News Currents

MIDDLE EAST

Two US marines taking part in joint exercises with Kuwaiti forces were killed yesterday when their helicopter crashed near the emirate's northern border with Iraq, the US military said.... Algeria's Army-backed collective presidency Saturday announced the phased closing of Sahara Desert detention camps holding up to 3,000 supporters of the banned Muslim fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front. AFRICA

Congo's president, former dictator Denis Sassou-Nguesso, has lost his bid for a new term, an official said Saturday. A runoff will be held between two other candidates. Six African presidents, including Sassou-Nguesso, have been unable to win reelection against newly legalized opposition parties during the past two years. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

In a move to reform its foreign-exchange trading system, China opened the National Foreign Exchange Swap Market yesterday. It unifies exchange rates now quoted regionally.... Scuffles broke out Saturday as throngs of Chinese gathered in Shenzhen for a chance to buy new shares on the nation's two-year-old stock exchange. Five million application forms went on sale yesterday; 10 percent of those holding forms will be chosen by lottery to buy up to 1,000 shares apiece. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

In Brazil, about 20,000 demonstrators gathered in the center of Sao Paulo Saturday to call for the impeachment of President Fernando Collor de Mello. Collor is fending off corruption charges following accusations of influence peddling against his top aides.

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