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News Currents

By David Mutch / December 16, 1991



UNITED STATESDeputy finance ministers from the seven major industrial nations explored ways in New York City Saturday to promote faster, more sustainable growth in the global economy. International Monetary Fund representatives told the G-7 deputy finance ministers that growth in the industrial world next year looks to be somewhat slower than the 2.75 percent pace the IMF predicted just a few months ago.... Four Democratic candidates for president ignited more than 2,000 Florida party delegates who chanted Republican taunts during their convention in Orlando Saturday. Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton; Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa; Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; and former Sen. Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, sprinkled pledges of a national health care policy and an improved economy with a liberal dose of GOP bashing.... Most Americans do not know what the Bill of Rights is, according to a survey released Saturday by the American Bar Association on the 200th anniversary of the document. Only 33 percent could identify it as the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution.

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MIDDLE EAST Peter Burleigh, the United States State Department's coordinator of counterterrorism, said in remarks published yesterday that the US had rejected efforts by Middle Eastern countries to mediate on behalf of Libya over charges it blew up a Pan Am airliner in 1988. Mr. Burleigh reportedly told the unnamed countries that issue was a purely criminal case.... More than 400 people may have been lost yesterday after an Egyptian passenger ship hit reefs and sank in the Red Sea.

EUROPE German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher said yesterday Bonn would recognize Yugoslavia's republics of Croatia and Slovenia as independent, despite UN warnings that this could block peace efforts.... The Confederation of Independent Poland, a party opposed to market-oriented reforms, said Saturday it was pulling out of the government coalition of Prime Minister Jan Olszewski, two days after the radical free-market Liberal Democratic Congress party also quit.... Albanian Prime Minister Vilson Ahmeti on Saturday named a 19-member caretaker government of nonparty technocrats to lead the country until early elections next year.... The Georgian government, severely short on grain, meat, butter, sugar, fuel, and building materials - all of which it used to receive from the central Soviet government - announced it will now use champagne, cognac, wine, and tea as strategic resources to barter internationally for basics.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Japan's Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe indicated for the first time yesterday that Japan needs to open a crack in its closed rice market to help bring a successful end to the stalled Uruguay Round of trade talks.