News In Brief

The World

Palestinian police rounded up 112 suspected sympathizers of the militant Islamic groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The groups claimed responsibility for Sunday's two suicide bombings that killed seven Israelis in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian military court jailed an Islamic Jihad member for the first time. An Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo yesterday for a new round of negotiations on Palestinian elections. (Story, Page 1.)

President Fujimori won a second term in Peru's first national elections free of guerrilla violence in more than a decade. According to unofficial results, Fujimori won a landslide victory with at least 60 percent of the vote. Chief opponent Javier Perez de Cuellar said the unfair campaign conditions he faced shed doubt on the outcome. Fujimori said he would strengthen his free-market reforms and continue to crack down on guerrillas.

The dollar fell to a new global low of just over 80 yen yesterday but recovered somewhat by afternoon. Japan's prime minister called an emergency meeting to discuss how to curb the yen's surge. The dollar has lost about 20 percent since starting the year at 101.45 yen. Analysts say the root cause of the downfall is a large trade and budget deficit, which forces the US to borrow heavily abroad. (Story, Page 9.)

In what diplomats said was probably a final effort to stop the slide toward all-out war in Bosnia, the five-nation Contact Group will offer Serbia relief from UN trade sanctions if Belgrade gives formal recognition to Bosnia. Contact Group officials are scheduled to visit Belgrade today. The UN commander in Bosnia, meanwhile, warned rebel Serbs that they risked NATO airstrikes if they continued shelling Sarajevo.

The UN said the situation in northern Iraq was still tense and fighting between rival Iraqi Kurdish factions could erupt any time despite a temporary cease-fire. In anticipation of US Deputy Secretary of State Talbott's visit to Ankara, Prime Minister Ciller defended Turkey's sweep into Iraq. (Story, Page 7.)

Russian border guards killed nine Tajik rebels in clashes on the Tajik-Afghan border as heavy fighting continued for the fourth-straight day yesterday. Tajikistan's leader Rakhmonov asked Russian President Yeltsin for extra military aid after attacks by the rebels killed at least 29 Russian border guards. Chechen refugees, meanwhile, said Russian troops committed atrocities and killed dozens of civilians last weekend.

Iceland's conservative Independence Party, in power since 1991, scraped by in a cliffhanger parliamentary election. Prime Minister David Oddsson said his government coalition would remain unchanged for now. Frictions within the government have arisen over fishery policies and membership in the EU.

EU foreign ministers failed yesterday to end a bitter dispute between Canada and Spain over North Atlantic fishing rights, an EU spokesman said. The ministers called for more talks to seek a deal as quickly as possible. (Story, Page 1.)

Philippine President Ramos suspended Ambassador to Singapore Alicia Ramos and eight other diplomats over last month's hanging of a Filipina maid in Singapore. Singapore rejected the findings of a Philippine presidential commission into the 1991 double murders for which the maid was hanged, saying the findings were based on hearsay. Philippine police and troops, meanwhile, were at the highest level of alert yesterday amid fears of renewed attacks by Islamic militants.

EU officials headed for Northern Ireland yesterday bearing a $386 million aid package intended to help speed economic recovery in the British province.

Senate Democratic leader Daschle said he would consider a middle-income tax cut more modest than the one approved by the House, as long as it doesn't increase the debt. Democratic Senators also said they will not be rushed by the House on consideration of regulatory reform. The House has already passed a bill requiring federal agencies to do detailed cost-benefit analysis and risk reviews before issuing regulations. Senator Dole wanted the bill on the floor before the current spring recess, but Democrats stuck with rules that held up the complex measure.

The GOP social agenda, delayed during Congress's first 100 days, will grab attention when Capitol Hill reopens for business later this month. Many House Republicans want to cut government-sponsored abortion and family planning, toss out the 1994 assault-weapon ban, and trim affirmative-action programs. Thousands of women rallied over the weekend against the Republicans' program.

California Democrats pledged almost unanimously to defend affirmative-action programs targeted for elimination in a 1996 state-ballot initiative. President Clinton told them Saturday that they must abandon preference programs that do not work. Assembly Speaker Willie Brown said he was disappointed with Clinton's stance. (Story, Page 1.)

House Speaker Gingrich said the US is not ready to outlaw abortion because most Americans support a woman's right to choose. He also urged Ross Perot's supporters to abandon plans to form a third party for the 1996 elections because this would ''hand the election'' to Clinton.

Conservative Democratic Representative Deal of Georgia decided to switch to the Republican Party. He is the third Democrat to switch parties since last fall's election. Deal's switch increases the GOP majority in the House to 231-203, with one independent.

Clinton said he would stagger the mailing of millions of retirement and disability checks now sent at the beginning of each month to help even out the government's workload. (Story, Page 4.)

A tentative settlement was reached yesterday in the 14-day-old transit strike in Philadelphia. Labor leaders were hopeful that full service would resume citywide by yesterday afternoon.

New York City began banning smoking in restaurants with dining rooms seating more than 35 people. Some 11,000 eating facilities will be affected. Smoking in restaurant bars will be banned unless the bars are six feet from dining areas or separated by a floor-to-ceiling partition.

General Motors was the biggest and most profitable among large corporation in 1994, according to Forbes magazine. Exxon Corporation dropped from first to third place, and the Ford Motor Company ranked No. 2.

Good schools involve parents as full partners, a Carnegie Foundation report said. Thousands of schools do things right, according to the report, and it's time for other schools to learn from them.

Japan's Matsushita sold a four-fifths stake in its MCA Inc. movie unit to Canadian beverage group Seagram Co. for $5.7 billion, a capital loss for the company. Frontier Corp., meanwhile, agreed to acquire ALC Communications Corp. for $1.8 billion to create the fifth-largest long-distance phone company in the US.

Massachusetts Governor Weld is looking at ways to change the state's legal system. He's considering reducing the amounts of awards in court cases and cutting lawyers' fees.

Etcetera

An emotional Ben Crenshaw won the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, for a second time. Davis Love finished one stroke behind him. Crenshaw's veteran golfing teacher, Harvey Penick, died two weeks before the tournament. Crenshaw also won the Masters in 1984. (Story, Page 13.)

Rock reigned in 1994 record sales, with country and pop finishing second and third. Industry figures show that more than $12 billion worth of records were sold last year in the United States -- up 20 percent from $10 billion a year earlier.

The Hispanic community has organized a boycott designed to cut advertising revenue from Howard Stern's radio show. The boycott follows Stern's remarks about singing sensation Selena and her Tejano music style just days after she was killed in Corpus Christi, Texas on March 31. Stern's program featured mock gunfire against the background of her music.

Chinese airport security officers in Xian seized four fossilized dinosaur eggs in the luggage of a Japanese tourist. She had bought them for $475. China bans the export of dinosaur fossils.

Best-Selling Hardcover Fiction

1. ''The Celestine Prophecy,'' James Redfield (Warner)

2. ''Our Game,'' John Le Carre (Knopf)

3. ''Politically Correct Bedtime Stories,'' James Finn Garner (Macmillan)

4. ''Border Music,'' Robert James Waller (Warner)

5. ''A Dog's Life,'' Peter Mayle (Knopf)

6. ''The Glass Lake,'' Maeve Binchy (Delacorte)

7. ''The Bridges of Madison County,'' Robert James Waller (Warner)

8. ''Original Sin,'' P. D. James (Knopf)

9. ''Moo,'' Jane Smiley (Knopf)

10. ''The Fourth Procedure,'' Stanley Pottinger (Ballentine)

Associated Press

``There is no magic wand which can resolve the problems of a country in five years.''

Peruvian President Fujimori after his reelection for a second term

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