News In Brief

Canada will lift the sanctions it imposed on the Soviet Union after the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan because they have not worked, Joe Clark, secretary of state for external affairs, said Wednesday. He gave no timetable for the move, but said the Canadian government is completing talks with the Soviets on renewing cultural, educational, scientific, and technical contacts. Mr. Clark announced the sanctions when he was prime minister in 1980.

Leader of leftist party in Philippines is slain

On her return from Japan, Philippine President Corazon Aquino faced a crisis over the murder of the leader of the largest left-wing political party yesterday. Officials of the People's Party said the body of Rolando Olalia was found in a Manila suburb. Mr. Olalia was secretary-general of the party, which was founded three months ago by former Communist Party leaders. Olalia had pledged that his party would support the President in a coup attempt. Rumors of a possible military takeover had persisted through Mrs. Aquino's four-day trip to Japan.

US district judge halts Customs drug testing

A federal court in Louisiana invalidated the US Customs Service's employee drug testing program Wednesday, dealing a major blow to President Reagan's government antidrug plans. Lawyers for the union that represents Customs Service employees hailed the decision, which ordered an immediate halt to drug tests by the Customs Service. It was not immediately known if the decision would be appealed. The Customs program required people to submit to tests after they were chosen for promotion to certain jobs. If drug use was found, they could lose the promotion and might be fired.

Meanwhile, President Reagan is meeting with 21 US diplomats to seek their advice and assistance in his battle against international drug trafficking. The diplomats, many serving in major drug-producing nations, began a two-day session on the problem Wednesday.

Relief supplies trickle into southern Sudan

Relief supplies are beginning to reach famine-stricken southern Sudan, where rebels are fighting government troops for control over the south, a government minister said Wednesday. He said the government has secured river and rail routes to the southern towns of Wau and Malakal, the scene of intensive activity by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army. An international relief effort, Operation Rainbow, was called off last month.

City elections in Peru give strong nod to ruling party

President Alan Garc'ia P'erez has emerged considerably strengthened from municipal elections in Peru. The President's American Popular Revolutionary Alliance appears to have made key advances in the Andean heartlands, where opposition leftists had until recently held office. The party also appears to have won the most important race, the mayoralty of Lima, but results of Sunday's balloting are so close that the official outcome may not be known for another 10 days.

The election also confirmed the shift away from the right as indicated last year by the defeat of the then-ruling conservative Popular Action Party.

Swiss to pay damages for Rhine chemical spill

Swiss chemical giant Sandoz AG said yesterday it will pay all legitimate demands for compensation for damages after 30 tons of toxic chemicals from its Basel plant flowed into the Rhine River. Meanwhile, the regional government of Basel accused Sandoz of negligence. A statement released Wednesday said the company's neglect was ``inexcusable.''

About 30 tons of chemicals washed into the Rhine on Nov. 1 when firefighters battled a blaze at a Sandoz warehouse near Basel. Experts say the pollution, which has devastated fish and plant life, will set back for years multimillion-dollar efforts to clean up the Rhine.

Honduras says it will get fighter planes from US

The United States will donate up to two dozen US-built fighter jets to Honduras, President Jos'e Azcona Hoyo and his aides said Wednesday. Honduras, a US ally, had been negotiating for four months to buy either US or Israeli jets to upgrade its aging fleet.

The President gave no details of the type of planes to be given, but sources close to President Azcona said Honduras would receive 18 to 24 F-5E fighter planes. US aid to Honduras has risen sharply since the Sandinistas came to power in neighboring Nicaragua in 1979.

Task force on the family backs traditional values

A report yesterday to President Reagan by a special administration task force said American family life has been damaged by two decades of liberal social experiments: from no-fault divorce laws to permissive sex to the easy availability of welfare. The report, written by Undersecretary of Education Gary Bauer, the task force's chairman, endorses restrictions on welfare for unmarried teenage mothers, exhorts the courts to back off rulings that undermine traditional family mores, and urges the government to resist social engineering and lighten the tax burden on families.

16 North American cities cited for their `livability'

Sixteen cities in the United States and Canada have been cited as America's most livable urban areas. A spokesman for Partners for Livable Cities, the organization making the selections, said the cities were selected for their economic health and quality of life. The cities are, in alphabetical order, Baltimore; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Denver; Indianapolis; Louisville, Ky.; Pittsburgh; Portland, Maine; Richmond, Va.; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Seattle; St. Louis; St. Paul, Minn.; Tampa, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

US A-panel shifts stress from building to safety

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced it is reorganizing its staff to concentrate on nuclear plant operation and maintenance, as opposed to plant construction and licensing. Chairman Lando Zech said Wednesday the reorganization reflected the maturing of the nuclear industry since the commission was established in 1975.

France makes it tougher to be granted citizenship

The French Cabinet approved a proposed law Wednesday which would make it more difficult to obtain French citizenship. The Cabinet of Premier Jacques Chirac's center-right government approved the measures, which would remove the automatic granting of citizenship to French-born children of foreigners who have lived in the country for at least five years. The proposed law is opposed by Socialist President Francois Mitterrand.

The law, which must still be approved by Parliament, would also make it more difficult to acquire French nationality by marrying a French citizen.

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