EVENTS

US SUPREME COURT DECISIONS The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the Clinton administration's policy of intercepting and returning Haitian refugees without hearing their requests for political asylum. The court ruled 8-1 that the policy of stopping the Haitians in international waters and sending them back to their country does not violate federal immigration law or international treaty obligations.

Yesterday's ruling reversed a federal appeals court decision that said the policy was illegal. The Supreme Court had postponed that ruling's effect while it considered the case. The ruling is a victory for the Clinton administration, which adopted the repatriation policy begun by the Bush administration.

The court also let stand a ruling that said unlawful racial segregation may still exist in Topeka, Kansas, schools. The justices, without comment, refused to review a federal appeals court ruling that Topeka school officials have failed to prove they removed all "vestiges" of one-time mandatory segregation.

And the Supreme Court ruled to let stand a ban on political campaigning from the sidewalks outside post offices across the nation. Flooding in Bangladesh

Hunger and disease are spreading among tens of thousands of Bangladeshis hit by floods that have already killed more than 200 people, officials said yesterday. Families have been marooned for nearly a week with virtually no food or drinking water.

The flooding, caused by rain-swollen rivers running down from the Himalayas, worsened yesterday following heavy showers in the past 24 hours.

Officials said relief and rescue efforts were inadequate, but the government said operations were hindered by rain and poor communications. Ban on Nigerian results appealed

Nigeria's National Electoral Commission was planning yesterday to appeal a court order preventing it from releasing the results of the June 12 presidential elections, press reports say.

The Nigerian military authorities boosted police strength in Lagos Monday as the deadline for a civilian president to be named passed without any announcement.

The leadership of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, which claims its candidate, Mashood Abiola, was the clear winner of the election, instructed party followers to maintain complete calm, party sources said. New mayor in Milan

Umberto Bossi and his regional-based Northern League party, which rails against government waste and advocates greater autonomy for northern Italy, have captured their biggest prize yet: the mayoralty of the city of Milan.

With the League's Marco Formentini in office in their stronghold, the party's performance in government takes the national spotlight and the burden of proving its claim to be the only untainted, efficient political force in Italy. Endeavour launched

The space shuttle Endeavour ducked through clouds and raced into orbit yesterday with six astronauts on board to retrieve a European science satellite filled with an assortment of experiments.

Besides the satellite capture, the mission also features a practice spacewalk and the unveiling of the world's first commercial laboratory.

The eight-day mission is scheduled to end June 29 with a Kennedy Space Center landing. Nicaraguan unrest

Confrontations between Nicaraguan police and militant strikers have grown more violent as the deeply divided nation wrestles with economic and political problems. In three encounters, 19 have been injured and 67 arrested.

Strikes and protests have become common here as economic problems especially a 60 percent unemployment rate mount and as the government tries to bridge deep political differences and find consensus on how to move Nicaragua forward.

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