News Currents

MIDDLE EAST DEVELOPMENTS The United States will press its NATO allies for more help in transporting troops and supplies to the Persian Gulf at a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels today, a senior US official at NATO told reporters yesterday.... In Washington, the Congress and the White House Tuesday squared off in federal court over whether the president has the authority to send US forces into harm's way without congressional approval. Fifty-four democratic members of Congress have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Operation Desert Shield. Meanwhile, House Democrats strongly endorsed Bush's handling of the Gulf crisis and reiterated their demand that Bush seek a declaration from Congress before going to war.... The European Community is suggesting direct talks with Iraq on the Persian Gulf crisis.

UNITED STATES

The Federal Reserve Board Tuesday said will let banks make use of certain funds that the Fed normally holds as reserves. Analysts said the policy change would strengthen weakened lending power undercut by real estate and other loans gone sour.... M. Danny Wall, former chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, told a Senate panel Tuesday two of the Keating Five senators called him to urge quick action on offers to buy a failing thrift owned by a major political contributor.... A New York jury Tuesday acquitted two white youths of murder and manslaughter in the racial slaying of a black teenager on a Brooklyn street in August 1989.

EUROPE AND SOVIET UNION

The Soviet Parliament approved constitutional amendments that further consolidate President Mikhail Gorbachev's power. The amendments call for a new cabinet, a vice president post, a state inspection directorate to implement central government decrees, and a national security council to coordinate law enforcement. All would be under direct control of the president.... The Croatian government yesterday demanded the dismissal of Defense Minister Veljko Kadijevic, claiming he exceeded his power by warning that the Army would act to avert a breakup of the Yugoslav federation.... Moscow told the European Community countries yesterday they would be swamped with immigrants unless they invested more in the Soviet Union.

ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

A group of scientists have found a huge buried crater on the edge of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula where an asteroid or comet may have hit Earth 65 million years ago, killing off the dinosaurs. Scientists have theorized that an extraterrestrial impact caused such catastrophic environmental change that 75 percent of life on Earth became extinct.... The environmental group Earth Island Institute called Tuesday for a boycott of Bumble Bee Seafoods, charging the company has deceived consumers by secretly reneging on its public pledge to stop buying tuna caught using methods that kill dolphins.

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