News In Brief

Sikh leader Harchand Singh Longowal, a moderate who recently negotiated a peace accord for the Punjab State with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was shot and killed Tuesday by Sikh extremist gunmen, police said. The attack came only hours after a leader of Mr. Gandhi's Congress (I) Party in the Punjab was killed and two of his colleagues injured in a new outbreak of extremist violence in the northern state.

A Punjabi government spokesman said the Army had been asked to stand by in the state.

Police said four young Sikhs armed with revolvers opened fire at Mr. Longowal, head of the main Sikh political party Akali Dal, at a Sikh shrine in the Punjab town of Sherpur, some 75 miles from the capital, Chandigarh. Longowal's bodyguards seized two of the gunmen. The Press Trust of India (PTI) said one of them was shot and wounded by the bodyguards. The other two escaped in the crowd of about 600 people.

The government spokesman said paramilitary troops and police sealed all roads from Sherpur and launched a manhunt for Longowal's attackers.

Longowal is the moderate who signed a Punjab peace accord with Gandhi on July 24 in an attempt to end three years of violence over extremists' demands for a separate Sikh state.

The agreement, which promised a devolution of power to local authorities, paved the way for Punjabi elections. The elections for the state's 117-seat assembly and 13 national Parliament seats are scheduled for Sept. 22.

Akali Dal decided Monday to take part in the elections despite earlier demands for a postponement of the vote until February or March.

Earlier Tuesday, four gunmen shot and killed Congress (I) leader D. D. Khullar in a house in the city of Jullunder, a senior police official told Reuters by telephone from Chandigarh. The assailants escaped by car.

The attack took place in the home of another Congress (I) leader, Gurdial Saini. He and another visitor at the house were seriously wounded in the attack, police said.

Mr. Khullar headed the Congress (I) Party organization in Jullunder District.

The official said police and paramilitary troops had launched a manhunt for Khullar's killers.

Test of antisatellite weapon gets White House go-ahead

The White House announced yesterday that it has met congressional criteria for the first space test of an antisatellite weapon. ``We have to test, and test now,'' said presidential spokesman Larry Speakes. Congress, in the 1985 defense budget, said such a test could proceed only if President Reagan certified it at least 15 days beforehand. The certification was delivered earlier yesterday, Mr. Speakes said. But he would not give the date of the test, calling it classified information. He said the test is needed to counter a similar antisatellite system operated by the Soviet Union.

UN chief appeals for halt to Lebanese car bombings

UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar appealed Tuesday for a halt to what a Muslim radio station has called ``the war of the car bombs'' in Lebanon. A car bomb blew up in Tripoli yesterday, killing 35 people in the fourth such attack in Lebanon in four days. In the Beirut area, 40 people were killed in the fiercest artillery and rocket salvos in six months.

In the northern port of Tripoli, assailants hurled a stick of dynamite from a speeding car into Sadoun Square. About three minutes later, a car exploded 150 yards away, demolishing a seven-story building and injuring 85 people, police said.

South African banks cut rates in attempt to spur economy

South Africa's five major banks cut their lending rates Tuesday after a government lead, and economists said Pretoria apparently hoped that an economic recovery would reduce black anger and nationwide rioting. Meanwhile, police said a black policeman accused by a black mob of collaboration with the white-minority government killed one man as he shot his way out of a crowd.

In Soweto, Army and police units conducted house-to-house searches for those responsible for anti-apartheid rioting.

Bishop Desmond Tutu, who refused to join the religious delegation that met with President P. W. Botha Monday, said President Botha was not inclined to negotiate with the black majority because of the military power at his disposal.

In Washington Monday, US State Department spokesman Charles E. Radman said, ``A refusal by any party to meet and negotiate only worsens the prospects for understanding in South Africa.''

Lawyers mounted a last-ditch fight Tuesday to save the life of Benjamin Moloisi, a black upholsterer and poet who was to be hanged today for killing a policeman, a crime he says he did not commit. His case has attracted world attention, and the UN Security Council called on the white-minority government last year to commute his sentence.

Hopes for Ugandan unity rest on reluctant rebels

Ugandan Foreign Minister Olara Otunnu said yesterday he met with Yoweri Museveni, commander of Uganda's main guerrilla group, the National Resistance Army (NRA). Mr. Otunnu said he was optimistic that efforts to form a unity government would succeed, but the NRA issued a statement threatening to overthrow the regime. The NRA did say it was willing to discuss a ``political arrangement'' with the new military rulers.

Monday, the leader of Uganda's new military government, Lt. Gen. Tito Okello, met Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi for two hours of talks in what amounted to Kenyan recognition of Uganda's new regime.

W. German engineer accused of giving jet details to Soviets

Prosecutors say the former chief engineer of a West German aerospace company, Manfred Rotsch, has been indicted on charges of espionage and revealing classified secrets. He is said to have provided the Soviet Union with details of a multipurpose European jet fighter. Yesterday the Federal Prosecutor's office said Ursula Richter, a West German secretary who has vanished under suspicion of espionage, was infiltrated into West Germany from Canada with a false identity.

She was the second Bonn secretary to vanish this month, after the disappearance of Sonja L"uneburg, who had worked 12 years as secretary to Martin Bangemann, now economics minister.

Egypt and Tunisia protest over expulsions by Libya

Both Egypt and Tunisia protested over Libya's mass expulsion of their citizens yesterday, and the Tunisian government said Monday it would require visas for Libyans entering its territory. Egypt is imposing identity checks on its returning workers, a senior Interior Ministry official said. In Tunis, the official TAP news agency reported that Tunisia has expelled 253 Libyans, including diplomats, for spying. Libya has expelled more than 20,000 Tunisian workers in recent weeks.

Reagan tax plan would aid upper brackets, study finds

President Reagan's tax-overhaul plan will boost by 6 percent the after-tax income of Americans making more than $200,000 a year -- six times the increase for those at the $30,000 level, according to new estimates by congressional experts. The nonpartisan staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation said the President's bill would reduce average taxes by 16.2 percent for the over-$200,000 group, 77.1 percent for those making less than $10,000, and 8.3 percent for people earning between $30,000 and $40,000.

Dotson's lawyer plans appeal to bring new trial in rape case

Gary Dotson's attorney said he will appeal a judge's ruling Monday denying Mr. Dotson's request for a new trial. Dotson is trying to clear his name in a 1977 rape his accuser said never happened.

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