Facebook Twitter

NEWS CAPSULES

Around the world

RUSSIA: President Boris Yeltsin said Tuesday the Russian army should be reduced to 1.5 million men, once again putting him at odds with senior military officials who envisage a much larger force. "Gradually - I stress, gradually - the army's numerical strength will be cut and brought down to 1.5 million," Yeltsin said at a reception for graduates of Russian military academies held in the Kremlin.YEMEN: Southern forces Tuesday fought off a renewed northern Yemeni assault on Aden aimed at seizing the city's only oil refinery as thousands of inhabitants of the besieged city remained without water and electricity. The north Yemeni ground assault, backed by tanks and heavy machine-gun fire, followed bombing raids on the refinery Monday and a week of sustained shelling of the center of the capital of breakaway southern Yemen.

Across the nation

EXPLOSION: A fiery chemical explosion rocked an agricultural feed mill in Indianapolis early Tuesday, injuring at least 11 people, some with serious burns. "The whole sky looked like a big fireball," said witness John McGavock.

SMOKING MEASURE: A Philip Morris-sponsored measure to soften California's tough anti-smoking laws will appear on California's November ballot. The measure had well over the 384,974 voter signatures needed to qualify, acting Secretary of State Tony Miller said Monday. The initiative, backed by the nation's largest tobacco company, would replace local anti-smoking ordinances with one uniform state law.

NABBED: Federal agents arrested more than 60 people in six states and Europe in an undercover operation that created a fake financial consulting firm to launder drug profits. Two reputed members of the Medellin and Cali drug cartels were arrested Monday in Atlanta, where the U.S. Customs Service set up M&M International Worldwide Inc. They were charged with selling cocaine and laundering money and face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Agents seized about $15 million in cash, 43 kilograms of cocaine and 250 pounds of marijuana.