News In Brief

Private groups in Australia and West Europe are supplying Philippine communist rebels with aid through church-based organizations, a military intelligence report said yesterday. In other news, the Philippine military said that at least 29 people, 18 of them Communist rebels, were killed in the second major clash of the month on the guerrilla stronghold of Samar Island.

Gorbachev to give NBC a one-hour interview

Soviet leader Gorbachev will give an exclusive one-hour interview on the NBC television network, NBC announced Monday. The interview, which the network has been seeking for more than two years, will be broadcast in prime time next week, news anchor Tom Brokaw said on his national news broadcast.

Heavy fighting reported in east part of Sri Lanka

Heavy fighting broke out yesterday between Indian peacekeeping troops and separatist Tamil rebels in eastern Sri Lanka after the soldiers trapped a large number of rebels in a marshy jungle, reports said. Separately, the Sri Lankan government is rushing food to Jaffna Peninsula, where Indian troops are battling Tamil separatist rebels, an official said.

Contras with counterplan waved off by Nicaragua

Two Nicaraguan contra leaders gave up plans to return to Managua to deliver a cease-fire counterproposal yesterday after Nicaragua's Sandinista government told them to stay out. Alfonso Robelo, who is one of two rebel leaders who hoped to deliver the counterproposal, said the US-backed contras would give their cease-fire plan to the Vatican ambassador in San Jos'e. The plan would be delivered to Nicaragua.

News workers in Italy go on general strike

News media employees in Italy walked off their jobs yesterday, silencing the nation's news agencies as its first general strike in three years began. Italy's trade union confederation said millions more workers would be on strike today, the main day of walkouts expected to tie up industry, schools, public transport and utilities, government offices, and banks.

The strike was called to protest government economic policies.

Suspect in skyjackings is arrested in Japan

Japanese police said yesterday they had arrested a top leader of the ultra-radical Japanese Red Army after a 14-year hunt. A police spokesman said Osamu Maruoka, accused of helping to hijack two passenger jets in the 1970s, was arrested Saturday. His arrest was the first of a Red Army member since police detained Yoshiaki Yamada in February 1986.

3 black rebel suspects killed in South Africa

South African police killed three suspected black nationalist rebels after storming a house at Umlazi, near the Indian Ocean port of Durban. Police Commissioner Hennie de Witt announced yesterday. Meanwhile, police reported another political murder in Natal Province hours before a new attempt to end black factional violence that has claimed at least 150 lives this year.

Chad says troops clashed with Libyans near border

Chad said yesterday its troops clashed with Libyan forces near the Sudanese border two days ago, the first reported skirmish since the two countries agreed to a cease-fire on Sept. 11. A communiqu'e from the High Military Command said five Libyan soldiers were killed when a Libyan column tried to penetrate into Chadian territory.

Operators' racket foiled, Australia phone firm says

Australia's telephone company, Telecom Australia, said yesterday it had smashed a multimillion-dollar overseas call racket involving its own operators. Investigators for the company and federal police swooped down on operators across the country with search warrants after a year-long investigation, Telecom's chief investigator, Peter Lester, said.

The operators had allegedly been paid to place free overseas calls for more than 100 of Telecom's customers, he said in a statement.

Indecent programming OK in wee hours: FCC

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday told radio and television broadcasters that they may air indecent programming between midnight and 6 a.m. without fear of FCC action. The FCC established the time period in response to petitions seeking clarification of the agency's new standards for indecent programming. But the commission did little else to change its April ruling.

European central banks cut interest

European central banks lowered interest rates yesterday in an orchestrated effort to stimulate the West European economy and stop the erosion of the dollar's value. The coordinated move by banks in West Germany, France, and the Netherlands came four days after Washington announced a budget deficit reduction agreement that had been eagerly awaited by its foreign trading partners.

Yesterday's action boosted the dollar sharply on foreign-exchange markets and helped fuel rallies in the US and European stock markets. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 40.29 points to 1,963.36 at mid-afternoon.

Separately, gross national product, the total value of goods and services, grew 4.1 percent between July and September, the US Commerce Department said, revising the figure upward from the 3.8 percent rate it estimated a month ago.

The US trade deficit widened fractionally to a record $39.83 billion in the third quarter of the year, the department said. The deficit in the second quarter was $39.56 billion.

For the record

Kenya yesterday reversed deportation orders against a Canadian and eight American missionaries accused of plotting with the Ku Klux Klan to topple Kenya's government, the missionaries said. Czech officials have agreed to come to the Vatican for high-level meetings on tense church-state relations, which could lead to an agreement to fill some of the vacant bishoprics, Vatican sources said yesterday.

Two leading IRA gunmen who escaped from Northern Ireland's top security jail four years ago have been caught in a Anglo-Irish arms hunt, police said yesterday.

Soviet Jewish dissident Iosif Begun obtained an exit visa to leave for Israel yesterday.

CorrectionCorrection for 11/23/87

The Monitor reported Monday that conservative commentator Pat Buchanan said Vice-President George Bush and US Rep. Jack Kemp have ``cut a deal to make [Kemp] his running mate.'' Mr. Buchanan denies having made the statement, which was drawn from a report in the Presidential Campaign Hotline.

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