News In Brief

Communist rebels in the Philippines resumed peace talks yesterday and the government said substantial progress was made but no agreement was concluded. Officials on both sides, however, said an announcement of a cease-fire was imminent, possibly coming today. Yesterday's meeting was the first between the two sides since the rebels suspended the talks two weeks ago after the assassination of leftist labor leader Rolando Olalia.

UN plans redeployment of forces in Lebanon

The United Nations is planning a ``substantial redeployment'' of the peacekeeping force in South Lebanon, according to UN officials. This redeployment includes the redrawing of battalion boundaries and a reduction of the French contingent to 520 men. At its height, the French UNIFIL contingent consisted of 1,400 men. The reduction comes at the suggestion of the UN, after a spate of guerrilla attacks against the French troops during the summer. The purpose of the redeployment is to make more economical use of forces and to close positions that have made troops vulnerable, a UN official said. The UN command does not expect the redeployment to diminish the effectiveness of the peacekeeping force.

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General Rogers planning to leave NATO next year

US Army Gen. Bernard Rogers plans to retire as NATO military commander next year and may be replaced by the chief of the US Southern Command in Panama, Army Gen. John Galvin, Pentagon officials said yesterday. General Rogers has been the supreme allied commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Europe since 1979.

Canada to raise prices on lumber to satisfy US

Canada will raise the price of its lumber by 15 percent in an effort to end a month-old US tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, Canadian Finance Minister Michael Wilson said Monday. A softwood price increase at the border would hurt Canadian lumber producers, whose softwood exports to the United States are worth about $2.8 billion annually. Nevertheless, Mr. Wilson says he hopes producers will suggest ways to achieve such an increase.

The US tariff, which Wilson called an ``irritation,'' was imposed after the US Commerce Department upheld complaints from domestic lumber producers that Canada's method of assigning timber rights amounts to an unfair subsidy.

Inflation up just 0.2% last month, US says

Inflation remained in check during October as consumer prices rose a slight 0.2 percent, the government reported Tuesday. The rise in prices followed a 0.3 percent gain in September, the Labor Department said. The October increase was in line with analysts' expectations and means the inflation rate for the past 12 months was an exceptionally moderate 1.5 percent.

But the Commerce Department provided a further sign that the economy remains sluggish, saying that new orders to US manufacturers for durable goods were down by 6 percent in October, to $102.2 billion.

Beirut hostage described as having been a CIA man

William Buckley, one of the Americans kidnapped in Lebanon, was the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Beirut operations at the time of his 1984 capture, the Washington Post said yesterday. The CIA tried for a year to find Mr. Buckley, and his reported death after torture led President Reagan in 1985 to order intensified efforts to find and free the American hostages, the newspaper reported.

The Post, quoting knowledgeable US government sources, said Buckley was one of the agency's leading experts on terrorism, whose capture prompted the CIA to spend a ``small fortune'' on informants, satellite photographs, and other measures in hopes of finding him and the other American hostages.

Terms listed for selling British Gas to the public

Britain's Conservative government Tuesday took its boldest step yet in reducing the role of the state in Britain's postwar industrial economy when it announced the terms under which it will sell British Gas to the public. About 4 billion shares in the state-owned gas monopoly are being offered at 1.35 ($1.91) each, valuing the company at about 5.6 billion ($7.9 billion) and making it the biggest share issue to go on offer in London. Sales will start Dec. 8.

Opposition leaders plan to defy Seoul ban on rally

Top opposition leaders in South Korea said yesterday they planned to defy government orders and go ahead with plans to hold a massive rally in Seoul Saturday in support of proposed constitutional changes. President Chun Doo Hwan's government and the main opposition New Korea Democratic Party have been moving on an apparent collision course since early last week over the planned rally, which the opposition said is its ``last resort'' in fighting what it called a government scheme to cling to power. The main purpose of the rally would be to demonstrate wide support for changes in the Constitution that would provide for direct elections of the country's president.

Haitian panel sits down to write new constitution

A Haitian lawmaking panel met for the first time Monday to begin writing a new constitution for the island nation. The panel is part of an assembly appointed by Haiti's National Council of Government to draft a constitution by January. An assembly member said the panel will consider such issues as the length of the term of the presidency, mandatory education, and military service.

The document will be voted on by Haitians for ratification or rejection in February.

Mafia chiefs put Presser in Teamster slot, US says

Convicted Mafia boss Anthony Salerno and 15 alleged associates in the Genovese crime family arranged for Jackie Presser's selection as president of the Teamsters Union, a new indictment charges. Mr. Salerno, convicted last week of sitting on the American Mafia's ruling ``commission,'' tried ``to exercise control and influence over the decisions of Jackie Presser as general president'' of the union, the indictment says.

US official pushes hunt for oil in Alaskan refuge

Assistant Interior Secretary William Horn recommended Monday that a portion of Alaska's vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be opened to oil and gas exploration, a move vehemently opposed by environmentalists. Mr. Horn made his recommendation on the basis of a new department study that found the refuge's coastal plain on the Beaufort Sea could contain up to 29.4 billion barrels of oil and 64.5 trillion cubic feet of gas. He said the report will go to Interior Secretary Donald Hodel for his recommendation, then to Congress for its approval to drill.

Responding to the recomendation yesterday, an aide to Rep. Morris Udall (D) of Arizona, chairman of the House Interior Committee, said the congressman will sponsor legislation banning development there and declaring the 1.5 million-acre tract along the Arctic Ocean a federal wilderness area.

The Christian Science Monitor will not be published on Nov. 27, a national holiday in the United States.

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