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NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA

The Los Angeles Police Department ranks among the nation's best in hiring blacks, reports a University of Nebraska survey.... The United Auto Workers Wednesday threatened a strike at an Indiana GM factory that could shut down all the company's assembly plants in North America.... Trade ministers from the US, Canada, and Mexico initialed the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday, but a number of issues are yet to be resolved.... Attorney Talbot D'Alemberte asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday t o let federal judges stop an execution when a state court refuses to hear an inmate's new claim of innocence.... In Peru, Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman Reynoso was sentenced to life in jail and fined $25 billion on Wednesday.... West Indian poet Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize in literature yesterday for writings on his Caribbean homeland. EUROPE

Investigators at the site in Amsterdam, where an Israeli 474 crashed Sunday, found the flight data recorder Wednesday. Wreckage found at the scene indicates both engines fell off. The crash's death toll could be much lower than originally predicted. The US Federal Aviation Authority said Wednesday it would order an inspection of engine mounts on some Boeing 747s. Meanwhile, a suspected faulty pin of an El Al 747 delayed a flight yesterday.... South Korea yesterday said Russia would hand over next week K GB files giving details of the 1983 downing of a Korean airliner by Soviet fighters.... A strategic Bosnian city, Bosanski Brod, burned after it was captured by Serb fighters who widened their regional offensive with heavy shelling.... The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility yesterday for setting off two bombs in London Wednesday.

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