News Currents

GULF AND MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi rebel forces claimed Saddam Hussein has pulled some of his tanks back to Baghdad, possibly to defend the capital against insurgents. A published report said US tanks have pushed deeper into southern Iraq. The New York Times, citing analyses by US intelligence agencies, reported Monday that more Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles survived the war than thought earlier.... An Iraqi Kurdish opposition group said in Damascus that two Iraqi bombers and five helicopters attacked rebel-held Kirkuk Monday, a major northern oil center in Iraq. If confirmed, such a raid would violate a cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the Gulf coalition. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan appealed for help from the US-led Gulf coalition forces.... Saddam has diverted up to 5 percent of Iraq's oil earnings for his own use and successfuly hidden up to $10 billion in an intricate web of foreign assets, according to a report on CBS's "60 Minutes." The report quoted private investigator Jules Kroll as saying Saddam holds "vast, va st assets" across Europe, into the UK and the US.... Turkey is willing to host an international conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict should the countries involved decide to hold one, Turkish President Turgut Ozal said in Washington Sunday. On Saturday, Ozal completed two days of talks with President Bush about policy in the Gulf region and US aid to Turkey.

UNITED STATES

A unique system that uses traffic lights to control airport ground traffic will be tested this week at Kennedy Airport. Safety experts hope the system will eventually prevent collisions at the nation's air terminals.... Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca warns in a personal letter to President Bush that the No. 3 automaker would be "gone" and Ford Motor Company would be in serious trouble if Japanese firms were allowed to raise their US market share to 40 percent.... Neil Rudenstine, executive v ice president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a former Princeton University provost, has been elected the 26th president of Harvard University.

OTHER WORLD NEWS

Former US President Richard Nixon visited the Vilnius television center where 14 people were killed by Soviet troops in January. He said that it was in the interest of the Soviet Union "to have friendly independent neighbors" in the region rather than "people who are still under their control as a result of the illegal Hitler-Stalin pact."... Mali's embattled government has agreed to end a state of emergency, free political prisoners, and withdraw troops from the streets after three days of the worst po litical violence the West African country has known.... Benin's reformist Prime Minister Nicephore Soglo Monday appeared to have clinched the West African country's first presidential elections for more than two decades. President Mathieu Kerekou would be the first mainland African leader to be voted out of office.

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