News Currents

WAR IN THE GULF As the war entered its second week, the Pentagon said air strikes are now moving south to Kuwait to cut off food, supplies, and reinforcements from the Iraqi Army dug in there. Gen. Colin Powell told reporters Wednesday that the strategy is to cut off the Army and then ``kill it'' with bombing, using coalition ground forces as little as possible. He also reported destruction of Iraq's two nuclear reactors.... Two Iraqi warplanes attacked allied naval vessels in the Persian Gulf Thursday but were shot down, a BBC correspondent aboard a British ship in the Gulf reported.... Iraq unleashed a fresh Scud barrage Wednesday that failed to penetrate the American-supplied missile shields in Israel and Saudi Arabia.... President Bush told reserve officers in Washington that Operation Desert Storm was right on schedule. He said: ``This will not be another Vietnam. Never again will our armed forces be sent out to do a job with one hand tied behind their back.''

EUROPE

Soviet troops seized Lithuania's main paper and printing materials warehouse on Wednesday in the Soviet government's persistent campaign to reassert power in the Baltics. But in a major concession, Latvian President Anatolijs Gorbunovs agreed to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's demand for a referendum on independence.... The World Bank has suspended discussions with the Soviet Union on technical assistance following Moscow's use of force to crush rebel Baltic republics, the Washington Post reported Thursday.... German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government said Wednesday it had begun investigating reports that over 100 German firms had illegally sold hardware to Iraq to upgrade Scuds starting in the mid-1980s. Other illegal exports might include biological weapons.

LATIN AMERICA

The executive committee of Mexico's ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, strongly criticized the Gulf war Wednesday and appeared to back opposition calls for an oil embargo against the US to protest the week-old conflict. The US is Mexico's leading oil client, and President Carlos Salinas de Gortari has forged close ties with Bush.... Nicaraguan businessmen said Wednesday they want their government to establish one currency and allow for regular devaluations to reduce severe price distortions that give the country the highest production costs in Central America.... The Gulf war is not expected to dim the festivity of next month's annual Rio Carnival, but one major dance troupe will change its name from ``One Night in Baghdad'' to the ``Dance Gala on Mount Lebanon'' as an act of solidarity against suffering.

LOOKING AHEAD

Sunday: Super Bowl, in Tampa. Monday: Trial of Manuel Noriega, on charges he took bribes from Colombian drug dealers, begins in Miami. Tuesday: President Bush delivers his third State of the Union address to Congress.

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