News In Brief

Despite President Reagan's objections, the House voted yesterday to raise the national debt limit temporarily for a month to avoid the first default in US history. The measure passed by a 300 to 121 vote and was sent to the Senate where it is expected to be approved today.

Mexican publisher, Texan selected to take over UPI

The majority shareholders in United Press International went to court yesterday to challenge a management decision to sell the news agency to a Mexican newspaper magnate and a Texan real estate developer. Earlier, Mexican newspaper publisher Mario V'azquez Rana and Houston real estate developer Joe Russo were selected to purchase UPI in an agreement with the news service, the Wire Service Guild, and a committee of UPI's key creditors. UPI's chairman announced the agreement Tuesday, also saying that the selection is subject to approval by a bankruptcy judge.

The deal would total $40 million.

Five going on trial Monday in Achille Lauro hijack case

An Italian magistrate said yesterday that the four men who hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and a fifth man would stand trial on Monday on initial charges of possession of weapons and explosives. If convicted on the arms charges, the men face sentences ranging from three to 12 years in prison.

Trial ordered for 3 gunmen who killed Israelis in Cyprus

Three pro-Palestinian gunmen, including a Briton, were ordered to stand trial yesterday for the Yom Kippur murder of three Israelis aboard a yacht in Larnaca -- a killing that sparked a 1,500-mile Israeli retaliatory air strike on PLO headquarters in Tunis on Oct. 1. The three men, whose trial is to begin Jan. 20, will remain in custody. If convicted, they face a maximum of 20 years in jail.

35 Filipino legislators back opposition leader vs. Marcos

Philippine opposition leader Salvador Laurel was endorsed by 35 assemblymen yesterday and held talks with Corazon Aquino on who should challenge President Ferdinand Marcos in the Jan. 17 special election. Mrs. Aquino, the widow of murdered opposition leader Benigno Aquino, has said she would consider running against Mr. Marcos only if her supporters produced a million signatures urging her to run. Opposition leaders believe an Aquino-Laurel ticket would have the best chance of winning.

Meanwhile, President Marcos, interviewed by NBC News Wednesday, saidhe would not allow an outside commission to monitor his country's presidential election.

And in Washington, a House subcommittee heard arguments that if Gen. Fabian Ver, charged with the murder of Mr. Aquino, were acquitted, the move would cast doubt on Marcos's plans for free elections.

UAW members OK terms with General Dynamics

Striking United Automobile Workers union members voted narrowly to approve a new contract with General Dynamics Corporation's Land Systems Division, which makes tanks for the US Army, the union said Wednesday. A company spokesman said workers would begin reporting for work Wednesday evening, ending a strike that began Sept. 18.

Police commissioner leaving in Philadelphia

Police Commissioner Gregore J. Sambor, who said two months ago he had no intention of quitting, told his top officers at a meeting yesterday he will resign at the end of the month, according to policemen in attendance. The commissioner, who has come under increasing criticism over the fatal MOVE confrontation last May, declined to disclose the reason for his resignation.

USSR charges provocations by US with Soviet sailor

The Soviet labor newspaper Trud said yesterday US officials committed ``imprudent provocations'' in demanding to meet with a Ukrainian sailor who was thought to be trying to defect from a Soviet freighter in the Mississippi River. In the Soviet news media's first mention of the incident, Trud said the sailor slipped and fell into the river while coiling rope aboard the Marshal Koniev Oct. 24.

US officials said the sailor, 25-year-old Miroslav Medvid, jumped from the grain freighter twice in apparent attempts to defect, but later returned to the Soviet Union.

S. Korean students, workers throw bombs in protest sit-in

A policeman was injured and a police bus set on fire when hundreds of students and textile workers protesting against President Chun Doo Hwan's government hurled gasoline bombs and stones at police in Seoul yesterday, witnesses said. Police forcibly ended a one-hour sit-in protest over US trade measures against South Korea at the Bank of America office in the city of Pusan. Three students were arrested.

GM says it's completed steps to take over Hughes Aircraft

General Motors Corporation said yesterday that it has cleared the final hurdle in its $5 billion takeover of the Hughes Aircraft Company. GM, the nation's No. 1 automaker, was top bidder for Hughes when secret bids were revealed in June. But the deal was delayed because of Securities and Exchange Commission objections to certain accounting methods GM planned to use in the transaction.

Shultz to visit three nations in Soviet bloc next month

The State Department announced yesterday that Secretary of State George Shultz will make his first trip to Romania, Hungary, and Yugoslavia next month. The trip is in line with Washington's policy of seeking better bilateral relations with members of the Warsaw Pact rather than treating them merely as part of the Soviet bloc.

Salvadorean public workers protest over job conditions

About 17,000 public employees refused to work, demanding improved conditions, including dismissal of officials they say mistreat employees and the release of a union leader's two sons who are accused of involvement in a kidnapping. Although legally barred from striking, public employees drew attention to their demands by showing up at their offices Tuesday but refusing to work.

Mrs. Reagan's chief of staff leaving to take private job

First Lady Nancy Reagan's chief of staff, James S. Rosebush, is resigning to take a position in private employment and will be succeeded by Lee L. Verstandig, undersecretary of housing and urban development, Mrs. Reagan's office said yesterday.

ACLU study says 25 executed wrongfully in US this century

A report released yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union contends that 25 people have been executed for crimes they did not commit and 318 have been wrongly convicted of capital offenses since 1900. The figures indicate that at least one innocent person has been convicted of a capital crime for every 20 executions carried out in the United States since the turn of the century, the research paper concludes.

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