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UNITED STATES

The US trade deficit plummeted 43 percent during February to $3.38 billion, the Commerce Department said.... Caterpillar Inc. workers, following union orders to end their five-month-old strike, were again turned away at factory gates yesterday by management officials. Caterpillar says management has found ways to eliminate many jobs. EUROPE

UN special envoy Cyrus Vance hinted yesterday that the Yugoslav Army-led Serb offensive against newly independent Bosnia-Herzegovina could lead to Serbia's expulsion from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which could make Serbia a virtual pariah.... Because of a Russian Foreign Trade Bank general ban on foreign currency accounts, Raisa Gorbachev has been denied payment of $100,000 in foreign proceeds from her book "Life Is Hope." Her husband, Mikhail, also has been prevented from maki ng foreign currency payments of $750,000 to his political foundation in Moscow.... Two top members of the "P2" lodge and the head of the Olivetti concern were given long prison sentences yesterday at the end of a two-year trial winding up the biggest banking scandal in Italian history. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

UN and Pakistani officials increased efforts yesterday to send a UN-sponsored authority to Afghanistan amid reports of a military takeover in Kabul. Reports said President Najibullah tried to flee Kabul but was turned back. France said Najibullah has resigned.... Taiwan Aerospace Corporation named a new chairman yesterday in a move that analysts said could clear obstacles to the company buying a stake in US planemaker McDonnell Douglas.

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