News Currents

UNITED STATES

Thousands of office workers in Chicago's downtown Loop got a second day off April 14 because of an underground flood that is only partly under control. Power and natural gas remained off after an estimated 250 million gallons of water had poured from a hole in the bottom of the Chicago River, flooding basements and utility tunnels under the Loop. Crews threw rocks, dirt, quick-set cement, and mattresses into the hole.... The Electric Boat division of General Dynamics Corporation handed layoff notices Apr il 13 to 1,888 workers at plants in four states, saying their jobs will be gone in 60 days.... Retail sales declined 0.4 percent in March from a rise of 1.3 percent in February. MIDDLE EAST

The International Court of Justice April 14 rejected Libya's plea for an order barring Britain and the US from taking any action to force Tripoli to hand over two suspects in airliner bombings. The rulings came a day before related UN sanctions were to be imposed.... Syria has turned its tiny Jewish community into a hostage group that cannot exercise its right to emigrate under Syrian or international law, the World Jewish Congress and the Council for the Rescue of Syrian Jews charged April 14.... The US

Defense Department and Israel Aircraft Industries will go ahead with development of the Arrow antimissile missile project through 1996 despite recent test-launch setbacks. EUROPE

Albanian President Sali Berisha appointed April 14 the country's first noncommunist government in more than four decades, headed by 53-year-old archaeologist Alexander Meksi.... Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel said April 14 he will seek another term.

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