News Currents

UNITED STATES The FBI is searching for links between the bombs that killed a federal judge in Alabama Saturday, Savannah, Ga., city councilman Robert Robinson Monday, and one found Monday in the federal appeals court in Atlanta. The FBI has warned court officials and NAACP offices to be wary of suspicious packages, saying the bombs were similar to a tear-gas bomb that exploded at the NAACP's Atlanta headquarters in August. The Bush administration revealed Monday that national security adviser Scowcroft and Deputy Secretary of State Eagleburger had visited China in July. The White House said Mr. Scowcroft conveyed US concern over the Tiananmen Square massacre. Meanwhile, the US and China announced that the Fulbright exchange program, which China suspended in the wake of events last June, would be renewed. In Providence, R.I., a fire yesterday destroyed a seven-block area around a 19th-century textile-mill complex.

SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT

The National Research Council said yesterday that low-level radiation poses a health risk three to four times greater than previously thought. The report was based on new data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors. A report issued by Senator Glenn (D) of Ohio Monday says federal nuclear-weapons plants emitted dangerous radiation levels in the 1940s and '50s, but that the government did not inform plant workers or the public about possible health risks. Alaska's Redoubt volcano sent up a 6-mile ash plume Monday. The eruptions played havoc with Anchorage air travel, disrupting Christmas mail and food shipments to remote towns. Exxon has requested that all evidence in court cases resulting from last spring's oil spill be sealed. The space shuttle Columbia's launch has been postponed to Jan. 8 to allow time to fix a variety of launch-pad problems.

LATIN AMERICA

In El Salvador, rebels renewed their sabotage campaign, destroying a bank and two large stores in the capital after occupying the state telephone company for four hours Monday. In Colombia, drug cartel gunmen murdered a leftist city councilman and four others in Puerto Valdivia Monday. The Nicaraguan elections council Monday ordered police to accompany all political rallies to prevent a repeat of last week's violence between Sandinista and opposition supporters in which one man died. Argentina's new economic minister, Antonio Erman Gonz'alez, Monday announced a plan to move toward a free market economy, declaring a single foreign currency exchange and lifting price ceilings. The changes follow a cabinet crisis Friday caused by the resignation of the previous economic minister, Nestor Rapanelli.

MIDEAST

In Jordan, Prime Minister Mudar Badran lifted a 22-year-old martial law decree yesterday in an attempt to win a vote of confidence from the newly elected parliament. Meanwhile, PLO leader Arafat was expected to arrive in Jordan for talks on Mideast peace with King Hussein.

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