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US INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION JUMPS Industrial production surged in December more rapidly than it has in two years and factories operated at their highest rate of capacity in more than 15 years. The Federal Reserve said Jan. 17 that output at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities advanced 1 percent last month and was 5.8 percent higher in December than a year earlier. The strong production figures show that industry closed out last year in robust fashion and contrasted with a US government report last week that retail sales in December declined for the first time in eight months. Analysts said the sales dip may signal the beginning of a slowdown in Americans' spending spree that has powered the four-year economic expansion. But the Jan. 17 data showed no slowing in industrial output. With strength broadly based, the Federal Reserve said industry was operating at 85.4 percent of capacity in December, the highest rate since October 1979. Clinton in California

The president visited California State University at Northridge Jan. 17, on the anniversary of a major earthquake there, to talk to quake survivors, tour rebuilding projects, and address the community. Afterward, he was to travel to Roseville, Calif., to walk a flood-stricken street and talk to local residents. Storms battering California for almost two weeks created floods and mud slides that killed at least 11 people and caused an estimated $300 million in damage.

UN-Bosnia ties fray

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The Bosnian government demanded the withdrawal of 450 peacekeepers from a base in northeast Bosnia, a top official said Jan. 17, signaling a sharp deterioration in ties with the United Nations. The government's minister for relations with the UN, Hasan Muratovic, said he sent a letter Jan. 16 to UN officials demanding the pullout from the airport at Tuzla. Most of the airport troops are Norwegian. Alexander on ballot

Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander came to New Hampshire 14 months ago to meet the state's leading Republicans and to look for encouragement to run for president in 1996.

An occasional but low-profile visitor ever since to the state with the earliest presidential primary, Mr. Alexander returned Jan. 17 to announce his long-anticipated decision: He will run for the Republican nomination.

Italy's 54th government

Premier-designate Lamberto Dini Jan. 17 announced his new government to Italy's president after difficult negotiations over his roster of ministers. The proposed government, will be Italy's 54th since World War II. It must go to parliament for a vote of confidence.

Chrysler profits surge

Chrysler Corporation Jan. 17 reported record profits of $3.71 billion for 1994, riding a strong market for its popular Jeeps, minivans, and trucks to the best performance in its 69-year history.

In 1993 the company had a net loss of $2.5 billion.

Bhutto may visit US

Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto reportedly will visit the United States the week of April 10 in an attempt to attract investors to her nation.

Mrs. Bhutto hopes to visit with President Clinton.

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