News Currents

AFRICA African leaders at a summit of the Organization of African Unity in Abuja, Nigeria, released a statement yesterday saying they will review anti-apartheid sanctions if "the South African government adopts measures which lead to positive, profound, and irreversible change toward the abolition of apartheid...." The document, the 51-member OAU's most open gesture ever to the reformist government of President F. W. de Klerk, said there had been some positive developments in South Africa.

MIDDLE EAST

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir praised recent Israeli air raids on Lebanon and said he would question Foreign Minister David Levy on his comments in Paris that Arab-Israeli peace talks might take place within weeks. Shamir's speech seemed sure to dampen US spirits raised by Levy's remarks.... Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said in remarks published yesterday that Israel was planning a big attack in south Lebanon to disrupt a Lebanese-Syrian treaty and ruin Middle East peace moves.

UNITED STATES

The government has approved one of the largest natural gas development projects ever, allowing six companies to tap a huge supply in southern Alabama and ship it to homes and businesses throughout the country. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project under which 152 miles of pipeline will be built in onshore and offshore locations to tap into 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. The energy is the equivalent of 73 million barrels of crude oil per year.... The shuttle Columb i

a sailed into its second day in orbit Wednesday with the ship's seven astronauts performing tasks to determine how the body adapts to the absence of gravity.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

The Organization of American States, meeting in Santiago, Chile, has agreed for the first time on steps to take against regimes that come to power through coups in Latin America. Economic sanctions are one of the possibilities.... Panama has formally charged deposed leader Manuel Antonio Noriega with ordering the killing of Army Maj. Moises Giroldi, who led a coup attempt against him in 1989. The maximum penalty would be 20 years.... Nicaraguan Army chief, Gen. Humberto Ortega, said Wednesday that more t

han 1,000 former Contra rebels had taken up arms again and he accused Vice President Virgilio Godoy of encouraging them.... Ecuador's Congress opened an extraordinary session Wednesday that may lead to the impeachment of Vice President Luis Parodi and a vote of censure against the government.

LOOKING AHEAD

Saturday: Leaders from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Libya hold summit in Tripoli, Libya. Monday: A tickertape parade in New York City for 30,000 Gulf war soldiers.

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