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UNITED STATESSeveral Democrats say they will press to delay a Senate vote today on the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court until a review is conducted on allegations that Thomas sexually harassed a former aide in the early 1980's. The woman, Anita Hill, was a legal assistant to Thomas at the Education Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Sen. Paul Simon (D) of Illinois said he was not made aware of the allegations until after the Judiciary Committee voted Sept. 27 on the nomina tion. The White House says the FBI has investigated the allegation and cleared Thomas. Simon joined six other committee Democrats in voting against Thomas in the 7-to-7 deadlock.... President Bush said it is good news for the whole world that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has agreed to match US nuclear disarmament steps. But he declined to comment on Gorbachev's unilateral move to halt nuclear testing for a year, as well as the Soviet president's call for another superpower meeting on the issue. A US d elegation is in Moscow to discuss the proposals.... Former Sen. Eugene McCarthy, a liberal whose presidential quest 23 years ago helped end Lyndon Johnson's career, has joined the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. MIDDLE EAST American hostage Terry Anderson appeared looking fit and well in an interview taped in the Beirut area and broadcast on CNN. He said his Lebanese captors had told him there would soon be "good news" for Western hostages in Lebanon. Anderson said he was being kept with Anglican church envoy Terry Waite and American University dean Thomas Sutherland. A letter accompanying the videotape and signed by the Organization for the Islamic Jihad said the broadcast was the next move in the process of freeing the ho stages. Rabih al-Khatib, director of pro-Syrian al-Mashreq television in Beirut, said his station acted as a middleman for CNN.

EUROPE The pro-Communist president of the Soviet Central Asian republic of Tadzhikistan, bowing to mounting opposition protests, said Sunday he was resigning. Moscow Radio reported from the capital Dushanbe that Rakhmon Nabiyev asked to be relieved of his post to allow all candidates in popular presidential elections scheduled for later this year to fight on an equal footing.... Portugal's ruling Social Democratic Party celebrated a landslide election victory yesterday. Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva had ca mpaigned on a platform of political stability, European integration, and economic progress.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Asia's economic boom over the past three decades has failed to curb widespread poverty, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said yesterday in a message at the opening of a regional UN conference in Manila on poverty and social welfare.

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