News In Brief

Philippine police said yesterday that they had arrested 17 people suspected of involvement in the murders of three Americans and a Filipino near the US Clark Air Base. Meanwhile, police raided a slum district in Manila and arrested 53 people suspected of communist links, a military spokesman said.

Iran anniversary prompts anti-American rallies

Millions of Iranians chanted anti-American slogans at rallies in Iran yesterday to mark the eighth anniversary of the 1979 storming of the US Embassy, Iran's official news agency reported. Separately, Kuwait's defense minister said Tuesday the sheikhdom is building a sophisticated defense system to intercept Iranian missiles.

And four British warships sailed through the Suez Canal yesterday on their way to join the British naval force in the Gulf.

Mitterrand said to know of Iran arms sales in '84

President Mitterrand was told in 1984 that French munitions were being exported illegally to Iran, but the shipments continued for two more years, two French newspapers reported yesterday. Le Figaro and Le Monde published a confidential report by armed forces Inspector-General Jean-Fran,cois Barba on the alleged sales by the French armaments company Luchaire. The papers also claimed some profits of the sales may have been turned over to the Socialist Party.

Large, adept drug ring reported caught in Miami

A drug-smuggling ring described as the largest and most sophisticated ever discovered in the US was cracked yesterday, federal officials announced. The ring smuggled 20,000 pounds of cocaine into North America for the Medell'in Cartel of Colombia, an organization that was considered the biggest supplier of cocaine to the US between 1982 and 1986, federal authorities said.

Nicaraguan defector said to have taken key papers

Maj. Roger Mirand Bengoechea, a senior Nicaraguan Army officer who defected to the US 11 days ago, took copies of secret defense plans with him, the defense chief, Gen. Humberto Ortega, said Tuesday. Mr. Ortega said the defection of his chief aide was one of the most important acts of treason since the Sandinista government came to power in 1979.

Ortega, the brother of President Daniel Ortega, said Mr. Miranda took copies of several classified documents, containing plans for Nicaragua's Army, and information about the country's tank fleet, artillery, and Air Force.

Ortega said Nicaragua's goal was to arm a total 600,000 Nicaraguans to be able to fend off any eventual US invasion. It was the first time the government has publicized treason by an Army officer.

Shiites, pro-Israel militia trade blows in Lebanon

Shiite Muslim rebels attacked a hilltop position manned by Israeli-backed militiamen in south Lebanon yesterday, and Israel retaliated by shelling three villages, police reported. In Syrian-policed west Beirut, a small bomb exploded outside a travel agency, shattering glass but causing no casualties, police said.

Japan and US sign pact giving leeway on A-fuel

Japan and the US signed a nuclear cooperation agreement yesterday which allows Japan to reprocess nuclear fuel without prior US approval, Japanese Science and Technology Agency officials said. Under the terms of the agreement, Japan has blanket US consent for reprocessing and storing used nuclear fuel and transporting plutonium to a third country.

Tamil rebel stronghold overrun by Indian troops

Indian paratroopers overran a Tamil rebel stronghold on Karaitivu Island in Sri Lanka Tuesday, killing 25 insurgents, an Indian diplomat said. The island, six miles west of Jaffna Peninsula, had become a sanctuary for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam since India launched its military operation in October.

Bomb in Istanbul marks a challenge to premier

A bomb ripped through the Istanbul office of Turkey's ruling party yesterday, killing one person, in a violent challenge to Prime Minister Turgut Ozal. The violence was one of several bombings that have occurred in the last week which seem aimed at raising tension ahead of a general election on Nov. 29.

Mr. Ozal is expected to win on a platform of continued economic growth and stability.

New ambassador named by Reagan for Iraq

President Reagan said yesterday he will nominate April Catherine Glaspie, a Foreign Service officer, as ambassador to Iraq. Since 1985, Ms. Glaspie has been in charge of the State Department's bureaus dealing with Jordanian, Lebanese, and Syrian affairs. If confirmed, she will succeed David George Newton.

India and Pakistan plan to improve their ties

Prime Minister Gandhi of India and Prime Minister Mohammed Khan Junejo of Pakistan agreed yesterday to a series of diplomatic meetings aimed at improving relations between their countries. Zain Noorani, Pakistan's state minister for foreign affairs, said the diplomatic moves were approved during a meeting between Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Junejo at the annual summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which concluded yesterday.

Police in Uruguay strike for a raise

Thousands of Uruguayan police went on strike Tuesday to demand higher wages. Uruguayan Army units took over some police duties, and the government vowed to maintain order after most of the country's 24,000 police officers began the protest. It was the worst crisis Pres. Julio Mar'ia Sanguinetti has faced since he was installed in office in 1985.

More signatures given for Arizona recall move

A group trying to force Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham into a recall election next year has filed additional signatures with the state, following the filing of petitions with 387,488 names earlier this week. Before a recall election is approved, the secretary of state must validate 216,746 of the 391,738 signatures now filed, a procedure expected to take at least two months.

For the record

Two Japanese businessmen and two Hungarian diplomats were indicted Tuesday on charges of smuggling high-technology laser equipment from the US to Hungary. South Asian leaders were scheduled to end their third annual summit yesterday with a call for tough action against terrorism, conference officials said.

Damage claims have been filed by about 190 people in what may be the final chance for victims of the 1981 Hyatt Regency Hotel skywalks collapse to seek compensation.

A fossil excavated from a rock formation in South Carolina has been identified as history's largest flying sea bird, an unknown species with a wingspan of more than 18 feet, Smithsonian Institution officials said Tuesday.

Wade Roberts, an American soldier who defected to the Soviet union in April, returned to the West yesterday, Tass reported.

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