News In Brief

Firefighters contained a huge blaze yesterday which broke out at one of Italy's largest oil storage depots after an explosion that killed at least three people and injured 168. The fire burned all night Saturday in 27 giant tanks at the depot of the state oil company Agip in Naples' industrial zone.

A spokesman said investigations into the cause of the explosion would begin immediately, but local authorities said sabotage had been ruled out.

Two thousand people had been evacuated from their homes nearby.

Bonner speaks at synagogue, gives thanks for Jewish help

Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner gave a 10-minute speech, her first in public since arriving in the US for medical treatment, at a Sabbath service at Congregation Mishkan Tefila, thanking the Jewish community for their support of herself and her husband, Andrei Sakharov. Asked by reporters why she chose to speak at the synagogue, Mrs. Bonner said, ``Because anti-Semitism exists, I find it impossible not to come to a synagogue. I believe the most terrifying and the most deplorable development in human history is the teaching of national or religous superiority.''

Former FBI clerk charged with spying for Soviet Union

Former FBI clerk Randy Miles Jeffries will be charged today with spying for the Soviet Union, becoming the 11th American to face trial for espionage this year. Mr. Jeffries, whom the FBI said Saturday had admitted to two meetings with Soviet officials to hand over portions of government documents for $5,000, will be formally arraigned today in US District Court.

Attacks on journalists nearly doubled in '85

Violence directed at journalists on the job nearly doubled in 1985, according to a report newly released by Freedom House, a nonpartisan national organization that monitors press freedom. The report said that 30 journalists were killed in 11 countries -- half in the Philippines, 13 were held hostage or disappeared, and 76 in 20 countries were beaten, bombed, wounded or otherwise harassed. There were 109 known detentions, compared with 72 in 1984.

It added that censorship has increased significantly in Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan and Zimbabwe, but was reduced in Nigeria and South Korea.

Congressmen ask Nicaragua leader to ease restrictions

Seventy-eight members of the House of Representative sent a bipartisan appeal to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega urging him to lift his government's ``draconian restrictions'' on freedom of expression and worship. And in Managua, Mr. Ortega invited President Reagan Saturday to join him in a lie-detector test ``to see who is telling the truth about Central America.''

US, Japan settle leather trade dispute

The United States and Japan settled a dispute over restrictions on American leather imports Saturday, with Japan agreeing to give the US $260 million worth of trade concessions.

Meatpackers' local opposes proposed Hormel settlement

Leaders of the union local striking the Geo. A. Hormel & Co. meatpacking plant on Saturday recommended that the rank and file reject a proposed contract endorsed by the international union.

Reagan lets Cabinet decide about lie-detector tests

President Reagan has decided to let his Cabinet officers decide whether members of their departments must take random lie-detector tests in the campaign against spying, an administration spokesman said Saturday. Earlier White House statements said that a National Security Decision Directive signed on Nov. 1 would require 183,000 federal employees and contractors with access to secrets to undergo polygraph tests starting sometime next year.

Moscow praises canceled US nuclear test

The Soviet Union said Sunday that US postponement of an underground nuclear test blast in Nevada may indicate Washington is heeding the Kremlin's proposal for a superpower ban on nuclear testing. But a spokesman for the US Department of Energy said the test was delayed because of winds blowing toward populated areas.

Siege of French courtroom ends peacefully

A 35-hour courtroom standoff between police and three gunmen who held 32 hostages ended peacefully at the Nantes airport Friday night, with two of the men, who were on trial for robbery, returning themselves to custody. The trouble began Thursday when Abdel Karim Khalki, a Moroccan who was released in November after serving time in a French prison, burst into the courtroom carrying a gun and intending to free the two defendants whom he had befriended in prison.

The French authorities agreed to return Mr. Khalki to Morocco in return for the cooperation of the two defendants. No injuries were reported in the siege.

Marcos says delay in IMF funds has been lifted

President Ferdinand E. Marcos announced Saturday that the International Monetary Fund has agreed to release the third installment of a $615 million loan, the official Philippine News Agency said.

Anti-racism protesters fail to show up at court hearing

Arrest warrants were issued for 21 anti-racism protesters who did not appear at a hearing on charges of violating a state of emergency in a neighborhood where white crowds protested at the homes of blacks. Thirteen others pleaded innocent Friday, and trial for them was set for Jan. 21.

Businessmen offer to buy bankrupt St. Louis paper

Two St. Louis businessmen, William E. Franke and John B. Prentis, have made an offer to buy the bankrupt St. Louis Globe-Democrat and to resume publishing the newspaper, according to the paper's trustee.

A Dec. 10 business article (Page 33) inaccurately stated that American Express launched an ``unsanctioned'' drive in 1983 to aid restoration of the Statue of Liberty. Although American Express was not an ``official sponsor'' of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, it has raised funds under agreement with the foundation. American Express has turned over more than $1.7 million to the foundation so far. Its direct-mail campaign has raised $4.8 million more, and individual employee donations raised more than $25,000.

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