News In Brief

An Egyptian paper, al-Akhbar, quoted the copilot of the hijacked EgyptAir jet as saying Maltese authorities were investigating whether a Greek passenger aboard the Athens-to-Cairo flight had been involved in the Nov. 24 hijacking. Egypt has signalled an easing of tension on its western frontier with Libya by allowing some troops to take leave for the first time since an armed alert was called after the hijacking, military sources said.

And in Valletta, Malta, an Israeli woman shot by the hijackers died, bringing to 60 the number of people killed in the sky piracy and violent rescue operation, hospital officials said yesterday.

Collapse of Singapore firm suspends all stock trading

Singapore reeled under its worst business crisis ever yesterday, with all trading in stocks halted here and in neighboring Malaysia after the virtual collapse of a major industrial group. The crisis, triggered when Pan-Electric Industries Ltd. was put into receivership with debts of $195 million, could also hit several stockbroking firms, a senior investment analyst said.

No details were immediately available, but stockbrokers expected the suspension to last a week.

West German and his son arrested on spy charges

A 62-year-old West German man and his 34-year-old son have been jailed on suspicion of espionage for East Germany, the federal prosecutor's office said yesterday. Officials refused to give details. Meanwhile, the weekly Quzick magazine reported that two of West Germany's ``best agents'' in the East German government leadership had been betrayed by a former West German counterintelligence officer Hans-Joachim Tiedge, who defected to the East last summer.

The arrests brought to 14 the number of alleged East German spies who either have been arrested in West Germany or defected to East Germany since Aug. 6.

Israel to cut its spending in fight against inflation

The Israeli government has decided to cut spending by $400 million next year and will seek ways to cut a $200 million more in its fight against 248 percent inflation, officials said yesterday. Israel's overall budget for fiscal year 1985 was estimated at $21.3 billion.

Most of the savings decided at a meeting yesterday are to come from a $120 million reduction in fuel and basic commodity subsidies. Defense spending, which accounts for a third of government outlays, is to be reduced by $100 million.

150 arrested as Indian police patrol Bhopal during protest

Police arrested more than 150 people and deployed hundreds of armed guards at the Union Carbide plant yesterday to prevent violence on the anniversary of the deadly gas leak that killed more than 2,000 people. Security was also tightened at all 12 Union Carbide plants in India, the managing director of Union Carbide's Indian subsidiary said.

Protesters conducted torchlight marches last night to the Bhopal Union Carbide factory to demand that the company be expelled from India and to mourn victims of the world's worst industrial disaster.

New S. African labor group demands end to pass laws

The country's newest labor federation demanded that the white-led government end pass laws for blacks, and more than 180 US companies with interests in South Africa issued a public call for integrated schools. The Congress of South African Trade Unions, formed Saturday, claims to represent 400,000 workers. The labor federation's president, Elijah Barayi, told a rally at a Durban stadium Sunday that the group is giving President P. W. Botha ``six months to get rid of pass laws.''

Boston hotel workers agree to vote on tentative contract

A strike by workers at nine major Boston hotels was averted just before the deadline yesterday, when union and management negotiators agreed to a tentative contract featuring a 20 percent wage increase over three years. The 4,000 union members were scheduled to vote on the contract last night.

US businessmen released early from Chinese prison

US businessman Richard Ondrik, released from a Chinese prison last week after serving five months for what the Chinese said was his role in a fatal hotel fire, returned to Honolulu yesterday. Mr. Ondrik was originally fined $53,000 and sentenced to an 18-month prison term in September for causing a hotel fire in the northeastern city of Harbin by smoking in bed.

Ex-CIA employee pleads innocent to spying for China

Retired CIA employee Larry Wu-tai Chin pleaded innocent yesterday to the charge that he spied for China for more than 30 years. Mr. Chin was indicted last week on one count of conspiracy to commit espionage. The judge has set Jan. 22 as the trial date. If convicted, Chin could face life imprisonment. He is being held without bond pending trial.

Court to rule on states, cities pulling out of social security

The Supreme Court, among several actions announced yesterday, agreed to decide whether state and local governments may withdraw their employees from the nation's social security system. The court will review a ruling that invalidated a 1983 law in which Congress sought to protect social security's economic integrity by barring states and local governments from pulling out.

$9 million taken as robbers seize Brinks men in France

Armed robbers kidnapped two employees of Brinks France from their homes, forced them to open an office at company headquarters in this Paris suburb, and made off with as much as $9.2 million, police said yesterday.

9 students arrested in Korea in protest at a US center

Police entered the US Cultural Center in the southern city of Kwangju and arrested nine students who occupied the office yesterday to protest US support of President Chun Doo Hwan. In parliament yesterday members of South Korea's main opposition party went on a 24-hour hunger strike to protest the ruling party's approval of the 1986 budget.

New union being sought for air traffic controllers

The nation's 14,000 air traffic controllers, without labor representation since an illegal strike in 1981, will be asked to sign union cards again. Gene DeFries, president of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, the parent union of the defunct Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, announced plans Monday to organize the controllers.

Seaway opened after repairs, but storm forces shutdown

The St. Lawrence Seaway, after being closed for three days, was reopened yesterday morning -- only to be shut down again two hours later because of stormy weather. The seaway had been closed because of the collapse of a bridge some 25 miles southwest of Montreal. The bridge had been rammed by an Indian freighter Friday.

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