News Currents

EUROPE Landmark peace talks on the future of Northern Ireland were delayed yesterday when Protestant Unionist Ian Paisley asked for more time before agreeing to approve former Australian Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen as chairman for the negotiations. The British and Irish governments had picked Stephen. The aim of the talks is to return the province to self-government after 17 years of direct rule from London. Both unionist and nationalist gunmen, however, have continued their killing, despite an agreeme n

t reached in April.... Germany and Poland signed a treaty of friendship yesterday aimed at putting behind them the horrors of World War II. Under the treaty, the two countries pledged never to use force against each other. Germany recognized Poland's postwar borders and Poland agreed to respect the rights of its German-speaking minority.... Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov demanded expanded powers from Parliament for his government yesterday, including the right to initiate legislation, to tackle a gr o

wing economic crisis.... Norwegian whalers said yesterday they will break an International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling and resume hunting minke whales July 4.

MIDDLE EAST

Israel plans to increase tenfold the Jewish population of the occupied Gaza Strip and of several West Bank settlements with a new building boom, according to documents from the Housing Ministry obtained by the nonpartisan Peace Now movement.... Egyptian, Syrian, and Persian Gulf experts scheduled a meeting in Doha, Qatar, yesterday to work out details of a plan to deploy an Arab peacekeeping force in the gulf in the aftermath of the Gulf war, state-owned Qatar Radio reported.

UNITED STATES

Federal agents in Boston have arrested four men and seized nearly 2 tons of cocaine worth about $175 million on the street - the largest seizure of the drug in New England history.... Alaska Airlines became the first US carrier to make scheduled flights across the North Pacific to the Soviet Union with a sold-out flight yesterday.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Reginald Bartholomew, US undersecretary of state for international security affairs and an arms control specialist, arrived in Beijing Sunday and began talks with Foreign Minister Qian Qichen. The talks are aimed at averting renewed Chinese arms sales abroad, especially to the Middle East. President Bush announced on Sunday in the US that the White House had implemented sanctions on US high-tech computer and missile-technology sales to China.... The US diverted an aircraft carrier battle group headed fo r

the Gulf to the Philippines yesterday to evacuate 5,000 Americans threatened by the eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano. The US plans to evacuate 20,000 dependents now in Subic Bay.

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