EVENTS

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SERBS SHELL GORAZDE; UN CUTS RATIONS Serb gunners pounded Bosnia's eastern Muslim enclave of Gorazde for 90 minutes yesterday, wounding residents and driving United Nations personnel into shelters, a UN official said. In May the UN Security Council declared Gorazde and five other Muslim towns ``safe havens.'' Meanwhile, a UN convoy abandoned an attempt to reach Sarajevo after refusing to pay a stiff new road toll imposed by Serbs. A UN spokesman had announced Tuesday that the UN refugee relief agency would not pay tolls, and that because of a lack of donations and security problems, would cut in half the food rations being supplied to more than 1.4 million Bosnians. The Bosnian Army made gains against Croat troops in the west yesterday, but was hard-pressed by a joint Croat-Serb offensive at a strategic cluster of towns in the north. Vietnam loans allowed

President Clinton was expected to announce today his decision to drop US opposition to a plan to refinance Vietnam's $140 million debt to the International Monetary Fund, a White House official said yesterday.

The end of US objections to multilateral lending would represent the furthest-reaching easing of the US trade embargo, and would reflect US appreciation for Hanoi's cooperation in accounting for soldiers missing from the Vietnam war. Salvadoran purge

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The Salvadoran armed forces yesterday were expected to purge key officers accused of human rights violations during the country's 12-year civil war.

According to a promise by the government of President Alfredo Cristiani, Defense Minister Gen. Rene Emilio Ponce was being replaced during today's official ceremony by Col. Humberto Corado Figueroa. General Ponce was named in a March report issued by a UN-backed commission as the person who ordered a battalion to kill six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter during a fierce rebel offensive in late 1989. US abortion funding ban

The US House voted to retain the government's 16-year ban on federal money for abortions Wednesday, giving abortion foes a victory in Congress' first big test vote of the year.

The vote was not close. By 255-178, House members passed the ban on all federal funds for abortion except to save the life of a mother or in cases of rape or incest. The size of the margin was a blow to the hopes of abortion-rights advocates for future battles. US jobless claims fall

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 11,000 to 340,000 last week, the lowest level in five weeks, the government said yesterday.

The less-volatile, four-week moving average of jobless claims, which analysts prefer to track because it more accurately reflects the labor situation, also fell. Overseas bases to be closed

Defense Secretary Les Aspin announced yesterday what the Pentagon said is the largest overseas bases reduction in three years, including the shutdown or reduction of operations at 92 installations. The announcement brings to 840 the number of overseas sites where operations are being cut back, 773 of them in Europe.

President Clinton intends to approve a federal commission's plan to shut or cut back dozens of US military bases and send the list to Congress for final action, a White House official said today. Serb dissident muzzled

President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia has signaled his determination to muzzle his most outspoken critic, with the regime pressing criminal charges against imprisoned opposition leader Vuk Draskovic and his wife.

The couple, who remain under guard in a hospital after police beatings, were indicted Wednesday for allegedly leading protesters in clashes with security forces on June 1. Draskovic, the leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement, began a hunger strike yesterday. He and his wife, Danica a member of the party's executive committee face up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

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