News Currents

UNITED STATES President Bush said Nov. 7 that change in Eastern Europe is irreversible. During a news conference, he rejected former President Carter's charge earlier in the week that he has been slow in responding to positive developments there. The US House of Representatives Nov. 7 urged Bush in a nonbinding resolution to sign a 1986 treaty for a South Pacific nuclear-free zone. Former Federal Home Loan Bank Board chairman Edwin Gray told the House Banking Committee Nov. 7 that US Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D) of Arizona asked him to set aside a rule barring risky investments by the now-defunct Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. He said Sens. John McCain (R) of Arizona, Alan Cranston (D) of California, and John Glenn (D) of Ohio were present at the meeting.

CANADA

A meeting of Canadian political leaders to discuss the economy has been overshadowed by a constitutional dispute between English-speaking provinces and French-speaking Quebec. Some English Canadian politicians have called into question the Meech Lake Accord, which gave special status to Quebec in return for Quebec's ratification of the Canadian Constitution. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney pledged $85 million (Canadian) in aid to visiting Philippines President Corazon Aquino Nov. 7, brushing aside human rights concerns. The Justice Department charged a television reporter and two others in a budget leak last April against the recommendation of senior police officers, a policeman told a court this week. Defense lawyers say the charges were laid to deflect criticism of the government over the leak.

MIDEAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has still not been invited to meet with President Bush during his US visit next week. The Israeli press blames US irritation at Israel's position on Mideast peace efforts. Lebanon's new President Ren'e Muawad held consultations Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 to try to form a national reconciliation cabinet including the leaders of Lebanon's largest militias. Mr. Muawad's election by the parliament is opposed by Christian Gen. Michal Aoun. Tigrean rebels in Ethiopia, who have been holding peace talks with the government in Rome, said Nov. 8 their forces had killed more than 250 Ethiopian soldiers in fighting in the northern province of Gondar.

EUROPE

Anti-government demonstrators interfered with Bolshevik Revolution celebrations across the Soviet Union Nov. 7. Thousands of Muscovites held a counter-rally to the official parade in Red Square. Protests were reported in Moldavia and Lithuania. World Bank President Barber Conable criticized Western over-eagerness to flood Poland with loans, saying it could further damage the Polish economy. Scientists at the Joint European Torus experimental project said in London Nov. 7 they had made progress in obtaining nuclear fusion over the past year and that they had confirmed its viability as an energy source.

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