News In Brief

Prime Minister Shimon Peres yesterday described a London newspaper report alleging that Israel has been stockpiling atomic weapons as ``sensationalist,'' and said Israel would not introduce such weapons to the Middle East. The Sunday Times of London published a report saying Israel manufactured nuclear weapons in the southern Negev Desert and has stockpiled about 100 nuclear weapons over the past 20 years. The report said Israel was the sixth-ranked nuclear power in the world.

In related news yesterday, Lebanese police said Israeli jets bombed and rocketed a Palestinian guerrilla base in the northern province of Akkar, in Israel's deepest air strike ever in Lebanon. Three guerrillas were reported hurt. It was Israel's 12th air raid into Lebanon this year.

LaRouche HQ searched in credit card fraud case

Several hundred state and federal law enforcement agents searched the headquarters of political extremist Lyndon LaRouche under federal search warrants yesterday, officials said. Dan Small, assistant US attorney in Boston, said the agents had warrants for a variety of documents relating principally to a federal investigation into allegations of credit card fraud by organizations related to Mr. LaRouche. At least three arrests were made.

In Boston, two corporations, three campaign committees, and 10 individuals associated with LaRouche were indicted by a federal grand jury in an alleged nationwide credit card fraud operation, prosecutors announced.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Supreme Court yesterday cleared the way for NBC to collect more than $250,000 from LaRouche, who had unsuccessfully sued the network for alleged libel.

Soviet, Chinese ministers look at renewing relations

China and the Soviet Union opened ministerial talks yesterday aimed at normalizing relations between the two neighbors, Soviet Embassy officials said. Deputy foreign ministers Qian Qichen and Igor Rogachov led the two delegations in the ninth round of talks, which are meant to heal a political rift dating to the ideological split of the early 1960s.

East European sources said the Sino-Soviet talks, expected to last about one week, were taking place in a better atmosphere than earlier rounds, because of top-level initiatives to break the deadlock in political ties. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has offered concessions to Peking such as territorial changes on their border and Soviet troop cuts in the frontier zone.

Antigovernment violence down sharply in S. Africa

Official figures show a dramatic decline in antigovernment violence in South Africa in recent weeks, although peaceful protests such as rent boycotts have escalated, the Associated Press reported yesterday. Thirty-three deaths stemming from political violence were reported in September and the first five days of October, compared with 221 deaths in May. Government officials contend the statistics show that the emergency measures are containing violence, but monitoring groups note that the official Bureau of Information is the primary source of statistics.

In other news from South Africa, the formation of a moderate, multi-racial South African political party, United Christian Conciliation Party, was announced here yesterday. The party will be headed by black clerics and township leaders.

OPEC officials predicting an accord to limit output

OPEC leaders, aiming to head off a possible new plunge in oil prices, gathered for a special meeting yesterday with experts predicting they would agree to extend a temporary accord on production controls. The current agreement, due to expire Oct. 31, succeeded in pushing oil prices up from summertime lows of less than $10 a barrel to about $14 now, but without a renewal of OPEC's pledge to hold down production, analysts say, prices could plummet quickly.

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani said OPEC would seek to raise oil prices to between $17 and $19 a barrel.

Supreme Court will hear church-related cases

During the first day of its 1986-87 session the Rehnquist court agreed to rule on two church-related cases. The US Supreme Court will decide whether a government-run airport may prohibit religious groups from distributing literature inside its buildings. The justices said they will review a ruling that struck down such a ban imposed at Los Angeles International Airport preventing a group called Jews for Jesus from distributing leaflets.

The court also said it will consider allowing Jews to invoke federal civil rights laws in suing vandals for defacing a synagogue with anti-Semitic and Nazi-type slogans and symbols. Justices will review a ruling that dismissed a lawsuit by a Jewish congregation in Silver Spring, Md. which sued eight men under civil rights laws enacted after the Civil War to protect blacks.

Contra group says unity remains after meetings

Nicaraguan rebel leaders emerged from three days of closed meetings here yesterday with their uneasy alliance intact, a spokeswoman for the US-backed umbrella group said. The contras, bolstered by a US congressional promise of $100 million in aid, are preparing to intensify their war against the Sandinista government in their Central American homeland.

United Nicaraguan Opposition leaders Arturo Cruz, Adolfo Calero, and Alfonso Robelo held a routine debate of politics and strategy at their meetings last week, spokeswoman Marta Sacasa said.

US to set up monitoring of Soviet disinformation

President Reagan has approved creation of an office to monitor Soviet efforts to discredit the US through disinformation and related practices, a State Department spokesman said. The office will keep a data base on Soviet and other foreign efforts to undercut US policies through disinformation, forgeries, blackmail, and attempts to control foreign news media.

Brown v. Board revisited in Topeka school case

The nation's most significant school desegregation case was rekindled in federal court Monday when attorneys for 17 children and the Topeka, Kan., school board began debating whether the city's schools are still segregated. The children's parents charge that the Topeka school district denies minority students a good-quality education. They have reopened the Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit that resulted in the US Supreme Court's 1954 ruling banning racial segregation in US schools.

Kentucky calls out guard to raid marijuana crops

Sixty National Guard troops were called to active duty yesterday and sent out with state troopers in the broadest series of marijuana raids in Kentucky's history, Gov. Martha Layne Collins said. The helicopter crews of three unarmed guardsmen and two armed troopers were sent over much of the state to look for marijuana fields and eradicate the plants.

It was the first time the guard has been used in direct support of state police in marijuana eradication, Mrs. Collins said.

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