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UNITED STATESThe National Organization for Women has been deluged with calls from women wanting to join since the Senate Judiciary Committee's weekend hearings into Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. Rosemary Dempsey, a NOW vice president, said membership could even double.... An unemployed man Wednesday shot 22 people to death with an Austrian-made Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol in a crowded cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, and then killed himself. Some 23 were wounded.... Consumer pri ces rose a brisk 0.4 percent in September, showing higher costs for food, energy, and housing. JUSTICE The Bush administration argued before the Supreme Court Wednesday that federal civil rights law should not be used to stop groups like Operation Rescue from blockading abortion clinics and that local and state trespass statutes are sufficient to deter such action. But John Schafer, a lawyer for the Alexandria, Va., Women's Health Clinic, said state laws alone cannot protect the federal rights of women from the "mob action" and "mob violence" of groups like Operation Rescue.

EUROPE Germany says it will pay 500 million deutsche marks (US$300 million) to compensate Poles who worked as slave laborers under the Nazis. Poland and Germany will set up a joint foundation to determine who will receive payment, reports Monitor correspondent Francine Kiefer from Bonn.... NATO defense ministers, meeting yesterday and today in Taormina, Italy, are ordering that three quarters of the alliance's nuclear arsenal in Europe be scrapped, leaving just a few hundred nuclear aircraft bombs in Europe as NATO's only remaining nuclear deterrent on the continent. They are also discussing a new Franco-German plan to set up a European army and a new NATO strategy to be approved at a Rome summit next month.... A committee of EC experts has postponed until the end of the year giving advice on whether the Halcion sleeping pill, made by Upjohn Company in the US, should be withdrawn from sale in the European Community. Britain has withdrawn the drug.... Fourteen people were killed when a passenger train headed for P aris collided with a freight train south of the city.

AFRICA Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela yesterday called on Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke to visit South Africa, saying it could speed up the process of democracy. Hawke is one of the key leaders on a Commonwealth committee examining whether sanctions should be lifted against South Africa. A summit of Commonwealth leaders now under way in Harare is expected to fix a timetable for a phased lifting of sanctions linked to transition toward an interim multiracial government and one-person one-vote electio ns.

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