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UNITED STATESHouse Democratic leaders want to divert up to $1 billion of US defense money to food aid for the Soviet Union this winter, but do not expect other quick defense cuts despite stunning Soviet upheavals. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin and House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt said the aid should be taken out of a $291 billion defense bill to prevent Soviet chaos that could become a new nuclear threat.... Most Americans reject the idea of sending cash to help the Soviet Union, despite t he dramatic gains for reformers in the past week, according to a Washington Post/ABC news poll released yesterday.... The motorman of a speeding New York City subway train that careened out of control and crashed in the Union Square station Wednesday, killing five passengers, was legally drunk, authorities said. EUROPE The new head of Soviet television, Yegor Yakovlev, pulled the staid nightly newscast Vremya off the air and replaced it with a lively program run by journalists barred from the airwaves by his disgraced predecessor. "Vremya is no longer on the air," anchorman Alexander Tikhomirov announced Wednesday night at the start of the new program, called TV Inform. "Let's note that the dictatorship of television ended with the coup," he said.... Soviet Defense Minister Yevgeny Shaposhnikov has predicted that the S oviet army will one day become a professional, volunteer force. Shaposhnikov, appointed last week after the failed coup, ventured the prediction in a country where military chiefs have always insisted that conscription was necessary.... A bid to trim President Mikhail Gorbachev's powers following last week's abortive coup failed to win approval from the Soviet Parliament yesterday. A paragraph in an omnibus resolution won 237 votes in article-by-article voting, short of the necessary 272 votes (50 percent p lus one) needed for approval. Another article, approved in principle for later debate, suspended the Communist Party throughout the country and ordered a judicial investigation into its leadership's possible involvement in the coup. The Soviet Parliament also voted yesterday to strip the former chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Anatoly Lukyanov, of his immunity from prosecution to allow his arrest for involvement in last week's failed coup. Lukyanov has denied his involvement in the plot, but several official s have accused him of being the behind-the-scenes mastermind of the conspiracy.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC A group of 31 American peace activists, carrying US and Vietnamese flags, began a "peace walk" from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City yesterday to protest Washington's economic and diplomatic embargo against Vietnam. The group, including four Vietnam War veterans, sang "We Shall Overcome" as they started their walk.

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