News Currents

MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

Britain said yesterday that Iraq has moved missile batteries north of the 36th parallel in Iraq for the first time since just after the Gulf war, posing a possible threat to allied aircraft in the area.... Yassir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, survived a crash landing of his plane during a sandstorm in the Libyan desert.... Iraq agreed Tuesday to the destruction of buildings and equipment at the al-Atheer complex that could produce nuclear weapons the head of a UN inspection t eam said.... Refugees fleeing Burma have accused Burmese troops of opening fire on Muslims at prayer in a village mosque in western Arakan state, killing at least 200 people, Bangladeshi officials said yesterday.... China will resume direct flights to Vietnam next month, a further sign of growing Sino-Vietnamese cooperation following the normalization of ties, the official China Daily said. UNITED STATES

Sen. Tim Wirth (D) of Colorado, a first-termer considered politically vulnerable to retain his post, has decided not to seek reelection this fall. He had advocated the Senate have a bank similar to the one the House has misused. Wirth is the seventh senator to announce that he will not run this year - an unusually high number. In addition, Sen. Alan Dixon (D) of Illinois was defeated for reelection in the Democratic primary.... The big-three automakers say a long-awaited government study vindicates their

position against ever-rising federal fuel economy standards. A report by the National Research Council, released in Washington Tuesday, suggests that higher gasoline taxes or fees for gas-guzzling cars may be better ways to save fuel than the current federal mileage standards because of negative trade-offs in cost, safety, air quality, and consumer preferences.... The International Monetary Fund expects the industrial world to record solid economic growth next year after a lackluster performance in 1992. EUROPE

Rival ethnic groups fought new artillery and gun battles in Bosnia-Herzegovina yesterday. Dozens of people have been killed in several days of fighting between Serbs, who oppose secession from Yugoslavia, and Muslims and Croats, who want to break away. The European Community and the US have already recognized Bosnia as independent.... Irish voters could face up to three referendums this year on the country's ban on abortion, Justice Minister Padraig Flynn said yesterday.... Russia started taking control of the disputed Black Sea fleet yesterday while Ukraine's parliament met to discuss the bitter dispute.... A draft constitution for the Russian Federation foresees increased political power for the republic's president, including a six-year term and being head of the executive branch and the armed forces.... The UN Security Council authorized Tuesday the earliest possible full deployment of the 14,000-member UN peacekeeping force for Yugoslavia.

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