EVENTS

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N. KOREA ACCEPTS TALKS WITH SOUTH North Korea agreed yesterday to hold talks next week to prepare for a first-ever summit between the presidents of the two Koreas. North Korean Prime Minister Kang Song San said the North would accept a Southern proposal for talks at Panmunjom on June 28. A South Korean government spokesman called the response a ``positive sign'' for easing tension on the Korean Peninsula over the North's suspected nuclear-weapons program. The United States, Seoul, and their allies have threatened North Korea with sanctions for obstructing nuclear-plant inspections. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said Tuesday the US would resume talks with North Korea if it confirms its willingness to freeze its nuclear program. China has floods, drought

While north China battled drought, millions of soldiers and rescuers shored up dikes in south China, where some of the heaviest flooding this century has killed at least 520 people, official reports said yesterday. Among the worst hit areas was Qingyuan city in Guangdong Province, where floods caused $149 million worth of damage and left thousands homeless. Meanwhile, in north China's Hebei Province, the worst drought in 50 years has dried up a 144-square-mile lake about 60 miles south of Beijing. Scandal in Colombia

Colombia's largest drug cartel influenced Colombia's presidential race by contributing to President-elect Ernesto Samper's campaign, according to a tape of bugged conversations and to news reports. The scandal broke wide open Tuesday night when TV newscasts broadcast portions of the audiotape. Three men - identified as leaders of the Cali cartel and another man linked to the drug gang - could be heard discussing political contributions. UAW strikes Caterpillar

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Nearly 13,000 United Auto Workers members were on strike yesterday in the latest chapter of the union's three-year contract dispute with Caterpillar Inc. The union says the strike is in response to unfair labor practices. But Peoria-based Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of earth-moving equipment, says the union is simply trying to force the company to negotiate better terms. Millions for London Zoo

A British eccentric has left more than $3 million to London Zoo, which has been threatened with closing in recent years due to a financial crisis. John Perry, a south London commercial lawyer, had no obvious interest in animals or zoos.

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