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UNITED STATES

An ABC News-Washington Post poll released Tuesday showed President Bush gaining ground against Bill Clinton, but Clinton still leads 53 to 41 percent.... Jury selection was set to begin yesterday for the trial of a class-action lawsuit against the estate of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos for human-rights abuses.... President Bush said Tuesday the US government will allow Virginia to penalize some welfare recipients whose children don't stay in school.... The number of murders in New York Cit y fell 11 percent in the first half of this year - the most dramatic six-month decrease in recent memory, authorities said. The decline is attributed to more police officers walking beats on the city's streets. ECONOMY AND BUSINESS

Trans World Airlines Inc. will eliminate service to 12 cities next month, lay off up to 10 percent of its work force, and ask workers to take a 15 percent pay cut, company officials said Tuesday.... Consumers' outstanding debt dropped $1.12 billion, an annual rate of 1.9 percent, in July, the US government said. It was the biggest decline in three months, the sixth in a row, and the 12th in 15 months. EUROPE

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France yesterday called the killing of two French UN peacekeepers in Sarajevo an "act of war" and demanded that the Bosnian government take action against the killers. ASIA

China threatened yesterday to block $4 billion worth of US goods if a market-access dispute escalates into a trade war. The threat follows China's protest over the US decision to sell F-16 fighters to Taiwan.

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