News Currents

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

Kuwait will not invite international observers to monitor parliamentary elections planned for October.... US Secretary of State James Baker III told Israeli Ambassador Zalman Shoval that Israel could complete only the 6,000 housing units now under construction in the occupied territories and the cost of these would be docked "dollar for dollar" from the pending $10 billion loan guarantee from the US, Israel Radio said.... Two Libyan men indicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 have disappear ed from Tripoli and may have been executed, the Washington Post said.

UNITED STATES

Dow Corning's chairman and chief executive have stepped down following the company's release of documents showing it knew of problems with its silicone-gel breast implants as early as 1971.... Boxer Mike Tyson faces up to 60 years in prison for raping a woman. An Indianapolis jury convicted him Feb. 10.

EUROPE AND ASIA

Candidates for Romania's ruling National Salvation Front fared badly in Bucharest and other cities in mayoral elections Feb. 9, returns showed. Candidates running under the opposition alliance banner made major gains.... Russia has offered the return of two of four disputed Kurile Islands to Japan in negotiations on a peace pact between the two countries, Japanese press reports said.... South Korea has for the first time approved a request by a business conglomerate, Daewoo, to undertake joint ventures w ith North Korea.... German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher said Feb. 11 his country would support Japan's request for observer status in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

Increased use of coal by China has offset reductions in pollutants contributing to acid rain in the US, February's issue of Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association said. From 1970 to 1986, emissions of nitrogen and sulfur oxides in the United States fell. But they steadily increased in the old Soviet states, China, and Japan, while remaining steady in Europe, the US publication said.... An unscrupulous drugmaker might be able to slip unproved substances into animal and poultry feed, a US cong ressional report says, because the US Food and Drug Administration could not detect falsified data.... The heads of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guiana, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuela - all Amazon countries that share a border on the world's largest tropical rain forest - have pledged to preserve the plant and animal wildlife in the Amazon and called for economic aid in doing so. They met in preparation for a UN-sponsored Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro this June.... Japan launched its first environment al survey satellite Feb. 11. It will observe weather patterns and changes in the Earth's surface.

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