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Egyptian and Israeli officials will meet today in Paris to discuss differences over nuclear arms. Egypt has been lobbying for Israel to sign on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in an effort to free the Middle East of nuclear weapons. Egyptian President Mubarak said he opposes the US policy of extending the treaty without Israel signing on. China said it wants an international agreement to ban first-strike use of nuclear weapons and pledged not to be the first to use them. An NPT review conference is scheduled for April 17 in New York. (Story, Page 1.)
Palestinian police arrested six Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip. The arrests came after a suspected Hamas bombmaking factory exploded last Sunday. Hamas opposes Israeli-PLO peace talks. PLO Chairman Arafat said Israeli Army explosives were found at the explosion site, feeding rumors that some Israelis have a secret pact with Hamas to halt the peace deal.
Police investigating the sect suspected in the Tokyo nerve-gas attack focused on a woman arrested at an airport carrying a box filled with passports and lists of sect members. She was identified as the wife of a senior member of the um Shinri Kyo.
Up to 4,000 refugees a day are pouring out of Chechnya, overwhelming the neighboring region of Dagestan. More than 20,000 Chechens crossed last week. Since the Russian invasion Dec. 11, about 500,000 Chechens have been forced from their homes.
Trade diplomats accused Japan of dragging its heels over measures to open its market to foreign imports. The criticism came as Japan faced a review of its trade policy by the world trade body, the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.
Fighting in northeast Bosnia reached its most intense level since the Muslim-led government launched an offensive March 20, UN observers said.
Voters in Scotland go the the polls today in local elections and are expected to give a massive thumbs down to British Prime Minister Major's ruling Conservatives. In Washington, Major and President Clinton patched up angry differences over policy on Northern Ireland.
Peruvians will vote Sunday on whether to give President Fujimori another five years to implement his free-market policies. Fujimori is leading in the polls.
Cambodia said violent clashes between the Khmer Rouge guerrillas and government military forces have sharply increased. Up to 53,000 people have been displaced by the most recent fighting.
About 60 more people were killed in Burundi, raising the toll to 500 in two weeks. In Kenya, two leading opposition members of parliament said President Moi's government raided their offices and placed them under arrest. War-crimes investigators in Rwanda identified 400 suspects who may face charges of genocide or other atrocities, the chief prosecutor said.
Irish police arrested four suspected members of the Irish National Liberation Army, including its reputed commander.
The House was expected to vote on a $189 billion tax-cut plan. Speaker Gingrich said he was two to three votes short of being assured the bill would not be blocked from debate. He vowed to hold the House in session beyond Friday's scheduled break to ensure passage of the measure. House Democrats, meanwhile, gathered signatures on a letter asking Clinton to veto legislation that combines health insurance tax deductions for about 3 million Americans with a tax break for media magnate Rupert Murdoch.
Senator Dole scheduled a showdown vote today on a $15 billion spending-cuts package. The Republicans want to cancel already-approved spending for summer youth jobs, public broadcasting, and other programs. Democratic leaders want to force a vote on an amendment restoring $1.3 billion of the GOP cuts in education and children's programs.
House and Senate negotiators appear ready to agree on a $2.7 billion supplemental defense-spending bill. The chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriation Committees forged a compromise on competing versions of a bill to replenish Pentagon accounts used to pay for deployments to Haiti and elsewhere. Clinton earlier warned that unless the money is approved this week, he would order sharp cuts in training and maintenance. (Story, Page 3.)