News Currents

EUROPE In Moscow, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze Dec. 5 flatly rejected Bonn's German reunification plan. There was strong speculation at press time that East German President Egon Krenz would resign. He quit as Communist Party leader Dec. 2. Czechoslovakia's Communist rulers remained deadlocked with the opposition Dec. 6 after the failure of talks between Communist Party leader Karel Urbanek and opposition leader Vaclav Havel aimed at ending a three-week old political crisis.

UNITED STATES AND CANADA

President Bush is proposing that the US sponsor an international conference to begin negotiating a global warming treaty, the New York Times reported Dec. 6. A Miami jury began deliberations Dec. 6 in the case of a Hispanic policeman accused of manslaughter for shooting a black motorcyclist in January. The deaths of the cyclist and his passenger set off three days of race riots. In San Diego, pro-choice Democrat Lucy Killea held a slight lead at press time over anti-abortion Republican Carol Bentley in a special state senate race. Killea's victory could shift the balance of abortion politics in the California Senate. The Canadian government said Dec. 5 it plans to force ship crews back to work to end a four-week-old strike that temporarily halted shipping in the St. Lawrence Seaway, stranding more than 100 ships.

TERRORISM

In Colombia, gunmen Dec. 5 assassinated Medell'in judge Bernardo Jaramillo Uribe, who led an investigation into cocaine-processing facilities. Meanwhile, the director of the Colombian Civil Aeronautics Board says that an Avianca Airlines jet that blew up four minutes after takeoff Nov. 27 was destroyed by a bomb placed near its fuel tanks. In The Hague, an explosion rocked the Spanish ambassador's residence Dec. 6 but caused no injuries. The Basque separatist organization ETA claimed responsiblity.

AFRICA

In South Africa, police have arrested five suspected members of an extreme right-wing group allegedly responsible for the assassinations of political activists, state-run television reported Dec. 5. Sudanese rebels said Dec. 6 that government planes bombed the town of Waat after peace talks led by former US President Carter in Nairobi, Kenya, collapsed Dec. 4.

ASIA

The Nationalist government in Taiwan agreed Dec. 5 to recount ballots in an important race after 10,000 opposition supporters clashed with police. Newspaper reports claim that about 12 percent of the votes cast in elections Dec. 2 were fraudulent. Opinion polls in Japan show public support for Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party rising to 45.6 percent, up more than 2 percent from the last survey. There is growing speculation Mr. Kaifu will call a general election in early February.

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