News In Brief

Jordan's King Hussein became the first Arab leader to confirm he will attend an Arab summit called by King Hassan of Morocco for Aug. 7. Hassan, current chairman of the Arab League, announced the summit Saturday in an attempt to restore unity in the Arab world and to advance the Palestinian cause. He said Arabs must join ranks before the November meeting in Switzerland between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Teamsters on strike against auto transporting firms

Some 21,000 truck drivers who haul cars from factories and ports to dealer showrooms went on strike Friday to protest a new contract offered by automobile transporter firms. The drivers had worked on a day-to-day basis since the old three-year contract expired in the spring.

Job security sparks strike against Western Union

A union representing 6,500 technicians, operators, and clerks for Western Union Corporation went on strike early Sunday, after last-minute negotiations failed to produce a new contract. A union official said the main issue was job security. Company spokesman Warren Bechtel said services would continue, with operations staffed by management.

Kohl rules out economic freeze against South Africa

West Germany has joined Britain and the United States in opposing sanctions against South Africa. Chancellor Helmut Kohl on Sunday rejected France's argument that a freeze in investments and the withdrawal of its ambassador would force Pretoria to change its racial policies. But Dr. Kohl said that West Germany will work for compromise.

Chinese President Li decries South Africa, calls for peace

Chinese President Li Xiannian denounced South Africa for both its current state of emergency and its apartheid system Saturday night during his only formal speech in a history-making tour of the US. Mr. Li said China hoped to develop closer relations with the Soviet Union, based on peaceful cooperation and mutual respect. He also called for improved US-Soviet relations.

Shultz rejects Contadora call for US-Nicaragua talks

Secretary of State George Shultz rejected a request on Friday by the Contadora group of nations for a resumption of talks between Nicaragua and the US. But Mr. Shultz said the US would consult closely with all parties on whether and when to reopen the dialogue. Direct talks between the US and Nicaragua ended in disagreement last January.

Deputy of Nicaraguan rebel leader abandons the fight

The deputy of Nicaraguan rebel leader Ed'en Pastora said he was giving up armed efforts to overthrow Nicaragua's leftist government. A statement issued Friday by Mr. Pastora's Revolutionary Democratic Alliance quoted Adolfo Popo Chamorro as saying he was withdrawing from military operations in favor of political work against the Nicaraguan leadership. Mr. Chamorro was second in command to Pastora, who survived a helicopter crash last Tuesday with slight injuries.

Space shuttle Challenger counts down to launch today

The countdown for the space shuttle Challenger continues toward a scheduled liftoff at 3:23 p.m. today. Excess air in the ship's hydraulic fluid threatened to delay the launch, but technicians bled out the air by circulating the fluid through a machine on the launch pad. Challenger's first launch attempt on the mission was aborted when a coolant valve didn't close properly.

PLO official arrives in Libya for first meeting since 1979

Farouk Kaddoumi, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization's political department, arrived in Libya Saturday for talks with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. It is the first such contact since relations took a sharp downturn in 1979, a PLO spokesman said Sunday. Colonel Qaddafi has, until now, lined up with Syria against PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Cracks in Boeing 747 jets prompt warning to airlines

Cracks have been found in some Boeing 747 jumbo jets and airlines using the aircraft have been warned by Boeing to check them, the Sunday Mail newspaper of London reported. A Boeing spokesman said Saturday the company had issued a routine ``service bulletin'' after a four-inch crack was found in one of the floor beams of a 747. The US Federal Aviation Administration said the faults could become dangerous if left unattended, the Mail said.

N.Y.C. water safe; probe seeks source of plutonium

Authorities continue to investigate New York's contaminated water after Mayor Edward Koch announced Saturday that the water, supplied to more than 7 million residents, was tainted with plutonium but was perfectly safe to drink. The FBI is investigating threats made last April to city officials that the water would be polluted with plutonium trichloride unless charges against New York's so-called ``subway vigilante,'' Bernhard Goetz, were dropped. The water is being tested every four hours.

CBS will hold back some subpoenaed hijack videotapes

CBS News said Friday it would turn over videotapes on the TWA hijacking that were sought in a Justice Department subpoena, but it would withhold material not relevant to crimes committed. ABC and NBC have agreed to supply subpoenaed material. The Cable News Network, as of Friday, had not yet decided what it will turn over. ABC and CBS officials said the Justice Department is collecting material for a possible federal grand jury investigation of the hijacking.

Judge rules out religion as defense for giving sanctuary

A federal judge ruled that church workers on trial for giving sanctuary to Central American refugees may not use religious arguments to defend themselves against charges they violated immigration laws. Federal Distict Judge Earl H. Carroll Friday rejected a motion to dismiss the charges on religious grounds and granted a motion to bar evidence and arguments about the defendant's religious beliefs.

New president takes office in Peru as rebels bomb Lima

Social Democrat Alan Garc'ia was inaugurated Sunday as president of Peru. He succeeds Fernando Bela'unde Terry. Saturday night Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) guerrillas broke a 50,000-man security shield set up for the inauguration, bombed power stations, and exploded a car outside military headquarters in the capital.

Britain's Steve Cram sets world record for men's mile

Britain's Steve Cram set a world record for the men's mile with a time of 3 minutes 46.3 seconds at the Bislett Games Saturday. Mr. Cram beat the previous record of 3:47.33 set by compatriot Sebastian Coe in Brussels on Aug. 28, 1981.

Soviet research ship and crew freed from Antarctic ice trap

A Soviet research ship trapped with a crew of 53 in the frozen Antarctic seas for 133 days was freed Friday by the ice breaker Vladi- vistok, according to Tass, the official Soviet news agency. The Mikhail Somov is now sailing under its own steam through a channel carved through ice 41/2 feet thick.

Colombia gets IMF approval for loan, economic program

Colombia has won International Monetary Fund approval for its economic program and a $1 billion loan from its foreign creditor banks, the Finance Ministry said Friday. Colombia, with a foreign debt of $12.5 billion, is the only major Latin American country not to reschedule its debt payments.

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