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News Currents

By David Mutch / April 4, 1991



MIDDLE EAST AND GULF Turkey has accused Iraqi troops of deliberately driving about 220,000 residents of northern Iraq toward the Turkish border and of firing shells into Turkish territory. The UN Security Council was expected to discuss the Turkish compaint and also a French initiative to protect Iraqi Kurds before voting on a permanant Gulf cease-fire resolution, which forces Iraq to destroy its weapons of mass destruction and mortgages its oil revenues for war reparations.... For the first time since Iraq invaded Au g. 2, telephone calls can be made into Kuwait from the US and Kuwaitis can make outbound calls from their homes, American Telephone & Telegraph Company said.... Israeli troops shot and wounded 18 Arabs in the occupied Gaza Strip Tuesday when stone-throwing youths took to the streets following a call from an Islamic fundamentalist group, Palestinian sources said.

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UNITED STATES

The Defense Department is secretly developing a nuclear reactor-powered rocket that could lift huge weapons or satellites into space, according to the Federation of American Scientists. The rocket is being developed under the Pentagon's Strategic Defense Initiative program, or ``star wars''.... Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley has asked Police Chief Daryl Gates to resign in light of the videotaped Rodney King be ating. Bradley does not have the authority to remove Gates.

EUROPE

A new compromise offered by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev will not resolve a dispute blocking the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, a senior US official said Tuesday, accusing the Soviets of ``working on the margins'' of the deal.... Russian Federation leader Boris Yeltsin suffered a setback in his campaign against central Kremlin rule Wednesday when communist deputies voted down his call MDNM for direct elections for an executive presidency.... Paris transport authorities have decided to abolish one of the French capital's most enduring snob symbols - first-class carriages on the Metro underground railway.... Author Graham Greene, one of the greatest British novelists of the 20th century, died Wednesday at age 86, his French publisher Robert Laffont said.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Philippines official David Castro said his government would agree to drop a racketeering case pending in a US court against Imelda Marcos if she surrendered $200 million of the money the government said she was keeping in Hong Kong banks.... China's attorney general claimed Wednesday that authorities investigated more than 4,000 cases of civil rights abuses by police and other officials last year, including unlawfu l detention, frame-ups and confessions extracted by torture.... Thai police have arrested two Canadians and one British man in northern Thailand, seizing more than 11 pounds of high-grade heroin allegedly being smuggled to Toronto. The three could face the death penalty.