News Currents

UNITED STATES

The Michigan State Supreme Court Tuesday struck down the nation's toughest drug law, ruling that mandatory life imprisonment without parole for drug dealers is unconstitutionally harsh.... Profits at savings and loans rebounded in the first three months of 1992 to around $1.5 billion, the best performance in six years, according to the Office of Thrift Supervision. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average plunged more than 500 points to its lowest level in more than 5 years yesterday.... China yesterday published the text of a new law giving state-security organizations the right to use "all police methods" to suppress illegal protests. The law bans all public demonstrations that do not have official permission.... In central Taiwan, police evacuated an office building yesterday after the American Express Company received a bomb threat, the third involving a US firm in five da ys.... Protesting layoffs, Sydney-based journalists at Australia's Fairfax Holdings Ltd. began a 36-hour strike yesterday. The action will stop publication of the daily Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Conservative Marc Bazin won parliamentary approval Tuesday as Haiti's new prime minister. Backed by the Army, Bazin says he will pursue talks with ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.... Mexico says it has temporarily resumed joint antidrug efforts with the US after receiving assurances that Washington will not act on a Supreme Court ruling and kidnap more suspects south of the border.

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