News In Brief

Security forces have rearrested one of the most prominent Palestinians freed in a prisoner exchange with the PLO in May, on suspicion he planned to hijack an Israeli bus, state radio said yesterday. Authorities in the West Bank town of Ramallah said they had detained Ziad Abu Ein, who was convicted of killing two Israeli youths in a 1979 bomb attack. The authorities said they had jurisdiction in the case because of the ``administrative detention law,'' a concept that had drawn criticism as giving the government too much power.

The arrest came as Prime Minister Shimon Peres, under pressure to take tougher action against West Bank guerrillas, was meeting with his 10-man inner Cabinet on bolstering security, an aide said.

FBI charges six with plot to smuggle missiles to Iran

An Army officer, four other men, and a woman were arrested in Florida, California, and Virginia yesterday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of plotting to smuggle arms to Iran.

New Delhi under tight rein in wake of sectarian murders

New Delhi was under tight security yesterday because of concern that riots would follow the murder of a government parliamentarian and powerful union leader who spoke out strongly against Sikh extremists. The test of the clampdown would be the funeral of Lalit Maken, a close associate of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Mr. Maken, his wife, and a job-seeking visitor were shot and killed outside their home Wednesday. The murders set off the biggest security clampdown in the capital since 72 people were killed last May in a bombing blitz by extremists.

Ex-aide to former President sworn in as Ugandan premier

Paulo Muwanga, who once served under dictator Idi Amin and who was the top lieutenant of deposed President Milton Obote, was sworn in yesterday as prime minister of the military government that seized power in a coup five days ago. In Nairobi, Kenya, a source at the World Bank said the bank was evacuating its foreign employees and dependents from Uganda and temporarily suspending projects because of instability there.

More than 300 other foreigners -- who were evacuated from Uganda -- including 62 Americans, according to the State Department in Washington -- reached the border town of Busia, Kenya, Wednesday and described widespread looting, random grenade attacks, and reckless gunfire by soldiers after the coup.

Peking says smuggling ring pervaded island officialdom

Nearly all government departments on Hainan Island, including schools and nurseries, were involved in a smuggling ring, China's official press said yesterday. The People's Daily overseas edition said top cadres on the island bought $570 million worth of US currency on the black market to import more than 89,000 cars and other items for illegal resale to other parts of China at huge profits.

The ring was made possible by a 1983 decision to give the island the power to import goods for use on the island at special rates to help its economy. Three top government officials have been fired and 143 criminal cases are under investigation.

Lebanese Christians closing ranks before Muslim talks

Christian leaders are patching up longstanding splits before talks with Muslims on ending sectarian strife. Suleiman Franjieh, a Christian chieftain and former President, met with militia chief Elie Hobeika of the powerful Christian ``Lebanese Forces'' militia Wednesday.

The meeting came less than 24 hours after Syria delivered some 40 tanks to Shiite Muslim militiamen in Beirut. Political sources said the tanks were aimed at strengthening the hand of Shiite leader Nabih Berri in talks Syria wants to arrange shortly between Lebanese Christians and Muslims on political reforms.

Gorbachev takes post at head of armed forces committee

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has assumed the chairmanship of the powerful Defense Committee, which has control over the armed forces in the event of war. Leonid Zamyatin, head of the Communist Party Central Committee's international information department, made the announcement, saying the defense post automatically went with the party leadership. It was the first public Soviet confirmation of this fact.

The announcement of Mr. Gorbachev's defense post came amid a shake-up in the top ranks of the military, mirroring his drive to revitalize the party apparatus and the economy.

Reagan asks speed on putting social security outside politics

President Reagan would like to accelerate the schedule for severing the social security system from the federal budget to ``remove social security from deficit politics'' and encourage people to ``stop toying with the emotions'' of pensioners, a White House spokesman said yesterday. The bookkeeping change, scheduled to take place under current law in 1992, would have no direct effect on social security payroll taxes or benefits. Advocates of the separation contend it would relieve political pressure on lawmakers to trim federal deficits by tampering with social security, as Republicans attempted to do this year.

Two opposition parties joining forces in Turkey

Turkey's two moderate leftist parties announced Wednesday they will merge, the semiofficial Anatolia news agency reported. The two are the Populist Party and the Social Democracy Party, which form the major opposition to the governing party.

FBI to investigate police raid on MOVE in Philadelphia

The FBI will investigate the police raid on the MOVE compound that ended in a massive fire and the deaths of 11 members of the radical cult, the US Attorney's office said. The US Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation into whether civil rights laws were violated in the MOVE assault, federal officials said Wednesday.

CBS shareholders hand blow to Turner takeover

CBS's plan to buy back 21 percent of its stock received an enthusiastic reception from shareholders yesterday, delivering a blow to the hopes of cable television magnate Ted Turner to take over the country's biggest network. As of midnight Wednesday, stockholders had pledged 25.4 million shares of common stock, well over the 6.3 million CBS planned to purchase.

US immigration official OKs parole for 3 Cuban refugees

The district director of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service has approved the paroles of three imprisoned Cuban refugees in the past week and says he will consider more on an individual basis. The federal government had opposed release of the prisoners, who were among 125,000 refugees who arrived in the United States in the 1980 ``Freedom Flotilla.'' Authorities locked up those with criminal records or histories of mental health problems. The Atlanta federal penitentiary houses 1,861 of those Cubans.

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