News In Brief

A bomb exploded yesterday in a shopping center crowded with Christmas vacationers in a Durban resort suburb, killing at least six whites, including several young children, and injuring at least 27 people, police said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing in this Indian Ocean resort reserved by law for whites. There were no further details at press time.

And in Johannesburg yesterday, black activist Winnie Mandela appeared before a magistrate on a charge of defying government restrictions on her actions and movements, and immediately vowed to ignore the order a third time and return to her Soweto home.

The court released Mrs. Mandela after a five-minute hearing and ordered her to appear Jan. 22 at a regional court outside Johannesburg.

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West Coast oil tanker spill perils sea birds

Cleanup crews tackled an oil slick stretching 21 miles off the Washington coast near Canada yesterday as volunteers tried to save hundreds of sea birds coated with the oil. The Atlantic Richfield Company tanker ARCO Anchorage ran aground while trying to drop anchor Saturday, rupturing two tanks and spilling an estimated 117,000 gallons of Alaskan crude oil, a Coast Guard official said.

3 gunmen face more charges in French hostage incident

Three gunmen who seized 32 hostages during a robbery trial in a Nantes courthouse last week were charged Monday with attempted murder and threatening to kill the judges and jury. A Justice Ministry spokesman said France had originally intended to expel the original gunman, Moroccan Abdel Karim Khalki, but Moroccan officials have refused to accept him back in the country.

Khalki will be tried in France along with Georges Courtois and Patrick Thiolet. The three released the last of their hostages Friday night, apparently on condition that Khalki would be allowed to leave France.

Israel admits Syrian planes planned no interception

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin acknowledged Sunday that two Syrian MiG-23s shot down by Israeli jets last month never intended to intercept the Israeli aircraft. In a televised session with military officers, Mr. Rabin said that from different sources Israeli officials now knew that the Syrian planes had no intention of intercepting the Israeli planes over Lebanon.

Reagan signs bill to help farmers over lean period

President Reagan signed into law yesterday a farm bill that is likely to boost federal subsidy spending to record levels while it tries to buffer farmers from the cost of restoring health to US exports. Despite his objections to certain provisions, the President said the legislation was a step closer to the market-oriented industry he has sought.

Sweden offers to set up nuclear-explosion monitors

Sweden offered yesterday to set up a center for monitoring worldwide nuclear blasts as a step toward an atomic-test-ban treaty. The Swedish deputy foreign minister said he welcomed Soviet statements indicating acceptance of inspections on nuclear test sites as part of a test ban and Moscow's response to a five-continent proposal for setting up monitoring stations in various countries.

Americans' income goes up, but so does their spending

Americans' personal income rose 0.6 percent in November, the biggest advance in seven months, while their spending soared a sharp 0.9 percent, the government reported yesterday. The rise in consumer spending followed a big 1.4 percent decline in October, which had been the largest drop in spending since May 1960. The October drop was blamed on weak demand for new autos following two months of strong sales spurred by attractive cut-rate financing deals.

Survey finds high incidence of shoplifting among youth

A Georgia State University survey found that 43 percent of teen-agers 15 to 19 years old have shoplifted, saying that 1 out of 3 children aged seven to 19 has stolen from stores. Shoplifting, according to GSU sources, is the largest monetary crime in the country, accounting for at least $16 billion in losses to US businesses each year.

Contact efforts produce no movement in hostages issue

A French government team seeking the release of four French hostages left Lebanon yesterday to bring the kidnappers' demands to Paris, saying the next step depended upon the government. There was no indication that the team had met British church envoy Terry Waite, who arrived on Friday to pursue contacts for the release of the four American hostages.

And in London, a British Foreign Office official said that Britain would not bargain with kidnappers for the release of journalist Alec Collett, who was kidnapped in Beirut nine months ago.

It is not known whether any of the hostages are being held together or how many groups are involved in the kidnappings. The Islamic Jihad has claimed the abductions of both the French and the Americans.

Coal mine blast kills 18, injures 8 in Poland

A methane gas explosion killed 18 coal miners and injured 8 others doing maintenance work in a pit in southwest Poland, the official PAP news agency reported yesterday.

Mubarak says Arafat seeks way to acknowledge Israel

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Monday that Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat has assured him he is seeking a way to accept UN resolutions acknowledging Israel's right to exist. President Mubarak also said, in an interview with NBC-TV's ``Today'' show, that Jordan's King Hussein will strike out on his own to make peace with Israel if Arafat fails to join him quickly.

US ordered to help pay cost of Chicago desegregation

A judge ordered the federal government yesterday to provide up to $17 million to help Chicago desegregate its public schools, and additional aid totaling up to $17 million annually in fiscal 1986 through 1989. The decision is the latest in a five-year legal battle growing out of a 1982 consent decree entered into by the Justice Department and the Chicago Board of Education to desegregate the nation's third-largest school system.

A Justice Department attorney said the government would appeal the court's ruling.

After living a month in car, worker sights the open road

Unemployed construction worker Stacey Angus has been living since Nov. 14 inside a parked 1986 Ford Escort in a bid to win the car, and has vowed to stay there until noon Christmas Eve. In an advertising promotion at Bill Stewart's Chillicothe Auto Mall, the owner said he would give the car to whoever was seated behind the wheel at noon Dec. 24.

A nearby restaurant sends Mr. Angus three free meals each day, and he even got a Christmas card addressed to ``the guy in the little red Escort.''

The Christian Science Monitor will not be published on Dec. 25, a national holiday in the United States.

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