News In Brief

The United States and its allies proposed to the European Security Council Wednesday a greater exchange of military information between Eastern and Western military blocs to help remove mistrust and suspicion from their relations. Yesterday's initiative by 16 countries calls for an annual exchange of information, in writing, on the makeup of ground forces and land-based aircraft from the Soviet Union's Ural Mountains to the Atlantic coast of Europe.

Talks on conventional arms in Europe resume in Vienna

The East-West conference on cutting conventional weapons in Europe resumes here today. The 19-nation Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction talks have dragged on quietly for 11 years without an agreement. But Western diplomats emphasized the need to keep the process going, in the hope that it could either benefit from, or help improve the climate for, the Geneva talks.

France opposed to `star wars' and to a share in arms cuts

France, the world's third-ranking nuclear power, firmly opposes space-based missile defense systems and any inclusion of its own nuclear strike force in superpower arms talks, a senior presidential adviser said Wednesday. Hubert Vedrine argued that they could upset the balance of power and thereby accelerate the arms race. He attributed the maintenance of peace since World War II to the balance of nuclear power, saying: ``It is a paradoxical situation in which the greater the risk of reprisal, the more peace is assured.''

Russian sees need for change in US, USSR to stem A-threat

A leading Soviet scientist said Tuesday at a conference here that changes may be needed in both the US and Soviet defense establishments before the two countries can cooperate against the threat of a ``nuclear winter.'' Asked whether the Soviet defense establishment is aware of the threat and willing to act on it, Serge Kapitsa said: ``It is very difficult to change their minds. Maybe we have to change the people. I don't know.''

He suggested that nuclear powers agree to stop all testing by this summer, the 40th anniversary of the first atom bomb explosion at Hiroshima.

Weinberger may cancel air-to-air missile project

Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, unhappy with the soaring costs of the Air Force's newest air-to-air missile, has ordered a delay in production and left open the possibility he might even cancel the program. The Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile has been under active development since 1981 and purchases were to have begun this year. It is supposed to become the super missile of the 1990s for Air Force as well as Navy jet fighters, capable of knocking enemy fighters out of the sky at long range.

Reports of excess arms costs overblown, 2 contractors say

Two defense contractors told a Senate panel Wednesday that reports of weapon overpricing are exaggerated and are resulting in oppressive government control that could weaken the country's armed forces. Lockheed Corporation chairman Roy A. Anderson and Martin Marietta Corporation chairman Thomas G. Pownall said their companies are more likely to deliver weapons on time and at reasonable cost if government regulations and audits are reduced.

Kirkpatrick resigns UN post to resume teaching, writing

Jeane Kirkpatrick, the US ambassador to the United Nations, resigned her post Wednesday and said she would return to private life to resume teaching, writing, and speaking out on foreign policy issues. After meeting President Reagan at the White House, she denied she was disappointed that she will not fill a senior foreign policy position in his second administration and refused to discuss whether such a job was offered. She she had tendered her resignation to Mr. Reagan in a meeting Dec. 11, effective March 1, or sooner if a successor is chosen.

$1 billion economic aid fund for Africa being considered

Officials of Western countries are meeting at the World Bank's European headquarters here today and tomorrow to decide on a proposed $1 billion fund to help put drought- and famine-stricken African countries on the road to economic recovery. The United States has shown extreme reluctance to contribute, and Britain, West Germany, and Japan have not yet agreed to take part, aid officials said.

Karami says Lebanese Army to be ready to replace Israelis

Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami said Wednesday that his two days of talks in Syria had produced new agreements to get the Lebanese Army into south Lebanon quickly, once Israel begins its pullout. One agreement called for moves to deploy the Lebanese Army along the coastal highway in readiness for entry into the south when Israel starts evacuating.

P'erez says Hanoi receptive to US concern on missing GIs

UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar said Wednesday the Hanoi government had been surprisingly receptive to Washington's concern about GIs missing in Vietnam and he was bringing back replies to US messages on the issue. After a two-day visit here to discuss a peaceful solution to the Kampuchean problem, he said that ``modest progress'' had been made but that much remained to be done.

Poland weighs crackdown against outspoken priests

The government's chief spokesman, Jerzy Urban, says Polish authorities may revise the penal code to crack down on militant clergymen and to ``protect the feelings of nonbelievers.'' Asked at a news conference Tuesday what measures the authorities planned to take against militant priests, he said, ``We can expect that it will be necessary to analyze the problem to see whether there is a need for changing the penal rules.''

[See related story on Page 9.]

Ex-broker denies proposing scheme to former reporter

Former stockbroker Peter Brant, testifying under cross-examination Wednesday, denied allegations that he proposed a scheme to former Wall Street Journal writer R. Foster Winans to trade stocks according to prepublication information from his articles. Mr. Winans, his roommate, David Carpenter, and stockbroker Kenneth B. Felis of Kidder, Peabody & Co. are charged in a 61-count indictment with fraud by trading securities on the basis of advance information from the newspaper's influential ``Heard on the Street'' column.

World chess challenger wins his second game

Challenger Gary Kasparov scored his second victory in the marathon World Chess Championship on Wednesday when champion Anatoly Karpov, playing white, resigned after Kasparov's 32nd move. The victory brought the score after 47 games to 5 to 2 for Karpov, who needs one more victory to retain the chess crown he has held since 1975. Play is scheduled to resume Friday.

4 more Treasury officials to take White House posts

President Reagan announced Wednesday the appointment of four members of the Treasury Department staff to White House positions. The announcements came after the Senate Tuesday approved the nomination of James Baker as secretary of the Treasury, by a vote of 95 to 0. Mr. Baker will switch jobs with Donald Regan.

The appointments are Alfred Kingon, to be Cabinet secretary and deputy assistant to the President; Christopher Hicks, to be deputy assistant to the President for administration; Thomas Dawson, to be executive assistant to the chief of staff and deputy assistant to the President; and David Chew, to be staff secretary and deputy assistant to the President.

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