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RENO CRUISES TOWARD CONFIRMATION

Miami prosecutor Janet Reno appears to be cruising toward confirmation as the nation's first female attorney general. During Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on her nomination, which began Tuesday and continued yesterday, Ms. Reno won broad, bipartisan support. Republicans even joined Democrats in lambasting a conservative activist who had raised unsubstantiated rumors about Reno's personal conduct. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah said Reno may be confirmed by the full Senate this week. "We need her in t here," he said. Bombing suspect arrested

The FBI yesterday announced the arrest of a third suspect in the bombing that rocked the World Trade Center and killed five people. Nidel Ayyad, a 25-year-old chemical engineering graduate of Rutgers University who was arrested in Maplewood, N.J., was allegedly involved in renting the van used in the blast. He was scheduled to be arraigned yesterday afternoon in federal court in Newark, N.J. An FBI agent told Congress Tuesday that the blast was the work of experienced terrorists. Fed gives mixed picture

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The nation's 12 Federal Reserve bank presidents told Congress yesterday that the overall economy is showing gradual signs of improvement, but they warned that serious regional problems exist in such areas as New England and California. The condition of the economy has been the major point of contention as lawmakers debate President Clinton's proposed $16 billion stimulus package. Georgia flag unchanged

Georgia Gov. Zell Miller (D) has given up on attempts to remove the Confederate emblem from his state's flag after conceding he was "not even close" to getting legislators' support for the move. The Confederate bars-and-stars were added to the Georgia flag in 1956 as a symbol of opposition to integration. Palestinians spurn talks

Palestinian negotiators rejected yesterday a US invitation to resume peace talks with Israel in Washington next month. They said they would not join the talks, sponsored by the US and Russia, until the controversy over Israel's expulsion of 415 Palestinian fundamentalists is resolved. Israel announced earlier in the day that it had agreed to attend the talks. French right leads

A French poll showed yesterday that the country's main right-wing coalition will win a crushing 418-seat majority in the National Assembly in this month's parliamentary elections. The expected right-wing victory in the March 21 and 28 election will leave President Francois Mitterrand, a Socialist, facing a hostile parliament for his last two years in office. Japanese scandal unfolds

Japanese television on Tuesday night showed investigators carting bonds, cash, and several hundred pounds of gold from the office of Shin Kanemaru, a former political kingpin who was arrested Saturday on charges of tax evasion. Mr. Kanemaru is one of behind-the-scenes figures who have wielded enormous influence in Japanese politics by doling out funds to allies.

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