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Around the world

SCANDAL: A navy commander has been jailed for life for passing military secrets to arms dealers in the worst scandal to hit Taiwan's secretive weapons-buying program. Chang Ke-wen, 40, was sentenced Tuesday on charges of disclosing classified information about the navy's shipbuilding and purchase plans to two Taiwanese businessmen acting as agents for Fincantieri and Wilton Fijenoord, shipbuilders based in Genoa, Italy, and Rotterdam, Netherlands, the military said.TYPHOON: Landslides caused by heavy rains on the heels of Typhoon Doug blocked roads in northeastern Taiwan Wed-nes-day, leaving more than 4,000 people with only two days of rations, according to rescue workers.

Across the nation

CAPTURED: An inmate who braided minty-waxed dental floss into a 20-foot rope to freedom smiled and joked when he was captured five weeks later, police in South Charleston, W.Va., said. Police caught Robert Dale Shepard on a brushy hillside Tuesday after he allegedly robbed a pharmacy in Mineral Wells, Trooper B.D. Adkins said. Shepard had escaped while awaiting trial on charges of robbing a post office. Now he'll likely face more charges of escape and robbery, police said.

ARRESTS: Two months after suspected gang members burst into a high school graduation party and opened fire, killing two teens and injuring seven in San Marino, Calif., police have made nine arrests. The suspects were arrested early Tuesday for investigation of murder and attempted murder. Police also seized five weapons and boxes of ammunition, and planned ballistics tests to see if they were used in the attack.

HEMOPHILIACS: A group of hemophiliacs infected with the AIDS virus has rejected a $160 million settlement proposed by two companies accused of supplying tainted blood products. The plaintiffs said they believe they can get more than $30,000 each from Baxter International Inc. and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc. now that their lawsuit has been certified as a class action.

In Washington

INDICTED: A top Interior Department official is accused of conspiring to hide the financial condition of two failing banks from federal regulators. A federal grand jury indicted Tho-mas A. Fry III on charges of bank fraud and conspiracy, the Justice Department said Tuesday. Fry, director of Minerals Management Service, was one of 10 former executives and associates of the two failed banks and an investment company to be indicted.

LENDING: The federal government could spend $382 million to encourage lending in inner cities, poor rural areas and Indian reservations under legislation awaiting President Clinton's signature. The bill, adopted by voice vote in the Senate on Tuesday, is a watered-down version of a 1992 campaign proposal by Clinton. He is expected to sign it even though he originally envisioned spending nearly $1 billion to create 100 new for-profit banks specializing in community development lending.