EVENTS

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SERB SOLDIERS GIVEN DEATH PENALTY

Two Serb soldiers, who were convicted of massacring civilians and murdering and raping captive women, were sentenced to death March 30 in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the first war-crimes trial of the year-old Bosnian war. Borislav Herak, who confessed to killing 30 war prisoners and civilians, including a dozen young Muslim women he first raped, said that he deserved to die and had no wish to appeal. Sretko Damjanovic claims he was beaten into falsely confessing five murders and two rapes. No date w as set for the execution by firing squad. Palestinians sealed off

Israel ordered the closure of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and cleared the way for soldiers to shoot with less provocation after Arabs killed two policemen March 30. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, under pressure to curb surging Arab-Israel violence, also said he would send reinforcements to the territories and step up Army operations. Mass grave reported

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Kurds looking for scrap among the ruins of a northern Iraq military complex stumbled on a mass grave last week, two humanitarian organizations have reported. The hundreds of victims were believed to have been soldiers executed as Army deserters, and civilians killed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's security forces in their crackdown on Kurds. The discovery in Irbil was the first of its kind in an area not under Iraqi control, according to Middle East Watch and Physicians for Human Rights. Two sentenced in L.A.

Two black men acquitted of killing a white motorcyclist in last spring's riots were sentenced to up to five years, eight months in prison on lesser charges. It was the first murder trial from the three days of rioting that left 54 people dead. The violence erupted last April 29 when four white policemen were acquitted on nearly all state charges in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. Marine force not needed

The 1,300 United States marines sent to Kismayu, Somalia, to keep the peace found little evidence that rival warlords were preparing to overrun the disputed southern port. After a four-day show of force, the marines began returning to their ships March 29. Cultists head to court

As talks between federal agents and cult leader David Koresh dragged on in Waco, Texas, more of his followers who have left the heavily armed compound were headed for court, seeking to get out of jail. Detention hearings for four Branch Davidian cult members were planned March 30. Fourteen adults and 21 children have left the complex since the standoff began following a Feb. 28 raid in which four federal agents and at least two cult members were killed.

Murdoch controls Post

With Rupert Murdoch back at the helm of the New York Post, the nation's oldest daily has a future - at least for another 60 days. The international media mogul made a triumphant return March 29 to the newsroom of the paper he was forced to sell in 1988 because of federal rules barring ownership of a newspaper and TV station in the same market. But US senators who blocked him from securing a waiver of the rule then have given assurances they will not stand in the way this time. Abe Hirschfeld, whose two-w eek reign as publisher saw mass firings and rehirings, as well as a staff rebellion, urged a US bankruptcy judge to approve his deal with Mr. Murdoch or risk the paper shutting down. Drug ring raided

In a series of raids March 29, hundreds of US federal and local law enforcement agents arrested 19 people suspected in a vast heroin and money-laundering ring in New York and Puerto Rico. Authorities also seized $60 million in assets. The ring's alleged money launderer, former Chase Manhattan Bank vice president Joseph Devery, is scheduled to surrender March 31 under a deal worked out with the US attorney's office.

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