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US ECONOMY The Hearst Corporation's Los Angeles Herald Examiner, once one of the country's largest afternoon dailies, published its last edition Thursday, leaving Los Angeles with just one daily paper. (Supreme Court considers Detroit newspaper merger, page 7.) Federal savings and loan regulator M. Danny Wall complained Wednesday that congressional critics aren't giving him a chance to respond to charges he mishandled the investigation of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association in Irvine, Calif. The bailout of the collapsed thrift will cost taxpayers more than $1.5 billion. The interest on US savings bonds will fall to 6.98 percent from 7.81 over the next six months, the Treasury Department says. Sales were temporarily suspended Tuesday until Congress raises the federal debt ceiling.

LATIN AMERICA

A federal judge in Medell'in, Colombia, and a congressman in Bogot'a were assassinated in Wednesday, apparently by gunmen working for drug traffickers. Mexican authorities said Wednesday they arrested Rafael Munoz Talavera, the leader of a drug ring they say is responsible for smuggling 60 tons of cocaine into the United States during the past year, including the record 21 tons seized recently near Los Angeles. At least 100 Maoist Shining Path rebels attacked police with guns and explosives near downtown Lima, Peru, Wednesday. Two rebels were killed and 15 people wounded. Leftist rebels in El Salvador fired antitank weapons at an army brigade headquarters, killing a civilian, a day after the bombing of a labor federation headquarters that killed 10 people and wounded 29. Monitor contributor Chris Norton, who was at the union center at the time, was not injured.

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EAST EUROPE

About 8,000 East Germans swarmed into Czechoslovakia after East Berlin lifted a travel ban. Hundreds went to the West German Embassy in Prague, trying to emigrate to the West. In Moscow, meanwhile, East German President Egon Krenz called mounting protests for democratic change in his country ``a good sign,'' and said East Germany would follow Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's reform policies. The East German state media said Thursday trade union federation chief Harry Tisch had resigned after 14 years in power following complaints about his hard-line policies from young unionists. US President Bush Wednesday added Hungary to the list of nations whose imports receive duty-free treatment in the US under the General System of Preferences. Hungary received most-favored-nation trading status a few days ago.

EARTHQUAKES

An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale rocked northeastern Japan Thursday. No casualties or significant damage were reported. The San Francisco area was jolted Wednesday evening by an aftershock measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale. It was the 21st aftershock measuring 4.0 or more.

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