EVENTS

BIGGEST US MISSION FOR MIAS CONCLUDES The United States yesterday ended the biggest recovery mission in Vietnam since the Vietnam War for Americans missing in action. The 23-day operation took on added significance because it was the first search for American remains since President Clinton lifted the US trade embargo against Vietnam on Feb. 3, said Army Lt. Col. John Cray, head of the MIA Office in Hanoi. Cray said the joint US-Vietnamese teams recovered remains believed to be those of missing Americans at crash and burial sites. In keeping with US policy, he would not disclose what was recovered, pending a joint US-Vietnamese forensics review in early April. UN convoy reaches Maglaj

A UN aid convoy entered the Serb-besieged Muslim enclave of Maglaj in north Bosnia yesterday for the first time since October, UN officials said. Six trucks laden with food and medical aid reached the devastated, near-starving community of 20,000 people after Serb forces who had blocked dozens of previous convoys melted away from a key access road. Gaza-Jericho offer

Israel is prepared to speed up its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho if the Palestine Liberation Organization resumes peace negotiations, a top official said yesterday. The Israelis reportedly will present steps to improve Palestinian security in the occupied lands that will enable the PLO to return to peace negotiations. They suspended talks after a Jewish settler killed 30 Muslim worshipers in a Hebron mosque on Feb. 25. Nixon Library papers

Richard Nixon's private papers are being made available to scholars and researchers for the first time. The papers include reports that prompted Nixon's famous ``Checkers speech'' and documents from his tenure on the House Committee on Un-American Activities. But scholars know not to expect material from the Watergate investigation. Since his resignation, the former president has been suing to keep those papers under wraps. Christian Science case

A jury's $14.2 million wrongful-death verdict against the Christian Science church and five of its members has been lowered by $3.7 million. Judge Sean Rice said Thursday the award was excessive when compared with awards in other child wrongful-death cases in Minnesota. The judge cut actual damages from $5.2 million to $1.5 million, but left intact a $9 million punitive damage award against The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Douglass Lundman, the father of Ian Lundman, had sued after his 11-year-old son died of complications from what was diagnosed as diabetes when the boy's mother chose to rely on spiritual healing. A spokesman for the Christian Science church in Boston says that the church will appeal the ruling.

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