NEW MUSLIM TRADING BLOC ESTABLISHED
Five former Soviet republics and Afghanistan joined Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey Saturday to create a Muslim economic bloc linking Europe and Asia. Foreign ministers from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan signed the founding charter of the Economic Cooperation Organization, forming the biggest economic bloc after the European Community. Tajikistan, already accepted as a member, did not sign because of domestic upheaval. One foreign minister said he hoped the expa nded body would lead to an Islamic common market, and he proposed the further slashing of tariffs, creation of an airline, and establishment of satellite links. Queen to pay income tax
Britian's Queen Elizabeth II announced that she will begin voluntarily paying income tax and will reimburse the government for payments to her children. The decision follows controversy over government support of the royal family. Boston fire remembered
Survivors of Boston's 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire joined city officials Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of the fire, which killed 492 people but also prompted better building safety codes and improved care for burn victims. It was the second-deadliest blaze in US history. North Korea halts buses
North Korea has closed down bus service on Saturdays and Sundays to prevent protest gatherings following riots over worsening shortages of food and everyday goods, according to a leading government opponent. The Japanese press has reported that riots over increasing food shortages have occurred this year and were suppressed by the military. Mandela appeal set
Winnie Mandela's appeal of her conviction and six-year sentence for kidnapping and assault will be heard in March, the South African Press Association reported Saturday. Mrs. Mandela, estranged wife of African National Congress president Nelson Mandela, is free on bail after being sentenced last year to five years for kidnapping four black youths and to one year for being an accessory to their assaults. Iraq to return missiles
Baghdad has promised to hand back 75 Hawk ground-to-air missiles stolen from Kuwait, UN officials said Saturday. The missiles are intact but missing their launchers and control equipment, they said. During the Gulf crisis Iraq said it prepared two batteries of the improved Hawks to shoot down allied aircraft. It is not known if they were fired. Jordan said to aid Iraq
Jordan's government provided Iraq with US technology and coalition and Israeli intelligence information after the invasion of Kuwait and during the Gulf War, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. The allegations were listed in a classified section of a General Accounting Office report. It stated that Jordan also engaged in joint training exercises with Iraq and provided some spare machine parts.