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EUROPE

In her first visit to the European Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II expressed strong support May 12 for the Maastricht Treaty on European unity, saying it provides a "necessary balance" of power in the 12-member European Community. Queen Elizabeth, who was to address the Council of Europe later May 12, was the only EC monarch not to have visited EC institutions. She was discouraged to do so by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, an ardent opponent of European integration.... Azeri news agencies said M ay 12 Armenian forces were closing in on the town of Lachin, which lies in the thin strip of Azerbaijan separating Armenia from Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh.... Chancellor Helmut Kohl said May 12 there was broad political agreement in Bonn that German troops be allowed to participate in UN peacekeeping missions but still not in foreign combat operations. UNITED STATES

President Bush has quickly repackaged his already-rejected legislative plans to help the country's troubled big cities and is calling them his "weed and seed" solution. After lightning trips to riot-torn Los Angeles May 7 and Philadelphia May 11, Bush is pressing Congress for a speedy hearing on his plans to weed out crime and to seed development with financial help. But Democrats in Congress have their own urban plan, and the president faces an election-year hard sell for his program.... NASA officials

have called upon two space-walking astronauts to hand wrestle an 8,900-pound satellite into the shuttle Endeavour's payload bay after failing twice to capture it with a specially designed bar. Two men accused of breaking into a Rockwell International Corporation plant and vandalizing a $50 million navigation satellite said May 11 they were protesting its military uses.

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