THE NEWS IN BRIEF
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The US dollar regained ground in European trading, as interest-rate increases in France, Denmark, and Belgium helped it rebound against the German mark and Japanese yen. US Federal Reserve chairman Greenspan called the weak dollar unwelcome, troublesome, and "very likely overdone." Japan said it would consider new economic measures to deal with the problem, but gave no details. (Stories, Pages 1 and 9.)
Mexico's Congress approved terms of a $20 billion US aid package. The move sets the stage for a government economic plan designed to help end uncertainty about the peso and restore investor confidence. The peso has lost almost half its value against the dollar since December and even more against the mark and yen.
Secretary of State Christopher said he was outraged by the killing of two US consulate employees in Karachi, Pakistan, and vowed to help the Islamabad government bring the killers to justice. Two gunmen sprayed bullets at a van carrying three US government workers, killing the two and wounding a third. They were the first Americans to die in the violence that has swept Karachi over the past year.
Delegates at the UN poverty summit in Copenhagen marked International Women's Day yesterday with a sober message: Up to 70 percent of the world's 1.2 billion poor and two-thirds of the world's illiterate are women. The week-long, 193-nation meeting has been hindered by disagreement over concrete commitments to increase foreign aid to poorer nations, debt relief, and education funding. (Women's Day in Russia, Page 1.)
China foiled a Western attempt to censure its human-rights record for the fifth successive year, narrowly defeating a US-backed draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The resolution was considered moderate, expressing concern at continuing reports of human-rights violations in China.
Rebel Serb leaders in Croatia, warning that war is imminent, met to plan a response in case of a pullout by UN peacekeepers. Croatia, which plans to expel the 12,000 UN soldiers after March 31, says it will try to use peaceful means to regain lands lost to the Serbs. But world leaders say a new Serb-Croat war would likely follow the pullout.
UN members owed the organization a record $3 billion at the end of February, with the US accounting for more than $1 billion. Russia owed the second-biggest debt, $624 million.
Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller said her government would use a landmark agreement with EU states as an opportunity to gain a permanent seat at Europe's table. The EU and Turkey ended more than two decades of negotiations and agreed on a customs union intended to bind Turkey to the West.
Britain will lift some orders restricting the movement of suspected terrorists in Northern Ireland but will not suspend anti-terrorist laws, the government said. Britain currently has exclusion orders against 56 suspects that bar them from entering England, Scotland, and Wales.
Canada and the EU issued conflicting statements in their fishing dispute. Canada said Spanish vessels withdrew from a key area, but an EU spokesman denied this. Canada earlier threatened to seize the ships. Canada and the EU have been arguing over dwindling stocks of Greenland halibut.
A prisoner serving a life sentence for killing former Philippine President Aquino's husband reportedly said he was ordered to kill the senator if an assassin failed to. It was the first time anyone convicted of the murder has spoken about a conspiracy involving senior figures from the armed forces. The US
Workplace productivity rose 2.2 percent last year, the Labor Department said. The increases held labor costs to a 0.9 percent increase, the smallest in three decades. Hourly compensation did not keep pace, however, rising only 0.5 percent; output went up 5.2 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage delinquencies edged up to 4.15 percent in the final quarter of 1994. The association said the trend is up, but that delinquencies are still low by historical standards.
President Clinton signed a largely symbolic order banning federal contractors from hiring replacement workers during strikes. Republicans vowed to swiftly introduce legislation to overturn it.
The House passed a bill requiring the loser in a federal lawsuit to pay the winner's legal fees if a settlement was offered before trial. The winner would pay the loser's fees if he won less than the pretrial settlement offer. (Story, Page 4.)