News In Brief

The US, Japan and the Soviet Union signed an agreement yesterday to improve the safety of civil aircraft flying over the Pacific. The plan provides for a communications network, anchored in Anchorage, Tokyo and Khabarovsk air control centers, which will coordinate assistance to civil aircraft in emergency situations.

The talks were aimed at avoiding an incident similar to the one on Sept. 1, 1983, when a Soviet fighter plane shot down a Korean commercial airliner, killing all 269 persons aboard.

While agreement in principle was reached in July, technical experts from the three countries are scheduled to begin discussions this week in Moscow to work out details.

The State Department said the arrangement opens the door to possible resumption of commercial flights between the US and the Soviet Union.

Seoul police quell protests against financial meetings

Police used tear gas to disperse about 1,300 South Korean students demonstrating yesterday against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Seoul, witnesses said. They were demanding the resignation of President Chun Doo Hwan and opposing the current financial talks in Seoul.

GOP congressional leaders air their own trade package

Republicans leaders in Congress came up with their own trade legislation package yesterday, in answer to pressure on the trade issue. They outlined a 23-point measure that envisions a possible sale of Alaskan oil to Japan and a limited increase in power for the nation's top trade negotiator. Under the measure, the US International Trade Commission, which considers industry requests for tariffs and quotas for protection from damaging import competition, would make its recommendations to the US trade representative rather than to the president, as is now the case.

Workers hunt survivors in Puerto Rican disaster

Workers dug through the mud and debris of devastated shantytowns yesterday, looking for people caught in the mud slides and floods that killed at least 60 people and left entire towns cut off. A major storm passed over the island Monday, dumping as much as seven inches of rain in some places within a 10-hour period. Most major highways were flooded, dozens of bridges washed out, thousands of people left homeless, and telephone service disrupted.

Inquiry asked into reports Filipino staff died at US bases

A member of the National Assembly called yesterday for an investigation of newspaper reports that Filipino workers had died from asbestos and radiation poisoning at two US bases in the northern Philippines. The Bulletin Today newspaper reported in May that 20 workers at Subic Naval Base had died from asbestos poisoning and that eight at Clark Air Force Base died from cancer caused by radiation.

Premier of Portugal says he'll still seek presidency

Prime Minister M'ario Soares, who resigned Monday night, said yesterday he would still run for the presidency in January despite his Socialist Party's defeat in Sunday's general election. Social Democratic Party leader Anibal Cavaco Silva was due to meet President Ant^onio Ramalho Eanes later yesterday to discuss the formation of Portugal's 16th government since the 1974 armed forces revolution, which toppled a right-wing dictatorship.

Government or party officials from Cuba barred from US

President Reagan yesterday barred officials or employees of the Cuban government or the Communist Party of Cuba from entering the United States. The President said he was acting in response to Cuba's decision to suspend a US-Cuban immigration agreement.

Federal Reserve to strengthen supervision of US banking

The Federal Reserve Board says it will step up the frequency of bank examinations and make other changes to strengthen bank supervision. Under the new policy, the state-chartered banks will be examined every year instead of every 18 months. The 32 largest bank holding companies, those with over $10 billion in assets, will be examined twice a year.

The stepped-up supervision was the result of an internal Fed review following a year of record bank failures and the near-collapse of Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Company of Chicago in July 1984.

Low-paid workers missing on overtime pay, GAO says

Many of America's lowest-paid workers are being cheated out of overtime pay and minimum wages because the federal government is not enforcing an important labor law, the General Accounting Office says. The GAO, in a report to a House labor subcommittee, said the Justice and Labor Departments often ignore violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, because penalties are light and investigators feel their time is better spent on other projects.

Surveillance tapes barred in former FBI agent's trial

Prosecutors were not permitted to show jurors in the Richard W. Miller spy case videotapes that FBI agents took of Mr. Miller while he was under surveillance. US District Judge David Kenyon ruled Monday that Miller, the first FBI agent charged with espionage, has chosen not to testify at his trial and should not be forced to do so by the introduction of a previously undisclosed tape.

The defense rested Friday without calling Miller to the witness stand. Prosecutors expected to finish their rebuttal yesterday.

Chrysler buying firm to push its role in consumer loans

Chrysler Corporation will buy FinanceAmerica, a BankAmerica Corporation subsidiary, for $405 million in a transaction intended to give the automaker a greater stake in direct consumer lending, the companies announced yesterday. The agreement will make Chrysler Financial Corporation, the automaker's credit subsidiary, a more independent company with potential for significant growth and profits, Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca said.

Columbia U to divest stocks with South African links

Six months after Columbia University students held a lengthy sit-in to demand divestment of the university's stock in companies with South African operations, the school's trustees have voted to sell the stock. The board of trustees agreed Monday to sell about $39 million in common stock in US companies doing business in South Africa, with ``appropriate exceptions,'' such as news media companies.

Shipbuilders in Bath, Maine, back at work with pay freeze

Shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works accepted a wage freeze and other concessions coupled with $2,000 in bonuses and returned to work yesterday for the first time since striking 101 days ago.

Two British women freed by kiddnappers in Beirut

Two British women who were kidnapped in Muslim west Beirut 14 days ago were released Tuesday. They appeared shaken, but apparently unharmed. The women, Amanda McGrath, a teacher at the American University of Beirut's intensive-English program, and Hazel Moss, a former restaurant manager, were freed near the Commodore Hotel in west Beirut late in the evening.

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