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News In Brief

By CompiledLawrence J. GoodrichDavid Mutch, and Peter E. Nordahl / March 28, 1995



The World

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Iraq's parliament Speaker denied he said two Americans sentenced to eight years in prison in Iraq had planned sabotage. Claiming Reuters had misquoted him, Saadi Mehdi Saleh said ''humanitarian doors are not shut to them yet'' but that his country wanted to know the reasons the men crossed its border. Saleh again hit UN trade sanctions against Iraq. Meanwhile, the UN envoy in charge of disarming Iraq said yesterday four days of talks in Baghdad had made progress but had not solved all remaining problems.

Turkish troops in northern Iraq pushed Kurdish rebels toward the Syrian and Iranian borders yesterday as fighting continued. Germany suspended military sales and subsidies to Turkey to protest the Turkish operation. In a Cabinet reshuffle to satisfy coalition politics, Turkish President Demirel fired his foreign minister and replaced 10 other ministers.

Spanish fishermen headed back to disputed fishing grounds in international waters. Sunday Canadian patrol boats cut the nets of a Spanish boat off Newfoundland and tried to board two others. The EU said Canada's unilateral fishing moratorium was ''piracy,'' and Ottawa was set to air its position at the UN.

The UN said it will call for NATO airstrikes against Bosnian Serb artillery if it fires again into safe areas. Civilians were killed in such attacks over the weekend. The Serbs said the safe areas are being used as staging areas for the current strong military push by government forces and indicated they probably will attack more of them.

President Mandela fired his estranged wife, Winnie, from the South African government, ridding his cabinet of a stinging critic of his conservative economic policies. She remains a key figure in the African National Congress, where she champions poor blacks. Separately, South Africa's Chamber of Mines canceled a closed-shop agreement that favored whites for 58 years.

More than 90 percent of voters in the breakaway Trans- Dniester region of Moldova voted to keep Russian troops in the area, early results of a Sunday referendum showed. Local officials, concerned about Moldova reestablishing control, welcomed the results.

A top Algerian journalist was killed yesterday, the second top editor in the country to be murdered in four months. Islamists are suspected of killing Mohammed Abderrahmani, chief editor of the government-run newspaper El Moudjahid.

Guatemalan authorities almost never respond to charges of politically motivated murder, according to a UN human-rights group posted in the country. Last week, US Representative Torricelli said a Guatemalan colonel formerly on the CIA payroll was responsible for the deaths of one American and of the Guatamalan husband of another.

Uzbekistan voters extended the tenure of President Islam Karimov from 1997 to 2000, preliminary election results showed. Final results will be released Wednesday. Officials said over 50 percent of voters turned out. Opposition groups have been largely suppressed in the troubled nation since the Soviet breakup in 1991.

US-North Korean talks in Berlin paused so US negotiators could confer in Washington on new North Korean proposals. The talks center on modifying Pyongyang's nuclear program, but North Korea has stalled on plans to provide it with reactors from South Korea.

Canada's Parliament ordered striking railroad employees back to work, but full service for commuters and shippers wasn't expected before today. Some 30,000 employees have been off their jobs for a week. Lifetime job-security provisions were the basic issue.

The US

President Clinton was set to announce a plan to cut operations at five major agencies. Changes at the FCC, FEMA, the Small Business Administration, the Interior Department, and NASA will save $20.8 billion over five years, the administration said. Many had previously been announced. The Washington Post said the NASA cuts would trim 55,000 jobs in government and space-related industries.

Sales of existing homes fell 5 percent in February, a realtors' group said. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing single-family houses totaled a seasonally adjusted rate of $3.43 billion, down from $3.61 billion in January. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged about 8.75 percent during the month.