News Currents

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Two Indian Tamils, a mother and son, have been arrested in Madras and charged with sheltering the assassin of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Investigators have also identified the woman suicide bomber who blew up Gandhi May 21 at an election rally as a Sri Lankan Tamil. Police want to know if the assassin had links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, fighting for a homeland in Sri Lanka.... Officers of a new Chinese Information Office under the State Council, China's cabinet, said at a news conference in Beijing that their job was to assist news correspondents but made it clear their real mandate was to attack bad foreign publicity about the government.... China called yesterday for balanced arms control efforts in the Middle East and said other nations selling weapons there should first curb their own shipments. China last week agreed to participate in a US-led conference in Paris among the five pe rmanent members of the UN Security Council on controlling the spread of weapons in the Middle East. In Washington, US Secretary of State James Baker III told Congress that China is changing and the US has invoked sufficient sanctions against Beijing for its crackdown on pro-democracy forces in Tiananmen Square in 1989. He urged continued favorable tariff treatment for China but warned Beijing not to deliver missiles to Syria.

MIDDLE EAST

Iraq, denying Iranian charges it was attacking Muslim Shiites in the south, told Iran to remember the destruction of their 1980-88 war. But Iran said Iraqi troops continued to kill Shiite Muslims trapped in marshes along the Iranian border, while a German diplomat said Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered mass executions of his Shiite opponents.... Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan headed for Jordan yesterday on a visit he said affirmed t he close ties between the two countries.

UNITED STATES

Treasury Undersecretary David Mulford said the US is now supporting Soviet associate membership in the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. While it would not be allowed to obtain IMF and World Bank loans granted full members, it could draw on vast amounts of expertise in setting up the economic structure needed to operate a market-oriented system.... Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf told Congress Wednesday that the US must improve its ability to gather and distribute battlefield intelligence. He said his air commander complained that pilots did not have current photographs of targets.

LOOKING AHEAD

Sunday: Father's Day in US; Habitat for Humanity celebrates its 15th birthday by announcing it will build 1,500 homes in the US and Canada by Sept. 26. International Day of Solidarity with the Struggling People of South Africa, by UN proclamation, in memory of the 1976 Soweto uprising.

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