News Currents

WAR IN THE GULF It was expected on Tuesday that clouds shrouding Iraqi targets would start lifting soon to allow stepped-up bombing and provide new evidence that coalition air attacks are scoring the hits claimed by the Pentagon, US officials in Washington said. The Pentagon claims that a remarkable 80 percent of over 8,000 air sorties have been successful.... The Pentagon's assessment of Operation Desert Storm had met stiff resistance from reporters in Washington Monday after officials continually brushed off requests to furnish proof of military successes.... NBC News said Monday night that US B-52 bombers were taking off from the Saudi city of Jeddah in anticipation of clearing skies that would facilitate air attacks on Iraqi forces.... However, allied warplanes are ``nowhere near'' eliminating all the Iraqi missile launchers used to fire Scud rockets against Saudi Arabia and Israel, a military official in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said. The Scud missile attacks against Saudi Arabia have continued, although Patriot missiles have been successful in downing Scuds.... The 28-nation alliance seemed set Tuesday for months rather than weeks of tough fighting to oust Iraq from conquered Kuwait, Reuters reported from Nicosia. Coalition leaders have served notice of readiness for a long, hard battle, undeterred by Baghdad's bid to save strategic targets by using captured allied airmen as human shields.... US leaders, shaken by the sight of American prisoners of war on Iraqi TV, have renewed their threat to bring Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and other Iraqis before a war crimes tribunal after the war. Many nations joined in condemning Iraqi treatment of prisoners.

EUROPE

The European Community announced in Strasbourg on Monday that it has postponed talks with the Soviet Union on economic and technical cooperation in protest against violence by Soviet troops in Latvia and Lithuania.... Latvia's president, Anatolijs Gorbunovs, flew to Moscow to talk with Mikhail Gorbachev on Tuesday in an effort to prevent more violence in his dissident republic. A strike called by pro-Moscow hard-liners was suspended in Riga as he left.... South Korea has formally pledged $3 billion in economic aid and loans to the Soviet Union over three years from March 1991, a government spokesman in Seoul said Tuesday.

UNITED STATES

Delta Air Lines has made the first bid for Eastern Airlines' assets following the shutdown of the carrier last week. Delta said Monday it had agreed to buy 18 of Eastern's 53 gates and other facilities at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport for $41.4 million.... The sluggish world economy should pick up later this year as long as the Gulf War does not send financial markets into chaos and inflation stays in check, the Group of Seven industrial nations said Monday after a meeting in New York.

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