News In Brief

Searchers rescued four survivors from a Japan Air Lines jumbo jet that crashed with 524 people aboard and recovered wreckage that may be a piece of the plane's tail fin, officials said Tuesday. Monday's crash of the Boeing 747 was believed to be the worst single-plane commercial air disaster in history. Airline officials said six Americans were among the passengers.

The aircraft's pilot reported a broken cabin door and said he was losing control as the jetliner turned north from its normal course and crashed in Japan's rugged central mountains.

JAL president Yasumoto Takagi apologized ``from the bottom of our hearts'' to the families of victims. JAL arranged special flights and 24 buses to take relatives of victims between Koumi, nine miles from the crash site, and Fujioka, 60 miles away, where they were to be housed in four schools.

JAL and the Defense Agency have received telephone calls from extremist political groups claiming to have caused an explosion on the Boeing 747. But a police spokesman said, ``We are not taking them seriously.''

Airline experts in Tokyo told Kyodo News Agency Monday night that in exchanges between the pilot and ground control there was no suggestion of an explosion.

Key Ugandan rebel group captures 3rd-largest town

Uganda's most powerful rebel group, the National Resistance Army (NRA), has seized control of Masaka, the country's third-largest town, and appears to be preparing to march on the capital, travelers returning from the Masaka area said Tuesday. The move came as Uganda's new military strong man, Lt. Gen. Tito Okello, who deposed President Milton Obote in a July 27 coup, waited for the NRA to join peace talks in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam.

3 Israelis held for inquiry into West Bank land fraud

A Tel Aviv district court ordered three Israelis held for 15 days yesterday so police could investigate whether large tracts of private land acquired fraudulently in the occupied West Bank. Judge Benyamin Kohelet said the case could have a far-reaching effect on the legal standing of Jewish settlements in the West Bank if the investigation showed that widespread forgeries were used to obtain Arab land.

Hazardous chemicals spilled in accidents in three states

A derailed train, a leaky tanker, and a forklift plowing into a pipeline spilled hazardous chemicals in Arizona, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey, routing more than 650 residents from their homes. About 30 miles north of Kingman, Ariz., 27 cars of a Sante Fe train hauling hazardous chemicals flipped early Monday, causing a series of explosions that engulfed 11 cars in flames and rocked nearby houses.

In Washington, a 5,000-gallon tanker carrying hazardous materials leaked one-tenth of its contents on the Capitol Beltway during evening rush-hour traffic. The beltway was reopened early yesterday and 300 evacuees returned home.

In Camden, N.J., a 2,500-gallon toxic spill at a chemical plant was cleaned up Monday after a forklift ruptured a pipe to a storage tank. More than 100 residents were evacuated for about six hours.

ID card checked as entry tool for terrorists at German base

Police said yesterday they were trying to determine whether terrorists used a slain American soldier's identification card to enter a US air base in West Germany which they bombed last week. Arno Falk, a spokesman for the West German Federal Police, said the ID card was sent to the Reuters news agency in Frankfurt Tuesday. The card accompanied a letter claiming responsibility for last Thursday's attack at the base in the name of the French Direct Action and West German Red Army Faction leftist terrorist groups.

Another nuclear advance as India starts up reactor

Indian engineers started up a $106 million atomic power reactor in southern India Monday, four days after they opened a large research plant able to produce weapons-grade plutonium, authorities said. The 235-megawatt, indigenously built reactor is the second unit of a plant near the port city of Madras.

`Comparable worth' suit OK'd for California workers

A federal judge authorized a union to pursue a ``comparable worth'' suit on behalf of about 90,000 present and past female state workers who charge the state systematically underpaid workers in female-dominated jobs such as secretaries and nurses. US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel granted the suit class-action status Monday, meaning that the 10 women who have filed specific claims of pay discrimination can represent all other alleged victims of California actions.

New Caledonia legislation again faces Paris obstacle

The French government yesterday proposed an amended law that would lead to independence for its Pacific territory of New Caledonia, but opposition deputies said they would reject it on constitutional grounds. It would be the second attempt by right-wing opponents to block passage of the controversial bill, which provides for regional elections in New Caledonia and then an independence referendum by the end of 1987.

Houston man gets jail term for a fire in Chinese hotel

A Chinese court jailed Houston businessman Richard Ondrik for 18 months yesterday for accidentally starting a hotel fire April 18 at the Swan Hotel in the northeast China city of Harbin. Robert Goodwin, Mr. Ondrik's attorney, said Ondrik was also ordered to pay $53,500 in compensation. The official New China News Agency said that under Chinese law Ondrik, who dropped a cigarette butt on the hotel floor before falling asleep, was guilty of starting the fire.

General Dynamics regains right to Pentagon bidding

The General Dynamics Corporation, caught up last spring in a Pentagon crackdown on padded expense claims, has regained the right to bid on and receive Navy contracts. A top Navy spokesman said yesterday the decision would make the nation's third-largest defense contractor eligible to receive new contracts totaling as much as $1 billion. Contracts totaling more than $680 million were expected to be awarded to General Dynamics yesterday, mostly for a new Trident missile submarine, the spokesman said

Iran and Sudan agree to restore relations

Iran and Sudan agreed Monday to restore diplomatic relations, five years after Sudan severed ties between the two nations over the Persian Gulf war, the official Sudan News Agency reported. The news agency quoted Iran's visiting deputy foreign minister, Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, as saying the preliminary agreement covers political, economic, and cultural relations cut off under ousted Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiry.

Nicaragua protests to US over peace group's abduction

The Nicaraguan Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a diplomatic note to the United States protesting the abduction last week of Witnesses for Peace, the North American pro-Sandinista religious activists, by Ed'en Pastora's ``contra'' group, formerly backed by the US. The note, sent Monday, stated that the Reagan administration ``is the main party responsible for the kidnapping of the US citizens.'' It also called on the US to follow the principles of its own antiterrorist campaign and cease supporting the contras.

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