News In Brief
Thousands of armed troops patrolled the capital yesterday on the eve of the first summit in 10 years of Southeast Asian leaders. Meanwhile, Communist rebels said yesterday they were considering a Christmas truce and hinted they would wind down their street war in Manila, which has claimed 100 lives this year.Skip to next paragraph
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In another development, a Philippine Airlines plane with 15 people aboard vanished yesterday on a domestic flight to Mindanao island.
Budget process moves to final stages in Congress
Senate approval Saturday of a record $606 billion catchall spending bill, including new nonmilitary aid to Nicaragua's contra rebels, finally moves this year's legislative budget struggles into the last round. The money package, which was passed by the Senate 72-21, has now been approved in different versions by both the House and Senate. It covers virtually all the government's spending priorities for fiscal 1988. In combination with a tax and entitlement bill that is moving in tandem, it would enact the first year of the two-year, $76 billion deficit-reduction agreement between President Reagan and Congress.
Haiti's military junta picks new election council
A new Electoral Council, handpicked by Haiti's military-dominated junta, was sworn in Saturday and pledged to hold elections on Jan. 17. The junta dissolved the old council on Nov. 29 after assailants killed at least 34 people and aborted what would have been Haiti's first free elections in 30 years. The four major presidential candidates have said they won't participate in junta-run elections.
In another development, night marauders shot and firebombed the home of Guy Bauduy, a for the National Assembly early yesterday.
OPEC struggles to settle oil price, production level
OPEC struggled yesterday to settle final details of an oil price and production pact. The 13 members had planned to ratify a tentative agreement to retain a price of $18 a barrel and not cut production levels. But yesterday the oil minister of Gabon said OPEC was worried the international market would not see the prospective accord as credible.
Rare civil unrest reported in Romania
Dissidents set gasoline-soaked tires afire at the base of Bucharest's statue of Lenin in a rare protest in this tightly controlled communist capital, diplomats said Saturday. The diplomats said the Romanian Communist Party today will begin its first conference in five years, with the leaders expected to discuss the nation's food and energy shortages that have sparked protests.
Belgium's ruling coalition expected to lose majority
Prime Minister Wilfried Martens's four-party coalition was expected to lose its parliamentary majority after Belgians voted in general elections yesterday. Mr. Martens called the elections on Oct. 19, the day his coalition of Christian Democrats and Conservatives collapsed over a linguistic dispute. Each party in the coalition is split into two - a Dutch-speaking and a French-speaking party.
Bangladeshi strike moves into its 13th day
An opposition-led general strike slowed transport and commerce in Bangladesh Saturday. It was the 13th day of stoppages since Nov. 10 when 21 opposition parties launched a national campaign aimed at forcing the resignation of President Hossain Muhammad Ershad.
In other affairs, the government expelled a British Broadcasting Corporation reporter and said it is closing the BBC operation in Dacca.