EVENTS

US TROOPS MAY GO TO MACEDONIA President Clinton said it appears increasingly likely he will send a contingent of American troops to join United Nations forces in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, a symbolic deployment designed to stop the fighting from spreading. He also said the United States is not about to act alone or take sides in the Balkan war. Bosnian Serbs, meanwhile, turned down a call by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for a joint session of all Serbian parliaments from former Yugoslavia to ratify the United Nat ions peace plan. The proposal demands Serbs give back one-third of the land they have captured during the year-long war that has left 134,000 dead or missing. The Bosnian Serbs instead opted to go ahead with a scheduled referendum this weekend on the UN proposal. US prices jump

US wholesale prices shot up 0.6 percent in April, the steepest jump in 2 1/2 years, the government said yesterday. Food costs were the highest in more than three years, due in part to bad weather. The Labor Department said the April surge in its Producer Price Index followed increases of 0.4 percent in both February and March. It was the largest since a 1 percent gain in October 1990. German strike spreads

Union members in three east German regions voted yesterday to join an engineering workers' strike, spreading the walkout to all five states in the former communist area. Workers in Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia states as well as eastern Berlin voted overwhelmingly to join the strike, which hit Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern last week in the region's first legal strike in six decades. Employers had canceled a deal giving workers a 26 percent pay rise from April 1, saying that struggling eas t German firms could not afford the rise. Ciampi gets backing

The Italian Senate yesterday voted confidence in the government of Premier Carlo Ciampi, clearing the way for him to begin work on reforming Italy's political system and economy. Despite last-minute threats of defections from supporters, approval in the 315-member upper house of Parliament had been expected after Ciampi won a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies on Friday. A Russian UN veto

Russia stunned the UN Security Council by casting its first veto since 1984 to kill a resolution, aimed at reforming the financing of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. All 14 other council members voted for the British-sponsored resolution Tuesday, calling for the costs of the 1,500-member force to be divided among all UN members, instead of relying on voluntary donations. The peacekeeping operation has been on Cyprus since 1964 to help keep peace between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communit ies, but it is now running $200 million in arrears. AIDS help in Africa

The African Development Bank said it plans to provide more cash to help fight Africa's AIDS epidemic, which is hitting the world's poorest continent extremely hard. The disease is believed to have infected more than 7.5 million Africans and to be still spreading. N. Korea snaps at UN

North Korea yesterday officially rejected a UN resolution asking it to open military sites to nuclear inspectors, accusing the Security Council of interfering in its internal affairs. Talk among other UN members of possible sanctions for failing to heed the resolution was tantamount to a declaration of war, a spokesman for the isolated state said. North Korea had said on March 12 that it was withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty rather than bow to the demand of the Vienna-based Internatio nal Atomic Energy Agency to open the two suspect sites to the agency's inspectors.

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