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News In Brief

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UN inspectors completed a fourth day of unhindered weapons searches in Iraq, while officials from Baghdad and Washington continued to argue over whether inspection teams should be allowed into Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces. An Iraqi government newspaper denounced the US demand for unimpeded access, accusing Washington of trying to create a crisis.

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Israel's proposal to withdraw from a small part of the West Bank was rejected by Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, Israel Radio reported. Under the plan, Israel would pull its troops out of about 6 percent of the West Bank in Phases 1 and 2 of a three-stage withdrawal, and skip the third phase altogether. The Palestinians have said they expect Israel to hand over 30 percent of the territory in each of the three stages.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin defended his leading economic reformer, saying he would not heed opposition demands to expel Anatoly Chubais from his government. Yeltsin dismissed Chubais as finance minister last week, but let him retain the more powerful post of first deputy prime minister. Chubais has been criticized for his role in a shady book deal.

The Organization of Oil Exporting Countries was expected to debate whether to raise production limits at today's meeting of the 11-member cartel. Arriving for the meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi renewed his country's call for increasing OPEC's quotas to account for the cheating that has lifted supplies by about 3 million barrels beyond the 25 million daily limit. Libya wants the ceiling to remain the same, while Iran said OPEC should work to shore up oil prices rather than increase production.

Supporters of war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic appeared to be ahead in the Bos-nian Serb sub-state's parliamentary elections. Preliminary results showed the pro-Karadzic Serb Democratic Party with nearly 33 percent of the vote, while the party of his successor and rival, Biljana Plavsic, had almost 20 percent. Final results are due next month.

A fire caused by an electric short circuit swept through a Venezuelan prison, killing 16 inmates and injuring 32 others, officials said. The blaze at the La Sabaneta prison, 320 miles west of Caracas, started in an overcrowded area where cables were said to have overheated.

Niger's president dissolved his government, accusing it of "incompetence," news reports said. Ibrahim Mainassara cited the government's inability to end strikes by state workers for the decision. The workers are demanding unpaid wages, salary increases and improved working conditions. Mainassara has yet to resolve the economic and political problems that led him to seize power in a 1996 coup.

"Most adult children greatly overestimate how likely their mothers were to name them

as the closest child."

- Cornell University gerontologist Karl Pillemer, on a study on parental favoritism among women in their later years.


The bus company is named after a dog, but because a driver wouldn't allow one on board, Greyhound Lines now has a public relations problem to shed. The driver evicted an elderly passenger at 3 a.m. and 80 miles from her destination, Tampa, Fla., because she carried a tiny puppy just given to her as a birthday present. Police from five jurisdictions took her home, relay-style, then sent roses. For its part, Greyhound has apologized and refunded her fare.

The instructions to police were terse: Restore order - quickly. So they went to the scene of the disturbance in Khuzdar, Pakistan, and broke up a rampage by angry protesters. Was the fuss about a sports event that didn't turn out the way fans wanted? No, local college students rioted because they weren't allowed to cheat on exams.

The Day's List

Martial Arts Fantasy Film Kicks Its Way to Top Slot

"Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," a sequel aimed at adolescent male movie-goers, outpaced such highly hyped new releases as "Anastasia" and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" as the top box-office draw last weekend. The most profitable movies for Nov. 21-23 and their estimated revenues (in millions):

1. "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" $17.5

2. "Anastasia" 15.0

3. "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" 11.0

4. "The Jackal" 9.0

5. "The Little Mermaid" (reissue) 5.8

6. "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" 5.2

7. "Starship Troopers" 5.0

8. "Bean" 4.0

9. "The Man Who Knew Too Little" 3.0

10. "I Know What You Did Last Summer" 2.8

- Exhibitor Relations Inc./AP

To Our Readers:

The Christian Science Monitor will not be published Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 27, a legal holiday in the United States.