News Currents

UNITED STATES

President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin Saturday agreed to an exchange of summits this year in talks they said began a new, friendly era between the two former enemies (see stories, Pages 4 and 7).... One day after the Supreme Court opened the way for immediate repatriation of thousands of Haitians, the first group of refugees Saturday night began the journey back to their troubled homeland.... Tampa Tribune reporter Todd Smith, believed to have been killed by Maoist guerrillas two years ago i n Peru, was strangled by a drug dealer's henchman, Lima newspaper Ultima Horaa reported. EUROPE

The affair surrounding the medical treatment in Paris of radical Palestinian leader George Habash - often accused of planning terrorist actions - has cost two more French officials their jobs. Interior Ministry officials Christian Rouyer and Patrice Bergougnoux were dismissed on Saturday after Habash returned to Tunis, following a controversial three-day stay in France. Habash was admitted to a Paris hospital Thursday apparently without the knowledge of French President Francois Mitterrand or any of his Cabinet. Israel has decided to let the incident pass without official protest.... Britain's opposition Labour Party reacted angrily Saturday to a report in the Sunday Times detailing repeated contacts between party leaders and Soviet diplomats from 1979 to 1985.... President Zhelyu Zhelev of Bulgaria believes other European states should recognize all Yugoslav republics that have declared independence to prevent Serbia from forcing them to stay in the federation. He told Reuters he hoped Greece would soon s ee Bulgaria's recognition of Macedonian statehood as a factor for stability in the Balkans. Yugoslav and Serbian leaders held crisis talks over the weekend to try to prevent the collapse of a UN peace plan.... Russia will begin withdrawing armed forces of the former Soviet Union from Latvia in March, the news agency Interfax reported. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

South Korea will urge North Korea in resumed border talks this week to ratify its nuclear safeguards accord promptly and allow inspectors to gain access to its secret nuclear facilities.... Hundreds of demonstrators rallied outside churches across Australia yesterday to protest a court ruling barring the ordination of the country's first Anglican women priests until a law is passed by the Anglican Church's national body. MIDDLE EAST

King Hassan II of Morocco said Saturday he wanted to speed up the election process in his country by first holding a referendum on the Western Sahara by May or June, followed shortly by the country's first national elections in eight years.... Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak traveled to Uganda yesterday on a tour of Africa that will also include visits to Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

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