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BARRED: China barred a representative of Amnesty International from entering the country Thursday. Nick Howen, head of the human rights group's legal department, was to attend the 7th International Anti-Corruption Conference, which opens Friday in Beijing. But when he arrived at the Beijing airport on a British Airways flight from London, authorities took his passport and asked him to wait. Amnesty International spokesman Anita Tiessen said they believed Chinese authorities put him back on the British Airways plane, which was returning to London.WON'T RUN: One of Russia's most popular politicians, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, says he will not be a candidate for the Russian presidency in 1996. The announcement Wednesday seemed aimed at improving Chernomyrdin's relations with President Boris Yeltsin, recently rumored to be considering removing the prime minister. Chernomyrdin, who leads the new political party Our Home is Russia, has lately emerged as a potential rival to Yeltsin.

Across the nation

100TH EXECUTION: A man was executed by injection for killing a 17-year-old cashier during a supermarket robbery, becoming the 100th Texas inmate put to death since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982. Harold Joe Lane, who claimed the shooting was an accident, smiled at his two brothers who watched his execution Wednesday night. Lane, 50, said he was high on drugs and alcohol when he robbed a Winn-Dixie store of $3,300 in 1982. He shot cashier Tammy Davis in the head as he fled and was caught by police shortly after.

MOB SLAYING: The brother of a hit man-turned-informant was shot to death as he drove to work Thursday morning in Philadelphia, just hours before his brother was to testify against a reputed mob boss. Gunmen pulled up to Billy Veasey's car as he stopped at a corner near his home, police said. The gunshots shattered the passenger and driver's windows. Officials speculated that Veasey, believed to be a Mafia associate, was slain in retaliation for his brother's cooperation in the federal investigation of the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob.