News Currents

THE MIDDLE EAST AND GULF The focus of the Persian Gulf crisis moved to the man in the street over the weekend, with Iraqi motorists scrambling to find gasoline and demonstrators from New York to Paris protesting war over oil. Gas stations ran dry in Baghdad Saturday. And in New York, nearly 10,000 protesters demanded that US troops withdraw from the Gulf.... In Beirut, gunmen yesterday killed a staunch supporter of ousted Christian Gen. Michel Aoun, along with the man's family. Dany Chamoun, son of former Christian Maronite President Camille Chamoun, supported Aoun in a war against the Syrians last year.... A West Bank Arab armed with a bayonet yesterday stabbed to death three Israelis in Jerusalem. The attack occurred nearly two weeks after at least 20 Arabs were killed by police during riots on the Temple Mount.... Parliamentarians attending the 84th conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Saturday approved a strongly-worded resolution condemning Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

UNITED STATES AND CANADA

Jockeying to avoid a politically damaging veto of major civil rights legislation, President Bush Saturday night sent his own plan to Capitol Hill. Bush contends that the Civil Rights Act of 1990 would lead to quota hiring. His plan attempts to ease the burden on employers by placing a $150,000 cap on punative and compensatory damages for racial-discrimination suits.... The House of Representatives Saturday rejected a $4 billion spending bill for the District of Columbia, apparently because it would have permitted the capital city to spend its own tax money for abortions. There was no vote directly on the issue of abortion, and Democratic leaders said they were assessing whether the bill was defeated only because of the abortion provision.... In Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., members of the rap group 2 Live Crew were acquitted Saturday of obscenity charges. The band was arrested last June following a nightclub performance.... Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa said he opposes independence for the French-speaking province. Bourassa appointed a commission in late June to chart Quebec's future.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

President Corazon Aquino yesterday told Filipinos the nation faced a serious economic crisis as a result of soaring oil prices. Aquino's statement came on the eve of a weeklong general strike by government and trade unions demanding increase in wages.... Malaysians yesterday went to the polls for a second day of voting in the nation's eighth general election since independence in 1957.... Security forces seized control of a separatist Tamil rebel stronghold in northern Sri Lanka following an eight-hour battle that left 20 guerrillas and three soldiers dead, a senior government official said yesterday.... Afghan planes and artillery units attacked mujahideen guerrillas laying siege to the southern city of Qalat, the government said yesterday. Qalat lies close to a major highway used to supply southern provinces.

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