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News Briefs II

Wei Warns Clinton of Being Deceived' by Chinese Leaders

Los Angeles Times

Ignoring requests by China's leaders, President Clinton met Monday with Wei Jingsheng, just three weeks after the prominent Chinese dissident was released from prison and exiled from his homeland.

But in an apparent effort to avoid damaging relations with Beijing, White House officials played down the 35-minute meeting, calling it a personal visit. They released an official photograph rather than allowing news photographers or reporters into the private session.

In a news conference after the meeting, Wei told reporters he warned Clinton of the danger of being "deceived" by Chinese leaders.

Wei, 47, who spent all but six months of the last 18 years in prison because of his efforts to bring democracy to China, said his experience has shown him that the Chinese government often breaks promises. "Very often, you unwittingly allow yourself to be deceived," he said.

When pressed to explain what he meant, Wei said through an interpreter: "In dealing with the Communists, do not pay before the goods are delivered."

Clinton talked to Chinese President Jiang Zemin about Wei and other political prisoners during Jiang's official visit to Washington in late October. On Nov. 16, Wei was released from prison in what has been interpreted as a goodwill gesture on the part of Jiang's government.

Lorena Bobbitt Charged With Punching Her Mother

The Washington Post

The woman formerly known as Lorena Bobbitt, who became internationally famous for slicing off her husband's penis, appeared in a Prince William County, Va., court Monday on a charge that she punched her mother in the face.

Lorena Gallo, who now uses her maiden name, appeared in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. Police said they were called Friday night by Bobbitt's mother, who said she was watching television when she was attacked by Gallo.

Police said Gallo's brother intervened to stop the attack, which allegedly left his mother with scrapes on her face. Gallo was arrested later that night at a friend's Woodbridge, Va., home and released on a $750 bond, police said.

Investigators said they were unsure what prompted the alleged assault. "There was ongoing family tension," said Kim D. Chinn, police spokeswoman. "What the nature of it is, I do not know."

Gallo appeared composed Monday during her three-minute hearing before Judge Janice B. Wellington. Wellington set Gallo's trial for April 2 and said she could remain free, barring any "illegal contact" with her mother. Gallo lives with her parents in Prince William, and, according to her attorney, William Boyce, will continue to do so.

Last year, a Prince William County Circuit Court judge released Gallo from court-ordered therapy and supervision, following the recommendations of both her therapist and the county's Community Service Board.