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News In Brief

(Page 2 of 2)



A judge ordered the arrest of 10 Indian politicians charged in an $18 million bribes-for-favors scandal. Among the 10 were four former Cabinet ministers and the leader of the largest opposition party. Some 24 politicians have been charged since the Supreme Court, acting on a petition by activists, ordered intelligence authorities to investigate the diaries of two businessmen. The diaries listed the initials of officials who allegedly received bribes to win government contracts.

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The IRA and Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA's political wing, Sinn Fein, met to discuss the latest Anglo-Irish peace moves for Northern Ireland that set a June 10 date for peace talks. Moderate Catholic leader John Hume also attended the talks in Dublin. The IRA has not yet said whether it would restore its cease-fire, which is a precondition for Sinn Fein's participation in all-party talks. (Story, Page 5.)

Spain's conservative Popular Party is widely expected to end 13 years of Socialist rule in Sunday's parliamentary elections. Jose Maria Aznar is expected to replace Felipe Gonzalez as premier. Aznar campaigned to balance the budget, root out corruption, and crush the armed Basque separatist movement. Gonzalez's government has been hit by scandals of financial improprieties.

Leaders of 25 nations arrived in Bangkok for a historic two-day Asia-Europe summit expected to create a new economic relationship between the regions. The summit of 15 EU and 10 Asian nations starts today. (Story, Page 1.)

Russian troops and Chechen rebels reportedly engaged in heavy fighting in Grozny, capital of the breakaway republic. The fighting was one of the worst clashes in a year, reports said. And former Soviet Union President Gorbachev strongly hinted that he will run for the Russian presidency in June elections. Recent polls put Gorbachev's popularity rating at about 1 percent.

Bangladeshi troops fired at rioting opposition activists in Chittagong, killing two people and injuring at least 10. Police said the activists, who were protesting the arrest of the city's mayor, hurled bombs.

A Tunisian court sentenced opposition leader Mohamed Moada to 11 years in prison on charges that he spied for Libya. Moada called the charges politically motivated.

Italian caretaker Premier Lamberto Dini launched a new party - Italian Renewal. The movement of moderates joined election forces with the nation's former Communists. Dini, a former central banker who has led Italy's nonaligned government for 14 months, calls the party a centrist-reformist movement.

Australian Premier Paul Keating battled a political storm over forged letters that threaten to destroy his already-dwindling chances in tomorrow's election. Senior minister Ralph Willis released the letters he said exposed an opposition plan to slash funding to state governments. The opposition proved the letters are forgeries, forcing Willis to apologize. (Story, Page 5.)

Etceteras

Lawyers for Diana, Princess of Wales, and her estranged husband, Prince Charles, prepared to begin thrashing out the thorny details of a divorce settlement. Diana's surprise agreement to Charles's divorce request caught even Buckingham Palace off guard.

Punch, the British humor magazine that ceased publication in 1992, is coming back. Mohamed Al Fayed, chairman of Harrods department store, said it will be the first title of his new media company. Punch hits newsstands in September.

Rogue Satellite Sightings

The satellite that broke away from shuttle Columbia last week will be visible for 1 to 3 minutes above some cities next week. Even the 12-mile tether should be shining brightly as the probe travels from west to east. Below are cities, dates, and times.

Atlanta: 3/6: 6:15a.m.; 3/8: 5:16 a.m.; 3/9: 5:30 a.m.

Charleston, S.C.: 3/5: 5:57a.m.; 3/7: 5 a.m.; 3/8: 5:16 a.m.; 3/9: 5:30 a.m.

Dallas: 3/7: 5:31 a.m.; 3/8: 5:47 a.m.; 3/9: 6:01 a.m.

Houston: 3/4: 6:08 a.m.; 3/6: 5:14 a.m.; 3/7: 5:31 a.m.; 3/8: 5:47 a.m.; 3/9: 6:01 a.m.

Las Vegas: 3/7: 5:04 a.m.; 3/8: 5:19 a.m.

Los Angeles: 3/7: 5:02 a.m.; 3/8: 5:18 a.m.; 3/9: 5:32 a.m.

Memphis: 3/7: 5:32 a.m.; 3/8: 5:48 a.m.

Miami: 3/4: 5:34 a.m.; 3/5: 5:55 a.m.; 3/8: 5:16 a.m.; 3/9: 5:30 a.m.

Norfolk, Va.: 3/8: 5:17 a.m.; 3/9: 5:31 a.m.

Oklahoma City: 3/8: 5:47 a.m.; 3/9: 6:01 a.m.

Phoenix: 3/6: 5:46 a.m.; 3/7:6:03 a.m.; 3/8: 6:19 a.m.

San Francisco: 3/9: 5:33 a.m.

- Associated Press

'' It should be an absolutely awesome sight because the 20 kilometers of tether, assuming that it's all strung out, will be definitely visible to the naked eye.''

- Shuttle astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman, on sighting NASA's runaway satellite in the dawn sky. (See list below.)