News Currents

UNITED STATES The forest products industry and the US Forest Service argued in Seattle Tuesday for continued timber sales from federal lands, the first day of what some environmentalists are calling "The Trial of the Spotted Owl." The Sierra Club has sued to block these sales because the government lacks any owl management plan.... President Bush has decided to keep Vice President Dan Quayle as his running mate and will announce in January that he will seek a second term, White House chief of staff John Sununu said i n an interview published Wednesday.... In Massachusetts, in the race to fill the seat of the late Rep. Silvio O. Conte (R), Democrat John Olver and Republican Steven Pierce won their contests and will face each other in a special election June 4.

EUROPE

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev presided Wednesday over a very low-key parade in Moscow to celebrate the labor movement's May Day holiday, but Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin - who was invited to join the Soviet leader atop the mausoleum of state founder Vladimir Lenin - decided to spend the holiday in a strikebound Siberian coal field. Yeltsin's stock will soar if he gets credit for ending the coal strike, which is reportedly weakening. The radical mayor of Moscow, Gavril Popov, also stay e

d away from the Moscow rally, following the advice of Democratic Russia, the opposition umbrella group.... The last Trabant, the polluting car of former East Germany, has rolled off the assembly line. About 3,600 people greeted the pink station wagon. Chemists at Berlin's Biotech Research Center believe they have found a way to recycle the car's plastic body with "Bug Eats Car" bacteria microbes.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Han Dongfang, the founder and leader of China's first independent labor union since 1949, has been released from a Beijing prison after 22 months of imprisonment without trial, the human rights group Asia Watch said Wednesday. The group said he is critically ill... China will allow a French human rights delegation to visit the country to investigate conditions but has not responded to a request for an amnesty for dissidents, French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas said Wednesday.... Guns fell silent along t

he Thai-Cambodian border Wednesday, but resistance officials said fighting deeper inside the country marred the start of the first cease-fire in the 12-year-old Cambodian conflict.

OTHER WORLD NEWS

Iraq still has enough weapons-grade uranium to make one nuclear bomb, according to UN officials who have reviewed a letter from Iraq to that organization.... Former Colombian Justice Minister Enrique Low Murtra, who led a campaign in 1987 to extradite Colombian drug barons to the US, was killed Tuesday evening in Bogota by two men who fled by motorcycle.

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