassou-Nguesso's seizure of power, the third military overthrow of an African government since May. Diplomats and some other analysts warned that Sassou-Nguesso's victory, unhindered by outside powers, may tempt others on the continent to seize power.

The Congo Republic's former colonial ruler, France, said it accepted Sassou-Nguesso's takeover as an accomplished fact. In a BBC interview, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Yves Doutriaux suggested that the takeover was not a simple overthrow of an elected civilian government. "I would say that there was a cycle of violence," he said. "We would have preferred a political resolution."

France's secretary of state for cooperation, Charles Josselin, told Europe 1 radio: "We can say today that the man we talk to, so as to put in place a new democratic process, is clearly Sassou-Nguesso."

Washington offered no prominent criticism of Sassou-Nguesso's takeover, reserving its displeasure for Angola's cross-border intervention. State Department spokesman James P. Rubin repeated Thursday that Washington had protested to Angola, which reportedly provided Sassou-Nguesso with troops, armor and air power this week.

In addition to holding the major urban centers, Sassou-Nguesso's militia, called the Cobras, appears to have pushed back the forces of Lissouba and Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas to their home areas in the country between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. "For us, the war is over because we have control of almost all the country," Sassou-Nguesso told Radio France International in Brazzaville, which lies across the Congo River from Kinshasa, capital of Congo, formerly Zaire.