EVENTS

BELGRADE CELEBRATES SANCTIONS EASING A tough trade embargo remains, but Yugoslavia celebrated yesterday an easing of sanctions imposed 28 months ago for triggering the war in Bosnia. The Politika daily declared a UN decision to allow sports and cultural contacts and reopen Belgrade's airport to international flights ``the beginning of the end of the blockade against our country.'' Yet questions remain over whether Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has cut off all military assistance to Bosnian Serbs, whom he supported during more than two years of war. Bosnian Serbs accused Mr. Milosevic of a sellout. But in Belgrade, the sense of relief was evident. ``After 28 months, Yugoslavia is coming out of its long-lasting international isolation,'' the official Yugoslav news agency Tanjug proclaimed Tuesday. Italian minister quits

Premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservative coalition, shaken by one crisis after another, suffered a new blow yesterday when the justice minister quit. The resignation of Alfredo Biondi was linked to a published interview by one of the prosecutors investigating Berlusconi's media holdings, a government spokesman said. The government rejected Biondi's resignation, but the climate was tense in what has become a showdown between the government and anticorruption prosecutors in Milan. US, China sign pact

The United States will lift trade sanctions imposed on China because of alleged missile technology transfers to Pakistan, Secretary of State Warren Christopher said Tuesday (see photo below). In exchange, Mr. Christopher said, China has agreed not to export ground-to-ground missiles capable of sending a 1,000-pound payload 186 miles. The sanctions on China were imposed in August 1993 when the US determined that China had sent missile technology to Pakistan in violation of a multinational agreement regulating export of missile components. US car sales jump

The Big Three domestic automakers said their sales jumped nearly 10 percent in September compared with the year before, fueling confidence about a strong finish for 1994. Reports issued Tuesday showed Big Three sales up 9.7 percent from September 1993 while performance by the Japan-based companies fell 1.2 percent.

The Big Three increased their market share to 72.3 percent for the month, up from 68.2 percent in August. Factory orders soar

Orders to United States factories soared 4.4 percent in August, the biggest gain in nearly two years, the government said yesterday. The Commerce Department said the rise in the indicator of manufacturing plans - the 11th gain in the last 13 months - was led by an increased demand for automobiles but demand soared practically across the board. Overall, orders fell 2 percent in July. While analysts expected factory orders to rebound in August, the increase easily exceeded their expectations.

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