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News In Brief

(Page 2 of 2)

Argentine President Menem is no longer assured of victory in a May 14 vote, polls show, since his rival, Frepaso candidate Bordon, could take enough votes to require a runoff. The office of Mexican President Zedillo denied a news report that Colombian drug funds made their way into Zedillo's campaign last year. Peruvian police said two American Maoists are wanted for a meeting they held last year with Shining Path guerrillas in Peru.

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Chechen rebels stepped up attacks on Russian troops in Grozny just a week before world leaders arrive in Moscow to celebrate the 50th anniversary of World War II. President Yeltsin has tried to impose a unilateral Russian cease-fire in the war, which is broadly condemned by world opinion.

Leaders of South Asia's seven nations began a conference in New Delhi aimed at building greater economic cooperation and launching a trade bloc. Lowering of tariffs could begin in December. Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto stayed away because of strained relations with India, but Pakistani President Leghari was to meet with Indian Premier Rao over the dispute in Kashmir.

South Korea welcomed North Korea's decision to restart talks with the US on a major nuclear accord, in which the US wants North Korea to accept South-Korean-made nuclear reactors.

A new Israeli Army plan calls for pulling troops from six Palestinian towns in the West Bank over a 14-month period starting in November, an Israeli daily reported. An Israeli official confirmed the plan but said there is no timetable. The PLO asked the UN to stop planned Israeli land confiscations in East Jerusalem. (Story, Page 7.)

France rejected the unilateral US trade embargo on Iran announced by President Clinton May 1, but Israel welcomed it. Japan, at US urging, cancelled a loan package to Iran. Japan is the only major source of credit to Iran. The US accuses Iran of pursing nuclear weapons and of backing terrorism.

Hundreds of people marched through Kigali, Rwanda, shouting ''UN go home'' and accusing the world of unfairly pointing at Rwanda's Tutsi government for a mass killing at a refugee camp April 22, at which at least 2,000 died. Placards accused UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali of ignoring last year's genocide of the nation's Tutsi minority. (Story, Page 7.)

At least 103 journalists were killed in 1994, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said. Only 50 of the UN's 185 member nations respect freedom of the press, the media-rights group charged.


China began a new 40-hour work week May 2 as millions of workers returned to their jobs after the May Day holiday. Many cheered the new law, which gives them Saturdays off. In the city of Yiwu, meanwhile, more than 1,500 children under 16 reportedly continue to work illegally. A labor law that took effect Jan. 1 bans employment of children under 16.

Britain's Prince Charles joined Hamburg officials to mark the 50th anniversary of the surrender of that German city. Hamburg is often called the most British of German cities. It was also one of the places most ravaged by British bombers. Hamburg surrendered on May 3, 1945 -- early -- rather than face more bombing.

New York City remains among the worst places in the US for mail delivery. The latest quarterly survey by the US Postal Service shows that first-class mail is being delivered on time 76 percent of the time in Manhattan -- up from 52 percent a year ago. Of 96 US postal regions surveyed, service was worse only in Washington, D.C., the Virgin Islands, and San Juan.

Another burning issue is on its way to Texas' governor. A resolution declaring the jalapeno the official state pepper passed the Senate. The House has given its approval, and Gov. George W. Bush reportedly plans to sign the measure.

Top-Grossing Films In the US, April 28-30

(Preliminary figures)

1. ''While You Were Sleeping,'' $10.2 million

2. ''Friday,'' $6.8 million

3. ''Bad Boys,'' $4.4 million

4. ''Rob Roy,'' $3.3 million

5. ''Village of the Damned,'' $3.05 million

6. ''Kiss of Death,'' $2.9 million

7. ''A Goofy Movie,'' $2.8 million

8. ''Top Dog,'' $2.1 million

9. ''Don Juan DeMarco,'' $1.7 million

10. ''Jury Duty,'' $1.4 million

Associated Press

''Now you know how easy it is to make something big little, something little big, something straight twisted, something good look wrong.''

President Clinton on criticism over Henry Foster's nomination for surgeon general