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ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

President Bush collapsed during a state dinner yesterday evening at the residence of Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater later said the president had been suffering from a touch of the flu but "was in good shape" and was resting. Bush never lost consciousness, and he stood up soon after the incident. It was the 10th day of Bush's grueling 12-day, four-nation sprint across the Asian Pacific. Miyazawa and Bush earlier had discussed ways to rectify the huge trade imbalance

and also agreed to pursue a joint strategy to get the sluggish world economy moving again. Miyazawa also said Japan is considering joining the US in the Superconducting Super Collider project intended to help scientists learn more about matter. MIDDLE EAST AND GULF

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A United Nations condemnation of Israel appears to have cleared the way for Arabs to return to Middle East peace negotiations. Palestinian delegates left for Jordan yesterday en route to Middle East peace talks in Washington and said they had resolved procedural differences with Israel that stymied the last round of negotiations. But a senior Israeli official said this latest round of talks could be short-lived since the Israeli delegates had informed the US that they intended to return home on the eveni ng of Jan. 15. UNITED STATES

Wall Street rating agencies downgraded nearly $100 billion of General Motors and Chrysler debt Tuesday, just a day after Detroit automakers reported their worst sales in eight years. This will make borrowing more expensive for the firms.... The State Department expressed concern Tuesday over reports that Iran may be trying to procure nuclear weapons and had approached some of the former Soviet republics possessing such arms. Iran is engaged in a massive buildup of its military forces, decimated by its ei ght-year war with Iraq and international embargoes against arms sales.... President Bush is expected to attend a British-initiated summit meeting of the UN Security Council likely to be held on Jan. 30. Britain holds the presidency of the council for the month of January and Prime Minister John Major has sent invitations to the heads of government of all 15 council members. The purpose of the meeting is to strengthen the role of the United Nations in international affairs and in its peacekeeping operations.

Disarmament issues are also expected on the agenda, as well other implications of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. EUROPE

The European Community temporarily closed its observer mission in Croatia until Yugoslav officials provide guarantees for its security. The EC made the move a day after five of its observers were killed when the Yugoslav federal Army shot down one of its helicopters over Yugoslavia.

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