News In Brief

Lawyers launched a challenge to treason charges against leading South African anti-apartheid activists yesterday, after the murder last week of Victoria Mxenge, one of the defense lawyers. As the trial of 16 prominent opponents of the country's race laws resumed, defense lawyer Ismail Mahomed argued that the indictment should not have linked together acts that the 16 allegedly committed individually and at different times.

The 16, all major figures in the main internal group fighting apartheid, the United Democratic Front, are accused of using the organization to back an alleged ``Revolutionary Alliance'' aimed at the violent overthrow of South Africa's white minority government.

Battle near Israeli border kills 2 Israelis, 3 guerrillas

Two Israeli soldiers and three Arab guerrillas were killed Sunday night in the biggest clash in south Lebanon since Israel's official withdrawal in June, security sources said yesterday. The battle took place near the village of Majdel Silim, four miles from the Israeli border. The Israeli deaths, the first since April, brought Israel's toll in Lebanon to 656 killed since it invaded in June 1982 to put down Palestinian guerrilla strongholds.

2 Cabinet ministers sworn in for Uganda's new regime

Uganda's new government named two Cabinet ministers to the new military government today, and Entebbe airport opened for the first time since the July 27 coup. Borders to Uganda were opened over the weekend but a dusk-to-dawn curfew remains in force. Paul Ssemogerere, leader of the Democratic Party, was sworn in as internal affairs minister by Lt. Gen. Tito Okello, the interim head of state and chairman of the Military Council that took power after the coup. Mr. Ssemogerere was the main opposition leader when President Milton Obote was in power. General Okello also swore in Col. G. Wilson Toko, chief executive of Uganda Airlines, as defense minister.

US begins Mideast exercises with 4 other nations in region

US military exercises in the Middle East began yesterday with an amphibious landing on a Mediterranean beach. The exercise, called Bright Star '85, is the largest ever in the Middle East. It comes after the June hijacking of a Trans World Airlines jet, which prompted questions about how well the US can protect its interests in the region. The participants, Egypt, Somalia, Jordan, and Oman, are playing down their role, and Sudan, which has been host to American military exercises in previous years, is not taking part.

Law officers begin big raid on marijuana fields in US

US law enforcement officials raided marijuana fields around the country yesterday in what they called the largest erradication effort ever. More than 2,200 federal, state, and local officers began a three-day roundup in all 50 states aimed at destroying 250,000 illegal marijuana plants and resulting in numerous arrests, administration officials said. The key reason for the raids was to demonstrate to foreign countries that the United States was serious about drug eradication, they said.

China plans to enter realm of international copyrights

China has set up a national copyright agency to draft a copyright law and to prepare the ground for China's entry into international copyright organizations, the official China News Service reported yesterday. China at present recognizes none of the international conventions on publishing copyright.

Kuwait expels 1,000 Iranians in clampdown for security

Kuwait expelled at least 1,017 Iranian expatriates over the past six weeks as part of a security clampdown in the Gulf emirate, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported yesterday. The agency said the Iranians had arrived at the Iranian ports of Gonaveh and Bushehr, on the Gulf. Some of them are living at a special camp in Bushehr Province, it said. Kuwait says it has expelled over 4,000 foreigners after a car bomb assassination attempt on the emir in May and bomb blasts at two seaside caf'es in July that killed nine people.

Ex-FBI agent going on trial in alleged Soviet spy plot

Former FBI agent Richard Miller goes on trial today. He is charged with conspiring to pass secret counterintelligence documents to the Soviet Union through the spy Svetlana Ogorodnikova. In return, he was alleged to have been promised $50,000 in gold and $15,000 in cash. Ogorodnikova and her husband, who arrived in the US from the Soviet Union in 1973, pled guilty last month to one count of conspiracy each in return for bribery charges being dropped.

Bank workers, bus drivers in Peru go on strike over pay

Peruvian bank workers and bus drivers went on strike yesterday in a challenge to the week-old government of President Alan Garc'ia P'erez. Banks were closed after more than 25,000 bank workers walked off their jobs for 24 hours to press for a 200 percent pay raise, to $265 a month. Private bus owners said they were suspending services in Lima for 48 hours to protest a new fare tax.

Boston Globe libeled '82 candidate, jury says

A Superior Court jury found Monday that the Boston Globe libeled John R. Lakian in an article that he claimed ruined his 1982 campaign for the Massachusetts governership. The article said he inflated his academic, business and military credentials.

EPA sued to tighten rules against tall smokestacks

Seven Northeastern states and two environmental organizations said Monday they had filed lawsuits to force the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten its rules on tall smokestacks. The lawsuits were filed in the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where suits challenging agency decisions under the Clean Air Act must be filed. Such suits may succeed only if they can make the case that the defendant agency made a procedural mistake.

Famine in five African lands mounts as distribution sags

Five countries across north-central Africa are faced with a food emergency that is growing worse because of severe problems in distribution, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said yesterday. The organization said the international community should speed up distribution of aid already pledged through airlifts and by supplying vehicles, spare parts, and rail and dock equipment. The emergency was most acute in Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Mali.

Cost of Illinois bank rescue may top $3.8 billion estimate

A study done primarily by the House banking subcommittee staff concludes that the cost of bailing out Continental Illinois National Bank could exceed the original Congressional Budget Office estimate of $3.8 billion because of a federal attitude that some banks are too big to fail. The report, released Sunday, also said that a federal policy of saving big banks could create a situation in which investors snub smaller, community banks that are not viewed as vital to the economy.

US governors say Japan must lower export bars

The nation's governors, complaining about token trade concessions from Tokyo, told the Japanese ambassador Sunday that his country must reduce export barriers or risk US retaliation. Ambassador Nobuo Matsunaga contended that Japanese markets are more open than is generally believed. The Governors' Association issued a report disclosing that 30 states have some form of official overseas representation in a bid to boost exports. The three-day annual meeting opened Sunday.

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