News Currents

MIDDLE EAST AND GULF

Unidentified gunmen yesterday shot and killed the chief of Yasser Arafat's security network, which plays a police role in the refugees' shanty towns in southern Lebanon. The assassination appeared to be part of a power struggle for the control of the Palestinian camps between Arafat loyalists and the rising movement of Iranian-inspired Muslim fundamentalists.... Kurds in northern Iraq said Saturday their negotiators had made no progress in persuading the Iraqi government to lift its 10-week economic bloc kade. Kurdish sources close to the negotiations say Baghdad is demanding the Iraqi Army, security police, and intelligence forces be allowed to return to Kurdistan in exchange for lifting the blockade. UNITED STATES

Up to 10 percent of New York City area retailers may go out of business within the next year, R. Fulton MacDonald, president of the New York-based International Business Development, told Crain's New York Business, due to hit newsstands today.... The Texas House adopted a court-ordered US House redistricting plan Saturday for the 1992 elections, but problems with the Senate plan threatened to delay the March 10 Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.... Vice President Dan Quayle waged a low-key

campaign in 1988 to be George Bush's running mate, making more speeches, issuing more press releases and even making "Bush-Quayle" buttons before the GOP convention, The Washington Post reported yesterday.... The Presbyterian Church's first openly lesbian minister has been appointed a local church pastor, the first lesbian to reach that post. The Rev. Jane Adams Spahr has been appointed co-pastor of the Downtown Presbyterian Church of Rochester, N.Y., effective April 1.... Nearly all of the 34 Cubans who t ook a daring flight to Miami aboard a stolen helicopter were released Saturday by US immigration authorities and reunited with family members in southern Florida. EUROPE, AFRICA, AND ASIA

The Ukraine Saturday started forming its own nonnuclear armed forces and border troops despite a dispute with Russia over the Black Sea fleet's future. Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov said staff in his ministry had sworn an oath of loyalty to the Ukraine.... Iraq managed to smuggle 10 tons of uranium to Algeria last year past an coalition blockade imposed after the Gulf war, the Sunday Times reported.... The leader of Britain's newly formed and unelected Muslim parliament Saturday urged his supporter s to flout laws not in the interests of followers of Islam.... Croatia was quiet early yesterday as the 15th truce between warring Croats and Serbs continued to hold.... Fighting continued for a third day yesterday in Chad despite a government claim that its troops had defeated the rebels, sources reported.... China and Tadzhikistan established formal diplomatic links yesterday as Beijing continued to establish ties with the successor states to the Soviet Union.

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