News In Brief

South African forces returned to their bases in Namibia (South West Africa) yesterdaysun after a week-long raid into Angola in which 15 black Namibian guerrillas were killed, the South African military said. There were nine skirmishes with guerrillas of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) and four ammunition dumps were found.

SWAPO, based mainly in Angola, has been fighting Pretoria for control of Namibia for the past 20 years. South Africa rules Namibia in spite of UN calls for its independence.

``Big Five'' industrial nations meet US on currency policy

Treasury Secretary James Baker III and finance ministers from the five industrial nations met privately Sunday to devise a plan to lower the value of the US dollar and raise the value of foreign currencies, a senior Reagan administration official said. Top finance ministers from the US, Britain, France, West Germany and Japan met with Treasury Secretary James Baker and Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul Volcker.

The Reagan administration has agreed to intervene more often in foreign currency markets, that is, to buy and sell gold to maintain certain currency values, the official said.

Twenty small-town mayors held captive by guerrillas

Seven small-town mayors from the ruling Christian Democrat party have been kidnapped since midday Thursday, bringing to 20 the number of mayors held by guerrillas, government officials said Friday. The seven were from the north and central part of the country. Several mayors were taken captive in the northeast last spring, just before and after municipal elections. Some were freed, one was killed, and 13 are believed to be held in the town of Perquin, which is in the control of guerrillas.

Pakistan's Zia says he will lift martial law by Dec. 31

President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq has promised that eight years of martial law in Pakistan will be ended by Dec. 31 and that banned political parties will be able to resume activity. It was the first time Zia, who seized power in a July 1977 coup, has set a firm date for lifting martial law and handing power to the civilian government elected in controlled elections last February.

Struggle to control northern port in Tripoli continues

More families fled Tripoli yesterday amid fresh shelling by rival Muslem militias. Renewed bombardment of residential areas broke a three-hour lull following 12 hours of almost non-stop shelling overnight in which police said at least 10 people were killed and 32 injured in the harbor area alone. The most recent casualties bring the toll to at least 82 people killed and 310 wounded since the fighting began a week ago, according to police statistics.

Syrian officers held talks with Prime Minister Rashid Karami Saturday night on how to end the violence and met officials of the pro-Syrian Arab Democratic Party (ADP) Sunday, a Moslem radio station said.

US, Great Britain gain compromise on nuclear issue

America and Britain gained a compromise early Saturday with some 50 neutral and non-aligned nations that wanted to condemn nuclear tests by the atomic powers. Though the final declaration, accepted by concensus, criticized nuclear-weapon states for ``neglecting'' the treaties arms control obligations, it was cautiously worded.

Its acceptance ended a 3-week conference of the 130 nations that signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

This was the first time in 10 years that agreement on a final statement has been reached.

The bloc of neutral and non-aligned countries failed to pass resolutions urging the US and Britain to match the Soviet moratorium on nuclear tests until Jan. 1, 1986, as a prelude to a permanent ban.

Nicaragua sums up case against US in World Court

Nicaragua summed up seven days of testimony before the World Court Friday, charging that US support for the Contra rebels fighting the Sandinistas violated international law. Nicaragua argued that it is therefore entitled to $375 million in compensation payments for damage caused by the Contras. A ruling is not expected for several months.

US executives form council to urge South African reform

Top executives of General Motors Corporation and Burroughs Corporation announced formation of the US Corporate Council on South Africa, citing a need to reform and ultmately eliminate apartheid in that country. The council will consist of chief executive officers of major US corporations with subsidiaries in South Africa, GM Chairman Roger B. Smith and Burroughs Chairman W. Michael Blumenthal said Friday.

Demonstrations in Sudan against southern rebels

About 40,000 people demonstrated Saturday in Khartoum against the rebels in southern Sudan. Two people were killed in clashes between southerners and northerners, according to the official news agency. Crowds marched on the armed forces headquarters, demanding firmer government action to end the 2-year rebellion by southerners demanding a redistribution of power. The news agency said the demonstration was organized by the Moslem Brotherhood, a politically active fundamentalist group.

Justice Department reviewing lowered academic standards

The Justice Department said Friday it is investigating charges that some public school systems have lowered academic standards in order to graduate more minority students. The investigation began when William Bradford Reynolds became Associate Attorney General for Civil Rights four years ago.

A spokesman said he doubted schools would be prosecuted because Mr. Reynolds feels the courts are not equipped for such cases. Instead, Justice officials will work with the Education Department to negotiate with the schools, he said.

Wheeling steel names new chairman in board shake-up

Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation has named Allen Paulson, the firm's largest single shareholder, chairman. The announcement followed Friday's resignation of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis J. Carney, two vice presidents, and four board members. Mr. Carney said he hoped his leaving would help resolve a 62-day-old strike against the company.

Wheeling-Pittsburgh filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in US Bankruptcy Court in April and won approval July 17 to terminate its labor contract. The company imposed wage and benefit cuts of 18 percent and the company's 8,200 steelworkers walked out July 21 in protest.

Man found guilty of selling cocaine to baseball players

A federal jury found Philadelphia caterer Curtis Strong guilty on 11 of 14 counts of selling cocaine to major-league baseball players. Strong and six others were indicted May 31 after a grand jury investigation into cocaine trafficking involving major-league players.

He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a $25,000 fine for each of the 11 counts. No sentencing date was set.

Former carmaker De Lorean indicted for fraud

John Z. De Lorean has been charged with defrauding investors of $8.9 million. A federal grand jury returned a 15-count indictment against him Friday, charging him with racketeering and other federal crimes. His arraignment is scheduled for next Friday.

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