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News In Brief

December 3, 1987



Washington

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.

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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

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