News In Brief

Iran said it bombed troop concentrations and a munitions depot yesterday near Basra, and Iraq said its air force destroyed a sugar refinery in western Iran. The Iranian raids near Iraq's southern provincial capital came one day after Parliament speaker, Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran was ready for another major ground offensive.

Haitian funeral service is abruptly called off

A funeral service for victims of raids that killed at least 34 people and thwarted national elections was abruptly canceled yesterday. Only minutes before the ceremony was to begin, Radio M'etropole and the Roman Catholic-operated Radio Soleil announced the cancellation. Organizers cited bad weather, but only a light drizzle was falling at the time.

As the two-day general strike ended, three leading presidential candidates joined forces to oppose the military-dominated junta, which they blame for the violence.

Israelis kill 2 protesters as Gaza violence goes on

Israeli soldiers opened fire yesterday on Arab demonstrators in two separate incidents in the occupied Gaza Strip. Two Palestinians were killed and at least 18 wounded, hospital officials said. The soldiers were trying to contain unrest triggered by a traffic accident Tuesday night. Police said three Arabs were killed and seven injured when an Israeli truck collided with two vans carrying Palestinian workers from jobs in Israel.

Palestinian journalist arrested in West Bank

Israeli security forces arrested a prominent Palestinian journalist and magazine editor, Radwan Abu Ayyash, at his home in the West Bank town of Ramallah Tuesday night, Israel radio reported. It said Mr. Abu Ayyash, who also heads the Arab Journalists Association, was accused of being a member of Al-Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization's mainstream guerrilla group, and of receiving funds to organize disturbances in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Abu Ayyash is editor of the pro-PLO East Jerusalem weekly Al-Awdah.

Gibraltar's top official submits resignation

Gibraltar's chief minister, Sir Joshua Hassan, resigned yesterday, opening the way to an election campaign likely to focus on a controversial agreement signed last week giving Madrid a hand in the use and running of Gibraltar's airport. Sir Joshua, who says he is stepping down for personal reasons, devoted much of a 40-year-long career opposing Spain's claim to the colony.

Riot police free directors held in Paris bank strike

Riot police stormed the Bank of France yesterday and freed two directors held by about 1,000 strikers occupying the fortresslike building. At a meeting after the raid, the strikers voted to continue the stoppage and said the police attack had rallied more provincial staff to their side.

Two-thirds of the bank's 17,000 employees nationwide have been on strike for nine days in a dispute over pay, conditions, and job security.

Colombian court staff strike over back pay

About 19,000 court employees, including hundreds of judges, went on strike yesterday because they hadn't been paid for six weeks. Payment of public employees is awaiting the conclusion of the Colombian Congress's debate on the 1988 budget.

The strike closed over 4,000 court offices and will deprive about 40,000 inmates of an early release from prison. The Congress had decreed the early release so they could spend Christmas at home this year.

Plane with soccer team from Peru crashes in sea

A Navy plane carrying Peru's first-place soccer team crashed into the Pacific Ocean Tuesday night. All but one of the 43 people on board were believed killed, a Navy spokesman said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a crew member was rescued from the wreckage in the ocean, and five bodies had been recovered.

The spokesman said the twin-engine Fokker's landing gear would not lower when the aircraft was trying to land, but he said he had no other details on the crash.

Nicaragua says US pilot was in on a contra plot

Papers seized from an American whose plane was downed by the Sandinistas show he was involved in a contra plot to kill the foreign minister, Nicaragua said Tuesday. Defense Minister Humberto Ortega told reporters that James Jordan Denby may be placed on trial, but he did not specify the charges against him. The Sandinistas also said evidence showed Mr. Denby was affiliated with the CIA.

Contra leader Adolfo Calero denied, however, that Denby had ever worked for the contras.

US Navy plane crashes in Antarctic; 2 killed

A US Navy transport plane with 11 Americans aboard crashed in Antarctica yesterday as it tried to land on a crude runway. Two people were killed and one was seriously injured, the Navy said. The plane crashed about 860 miles northeast of the US McMurdo Station on McMurdo Sound, the main US base in Antarctica, Comdr. Bob Harler said.

In Washington, the Navy said it had no details on the cause of the accident, but said the plane caught fire during the crash.

Bomb hits official's car amid Bangladeshi unrest

A bomb hurled at a car injured a government minister in a crowded street in Dacca yesterday, police said. The attack came during a lull in an opposition-led national campaign to force President Hossain Muhammad Ershad to resign. They said Textile Minister Sunil Gupta was returning home from his office when the bomb smashed the windshield of his car near the Foreign Ministry. Two passers-by were also hurt, police said.

Monitor photographer honored by hunger group

Monitor staff photographer Melanie Stetson Freeman received the 1987 World Hunger Year Media Award for Best Photojournalism, presented Monday night at a private ceremony before a concert given at Carnegie Hall, New York. The award, presented for Ms. Freeman's work on the Monitor's ``Children in Darkness: the exploitation of innocence'' series, is sponsored by World Hunger Year Inc., a nonprofit organization founded by the late performer and humanitarian Harry Chapin.

For the record

Charles Manatt, former Democratic Party chief, signed on as national chairman of Sen. Paul Simon's presidential campaign yesterday. Rear Adm. John Poindexter, President Reagan's former national-security adviser and a key figure in the Iran-contra scandal, retired from the Navy last week as a two-star rear admiral, officials said yesterday.

The US House of Representatives refused Tuesday to lift a ban on providing military equipment to Guatemala, even though the Central American nation is now ruled by a civilian government.

Fiji's prime minister, Ratu Sir Kemasese Mara, announced a 21-member Cabinet yesterday, and the Army commander, Brig. Sitiveni Rabuka was named as the minister of home affairs.

Art Agnos, a former social worker, defeated John Molinari in Tuesday's runoff in San Francisco's mayoral elections.

In last Thursday's Monitor, an item on the News-in-Brief page said a World Hunger Year Media award was sponsored by the late performer and humanitarian Harry Chapin. While World Hunger Year Inc. was founded by Mr. Chapin, the awards are sponsored by singer Kenny Rogers and his wife, Marianne.

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