News In Brief

A last-minute agreement on pay for wage earners averted a general strike Tuesday. The strike was called to protest an emergency economic austerity plan adopted two weeks ago by the government of Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

The agreement centers on compensation for low-income workers in both private industry and the civil service. Talks on the dismissal of 8,000 to 10,000 government employees will resume later this week.

Chinese Communist Party cracks whip on discipline

The Communist Party said it will purge degenerates, embezzlers, and ``freedom-seekers'' from its ranks, and citizens must strictly follow communist discipline and ideals to bring modernization. Hu Qili, a member of the party Secretariat, underlined the party's new emphasis on communist ideology in a speech to the party heads of six provinces.

Another Soviet ally signs trade pact with Peking

East Germany has become the latest Soviet ally to sign a long-term trade agreement with China, the People's Daily said Tuesday. No figures were released on the value of the 1986-90 agreement on goods exchange and payments, but one informed East European source estimated bilateral trade would be worth around $2 billion over the five years.

Belgian King won't let Cabinet step down

King Baudouin refused Tuesday to accept the government's resignation in the aftermath of the Brussels soccer riot. Prime Minister Wilfried Martens said the present government would continue until elections could be held Oct. 8, two months ahead of schedule.

California keeps firefighters as blaze at Big Sur spreads

Authorities in California shelved plans to withdraw out-of-state firefighters when a blaze leaped fire lines late Monday near Big Sur, south of San Francisco. Brush and forest fires that scorched more than a million acres continued to burn in six Western states Tuesday. The number of people on Western fire lines had dropped to 10,000 from the peak of 17,000 last week, according to the Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, but in California, firefighting crews from 26 states remained on duty to battle the Big Sur fire, which has charred at least 29,680 acres.

Soviet spy may seek a cut in sentence after testifying

Svetlana Ogorodnikova, sentenced to 18 years in prison, may seek a shorter term after she testifies against fired FBI agent Richard W. Miller. Mrs. Ogorodnikova allegedly recruited Mr. Miller to spy for the Soviet Union. A US district judge granted permission to her lawyers to ask for eventual reduction of the sentence, which was imposed Monday as part of a plea bargain.

Cedar Rapids residents home after fire evacuation

Up to 10,000 people were evacuated Tuesday after smoke from a smoldering plastics fire spread over the southern part of the city, but residents were allowed to return home in early afternoon as the smoke over the city began to dissipate. The fumes were apparently created when firefighters sprayed water on a burning plastic dome and plastic filters at an old sewage treatment plant, which is being demolished, authorities said.

Soviets replace minister for higher education

The Soviet minister for higher and specialized secondary education, Vyacheslav Yelyutin, retired after 31 years in the post, Tass news agency said Tuesday. He is being replaced by Gennady Yagodin, head of Moscow's Mendeleyev Chemical Research Insitute.

Dallas must pay $1 million in black workers' claims

A federal judge has ordered the City of Dallas to pay $1 million by July 25 to about 300 current and former black employees who were underpaid or denied promotions because of racial discrimination. The 1981 class-action suit contended that the workers were victims of institutionalized discrimination against blacks.

Array of Soviet ships, subs gathers for Atlantic games

A large force of Soviet warships and submarines that has been building up over the last eight to 10 days is gathering for a military exercise in the East Atlantic, Norwegian defense officials said Tuesday. Vessels from the Soviet Union's Northern, Baltic, and Mediterranean Fleets make up the force, which consists of about 40 ships and submarines.

Gasoline prices in for drop by fall, energy chief says

Retail gasoline prices have been rising despite the declining cost of crude oil -- but they should begin dropping this fall, Energy Secretary John Herrington says. Mr. Herrington said Tuesday his department was already looking at why prices at the pump have jumped nearly a dime a gallon since February, despite a $2-a-barrel drop in crude-oil prices the past year.

Ohio A-plant being fined for US safety violations

Toledo Edison says it will pay a $100,000 fine for three violations of federal safety rules at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, including one incident when an operator was found asleep on the job. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday it doubled the base fine of $50,000 for the infractions, which occurred in April, because they came five months after Toledo Edison was fined $90,000 for similar safety violations at the plant.

Big-league baseball players set Aug. 6 strike deadline

The Major League Baseball Players Association voted Monday to strike Aug. 6 if no settlement is reached with team owners over a new collective-bargaining agreement. Baseball's player contracts expired Dec. 31, but little progress has been made in talks since then. The next bargaining session is set for tomorrow in New York.

Unions from Latin lands back debt cancellation

Latin American and Caribbean unions from 29 countries met in Havana Tuesday, pledging support for Cuba's proposal that the region's huge foreign debt should be canceled because the countries cannot pay. The delegates, invited by Cuban President Fidel Castro, applauded cancellation of the estimated $360 billion debt, owed primarily to the United States.

World air transport official says Athens airport is secure

The security chief of the International Air Transport Association, Rodney Wallis, says Athens Airport is well secured, exactly a month after a TWA jetliner was hijacked by two Lebanese Muslims who boarded in Athens.

47 are arrested in Egypt as state resists Islamic drive

The Egyptian government arrested 47 people, including Muslim clergymen campaigning to institute Islamic law in the country, for alleged antistate activity, government sources said yesterday.

Jane Byrne plans to run for mayor of Chicago

Jane Byrne, denied reelection after one term as mayor two years ago, said Tuesday she is running again for the post. Ms. Byrne said she will challenge Mayor Harold Washington, the first black ever to head the city, in the 1987 election. She said Chicago under Washington has lost jobs and momentum.

CorrectionCorrection for7/16

In yesterday's paper, the ``News in Brief'' item on changes in Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's Cabinet incorrectly designated Ian Smith as a former rebel leader. Mr. Smith was the prime minister under the formerly white-dominated government of Rhodesia, from 1964 to 1979.

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