News Currents

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, one of seven presidential candidates in last week's elections, faced the threat of arrest yesterday after boycotting her arraignment on currency charges by a Manila court in protest against alleged election cheating.... Indian President Ramaswamy Venkataraman arrived in the Chinese capital, Beijing, yesterday for a visit demonstrating ties are back to normal after years of border disputes.... At least 25 people were injured and about a dozen arrested in street battles in Dhaka between opposition activists and police during an eight-hour general strike in the Bangladeshi capital yesterday, witnesses said. Strikers demanded the death penalty for Golam Azam, an Islamic fundamentalist leader accused of helping the Pakistani Army in a campaign of rape and killing during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence.... Taiwan released Huang Hwa, its most prominent dissident, from the Taipei Penitentiary yesterday in the first of a series of amnesties. Huang, a former presiden tial candidate of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was sentenced to prison for demanding independence from China.... In Jakarta, Indonesia, military commander Try Sutrisno dismissed yesterday a United States House of Representatives bill accusing his government of violating human rights in East Timor. The legislation would end US aid to the country.... North and South Korea established long-awaited liaison offices in Panmunjom yesterday to help implement a nonaggression pact they agre ed on, a southern statement said. RUSSIA

Prices for oil and natural gas rose more than 500 percent across Russia today after President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree lifting price controls on energy resources, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.... Russia has no claims on the Crimean Peninsula and values good relations with Ukraine, said Ruslan Khasbulatov, the chairman of Russia's parliament, yesterday after debate over a resolution questioning the legality of a 1954 transfer of the Crimea to Ukraine from Russia, reported the Itar-Tass news age ncy.... Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev hinted yesterday that his republic might allow Russia to deploy nuclear arms on its territory after it had given up its own nuclear arsenal. EUROPE

Italy wants the European Community to demand compensation from Yugoslavia for shooting down a helicopter carrying EC cease-fire monitors in January, Italian officials said yesterday.... A German court yesterday convicted former labor-camp commander Josef Schwammberger of murder in what is likely Germany's last major Nazi war crimes trial. The Stuttgart court immediately sentenced the native of Austria to life in prison..... France, facing a fourth year of drought, announced water-saving measures yesterda y.

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