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News In Brief

December 18, 1985


West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl named Economics Minister Martin Bangemann to lead negotiations to give West German companies full access to US ``star wars'' research. The unexpected announcement of Mr. Bangemann's appointment was made a day before Mr. Kohl's Cabinet was to meet to formally approve negotiations for the defense program.

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US payments balance fell near new low in 3rd quarter

The nation's balance of payments plummeted to a near-record deficit of $30.5 billion during the July-September quarter, pushing the country further into the status of a debtor nation, the government reported yesterday. This account measures not only trade in merchandise but also in services, mainly investment earnings.

Also reported yesterday, housing construction dropped 12.2 percent in November, the steepest decline in six months, the Commerce Department said.

West Bank university closed to quash anti-Israel session

Israeli occupation authorities closed the Palestinian university of An-Najah in the West Bank city of Nablus Tuesday to prevent a symposium on armed struggle against Israel, military officials said. Officials said the move was taken after Israeli authorities repeatedly warned the university against holding meetings like the one planned for yesterday.

UN Council expected to OK call for all hostage releases

The Security Council is likely to give unanimous approval to a draft resolution with both US and Soviet support that calls for the release of all hostages, a Western diplomatic source said. The draft resolution marks the first time the Council has reached consensus the hostage issue, which has set off disagreements in the past over the justification for actions taken by so-called national liberation movements, the source said.

5 summoned in Philadelphia about ouster of black couple

Five people have been subpoenaed to appear tomorrow before a federal grand jury investigating arson at the former home of a black couple hounded out of a white neighborhood. The black couple, Charles Williams and Marietta Bloxon, moved out of the house late last month shortly after 400 whites chanted, ``Beat it'' and ``We want them out'' during a demonstration outside the house Nov. 20.

Ulster Protestants granted election that poses a protest

Northern Ireland Protestant parliamentarians yesterday won the right to wage a mini-general election early next year as a gesture of protest at a newly signed Anglo-Irish accord on the future of the province. The action followed the resignation of 15 Northern Ireland Protestant members of Parliament, most of them Monday night. Vinicio Cerezo

Guatemala's President-elect won't accede to US policy

Guatemalan President-elect Vinicio Cerezo said yesterday he looks to the United States as a partner in his country's democratic development, but he dissociated himself from American policy in Central America. Mr. Cerezo's government, which will take office Jan. 14, will pursue a policy of ``active neutrality'' toward Central America's conflicts and organize a forum to resolve differences without confrontation.

House backs ban on bullets that can pierce body armor