News In Brief

The Soviet Union has given the US missile information required to close an arms control treaty, a high-ranking US official said yesterday, clearing up a last-minute snarl as the two sides prepare to sign the accord. The passing of the information to American representatives in Geneva yesterday appeared to extinguish a flare-up less than a week before the commencement of summit talks here between President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev.

Earlier yesterday, Chief US arms negotiator Max Kampelman accused the Soviet Union of technically violating the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty by moving radar installations without notifying the US.

NATO leaders request conventional arms boost

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At the end of a two-day meeting, NATO defense ministers called yesterday for conventional-force improvements in the wake of the superpower pact scrapping medium-range nuclear missiles, but they predicted problems with tight budgets. NATO says the accord has full alliance support. But officials say the plan will throw greater emphasis on the need for the Western alliance to redress the perceived imbalance between its conventional forces and those of the Warsaw Pact.

Iran, Iraq both claim to have new missiles

Iran claimed yesterday that a new surface-to-surface missile had been tested successfully and that shipments of the Iranian-made weapon would soon be sent to forces fighting at the Iraqi front. The report, however, has not been verified. Iraq also recently claimed it had developed a new surface-to-surface missile that could reach as as far as Tehran, the Iranian capital.

Separately, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Larijani began talks yesterday with UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar on prospects for a cease-fire in the seven-year-old Gulf war.

Angolan rebels free Swedish aid workers

Two Swedish aid workers captured during a rebel attack in Angola were freed yesterday after nearly three months of captivity. Gunnar Sjoeberg and Kent Andersson were captured by members of UNITA, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, which is waging a US-backed guerrilla campaign to topple Angola's Marxist government.

Venezuelan students riot after classmate's death

Soldiers killed one man and injured seven others Tuesday in riots involving 2,000 students in this university town. College classes were suspended throughout Venezuela to contain the unrest. Most of the injuries occurred as students protested the presence of the Army around the hospital where casualties were taken. The rioting was linked to the death of a student in M'erida last Thursday following his arrest.

Aquino has meeting with ex-foreign chief

Philippine President Aquino met briefly yesterday with Vice-President Laurel, who left her Cabinet in September over the handling of a communist insurgency. The meeting was the first since Mr. Laurel resigned as foreign secretary. He has stayed on as vice-president.

Separately, after consulting the immigration department, the Philippine government yesterday revoked an order expelling an Australian journalist for writing ``derogatory'' articles, hours after it had ordered him to leave the country.

Hotel fire kills two near Buckingham Palace

Fire broke out yesterday in a popular six-story hotel near Buckingham Palace, killing two people and forcing the evacuation of more than 300 guests and hotel workers, the London Fire Brigade said. Scotland Yard said the fire, which destroyed three floors of the Rubens Hotel, may have been arson. There were no immediate arrests, and no other details available at press time.

One killed, 7 injured in Pakistani bombing

A bomb killed one man and injured nine people in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, the latest attack in a series that has taken more than 200 lives this year. President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq has blamed the bombings on Afghan agents pressuring him to drop his support for rebels fighting the Soviet-backed government in Kabul. Afghanistan has dismissed the allegations.

Packwood sees passage of budget-cutting plan

Congress will accept the deficit-reducing agreement White House officials and congressional leaders settled on last month, according to Sen. Bob Packwood (R) of Oregon. At a breakfast meeting with reporters yesterday, Senator Packwood, one of the congressional negotiators most critical of the budget pact, predicted ``a vigorous fight'' over the terms of the agreement.

``Unfortunately, we're not going to get any other budget package passed,'' Packwood said.

Airline ratings improve on punctuality, baggage

The major US airlines had slightly better on-time records in October and reported fewer lost bags and travelers bumped from flights, the Transportation Department said yesterday. The airlines with the best on-time records in September - American, Southwest, and Continental - repeated their standings in October.

Even without counting mechanical delays, the department reported that nearly 1 in every 5 flights, 19.7 percent, arrived at least 15 minutes late during October. In September, 23 percent of flights were that late.

US court rules schools can ban male earrings

A school district has the right to ban male students from wearing earrings while attending classes, a federal judge has ruled. US District Judge Paul Plunkett denied a request for a temporary injunction against the Illinois's Bremen School District by lawyers for Darryl Olesen of Midlothian, Ill. Darryl was suspended from classes several times because he wore an earring. He contended the ban violated his constitutional rights.

James Riordan, superintendent of the school district, said such a ban was made because earrings could indicate youth gang activity.

For the record

A federal judge yesterday refused to block the US State Department's order closing the Palestine Information Office on grounds it is a diplomatic mission for the Palestine Liberation Organization. The US Senate Tuesday passed a broad education bill that renews and expands programs affecting most of the nation's schoolchildren, including the major federal program for disadvantaged students.

Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the Cambodian resistance leader, and Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia met yesterday for the first time to talk about ending their nation's nine-year-old guerrilla war.

Glenn Loury, the Harvard professor once offered the No. 2 job in the US Department of Education by the Reagan administration, has been charged with possession of drugs in his second brush with the law in six months.

Muslim guerrillas staged attacks on villages in eastern Afghanistan this week as the Soviet-backed government in Kabul was adopting a new constitution, Tass reported yesterday.

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