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News Briefs I

Investigators Question Clinton About Campaign Spending

Los Angeles Times

Justice Department investigators questioned President Clinton for 90 minutes Monday, looking into potential violations of campaign finance laws.

At issue is whether the campaign tried to circumvent campaign spending limits by asking the Democratic National Committee to pay for $40 million in so-called issue advertising aimed at undermining the Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole, and promoting Clinton's campaign. By accepting federal campaign funds, a candidate must abide by specific spending limits.

The interview, conducted by two Justice Department officials and two FBI agents, took place in the Treaty Room of the White House residence, a White House official said. He added that three private attorneys - Kendall, Nicole Seligman and a third lawyer - attended the question-and-answer session, but no White House lawyers were present.

Pinochet Lawyers Say Chilean Courts Should Decide His Fate

Los Angeles Times

Lawyers fighting Gen. Augusto Pinochet's extradition to Spain on torture and genocide charges told Britain's highest court on Monday that Chile alone should be allowed to decide the fate of its former dictator.

"We submit that your lordships will be expressing a view on the internal arrangements which assured a peaceful transition to democracy (in Chile)," Attorney Clare Montgomery said.

She noted that at least 11 lawsuits are pending against Pinochet in Chile, stemming from the deaths or disappearance of more than 3,000 people during his 17-year rule, and that the courts there should determine whether he is entitled to immunity as a senator for life.

Pinochet, 82, was arrested on Oct. 16 on a warrant from a Spanish magistrate seeking to try him in Madrid for the crimes committed after he toppled the elected Socialist President Salvador Allende in a bloody coup in 1973. Spanish citizens were among those who died or disappeared in the aftermath of the coup.

It is unclear when the senior Law Lords will reach a decision. If they rule against Pinochet, it would then be up to Britain's home secretary to decide what to do with the former dictator.

Germany Commemorates the Kristallnacht Amid Controversy

The Washington Post

Sixty years after Nazi storm troopers ransacked Jewish shops in a pogrom that foreshadowed the Holocaust, Germany commemorated the infamous Night of Broken Glass Monday amid debate over whether the country should draw its era of penitence to a close.

At a ceremony in Berlin's restored synagogue attended by 2,000 people, including new Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and other dignitaries, President Roman Herzog recalled the Nazi rampage as "one of the most horrible and shameful events in German history." Yet in many respects, Herzog's cautionary message was focused more on the future than the past.

The debate over Germany's future was sparked by the election two weeks ago of Schroeder, 54, the first German leader with no personal recollection of World War II. Freed from any first-hand connection to the Nazi regime by what is called "the mercy of a late birth," Schroeder speaks often of the need for Germans to remember history but not allow it to weigh too heavily on their shoulders.