News In Brief

South Lebanon Army forces, backed by Israeli helicopters, killed six guerrillas in a clash in southern Lebanon yesterday, Lebanese and Israeli military sources said. The battle took place when SLA forces, Israel's militia allies in Lebanon, came across a guerrilla squad north of Hasbaya on the edge of an Israeli-declared security zone,the sources said. The SLA forces clashed three times with guerrillas in the security zone over the weekend. They have arrested dozens of residents in connection with a suicide car bomb attack last week that killed eight Israeli soldiers.

Poland says Lech Walesa refused proposed meeting

The Polish government said Saturday that Solidarity leader Lech Walesa had refused a fourth meeting with the interior minister to prepare for talks on country's future and both sides said prospects for agreement were dim. Mr. Walesa denied he had directly rejected any offer to meet Interior Minister Czeslaw Kisczak but said he had refused to bow to a demand by the Communist authorities to discuss changing the banned union's team for the ``round table'' talks. The talks were postponed from last Monday.

Italians detain Lebanese carrying hostage photos

Authorities arrested a Lebanese woman who was carrying pictures of three Americans held hostage in Lebanon and a letter from one of them in a false bottom in her suitcase, police said Saturday. The woman, identified as Aline Ibrahim Rizkallah, was stopped Thursday at Milan's Linate Airport was carrying photos of Terry Anderson, Thomas Sutherland, and Alann Steen, said police.

Police said the photographs were to be given to an Italian businessman, who was not identified.

Hungarians defy ban on marking 1956 uprising

Several hundred people marked the 1956 Hungarian uprising in central Budapest yesterday in defiance of a police ban. Two were arrested. Hundreds of police sealed off areas of symbolic importance in the city, including sites connected with the anti-communist uprising that was crushed by Soviet tanks with heavy bloodshed.

The march was to mark the 32nd anniversary of the start of an uprising put down by Soviet tanks after Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced Hungary's withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact.

Chilean leftists kill policeman in attack

Leftist guerrillas, armed with rocket-launchers and automatic rifles, killed a policeman and injured a civilian in attacks on two police posts in the south of Chile, police said Saturday. A spokeswoman for a faction of the Manuel Rodr'iguez Patriotic Front, Chile's most active guerrilla group, claimed responsibility for the attacks in calls to news agencies.

It was the first guerrilla activity reported since Chileans voted earlier this month against extending President Augusto Pinochet's 15-year rule for eight more years.

Soviets return cathedral to church after 40 years

Some 5,000 people packed the square in front of Vilnius cathedral yesterday for the first Catholic mass allowed there by Soviet authorities in almost 40 years. The Lithuanian government announced Saturday it was returning the cathedral to the Catholic Church. The announcement came at the end of the first day of a two-day conference of the Lithuanian Restructuring Movement.

The republic's reform-minded Communist Party chief, Algirdas Brazauskas, met with Mikhail Gorbachev last week and said the Soviet president believes the Lithuanian group can help perestroika.

Iran says political parties may operate within limits

Iran's information minister said political parties, sharply limited for years, will be allowed to operate freely if they do not conspire against the Islamic government. Minister Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri, in a statement broadcast yesterday, said as long as the parties ``demonstrate their commitment to the Islamic system and abide by their commitments in action, they can operate freely.''

The statement said there would be limits on party activities but did not spell them out.

British students praised for bravery in ship crash

The teachers of hundreds of British children who survived the sinking of a cruise liner off Greece praised yesterday the courage of their pupils when the vessel keeled over. Two Greek crewmen died and two Britons were missing after the cruiser, carrying 475 people, collided with an Italian freighter off the port of Pireaus Friday night. Within minutes, tugs and small boats rushed to the sinking ship and hauled in survivors from the oily water.

Nicaragua picks up pieces after storm

Nicaraguans slowly began picking up the pieces yesterday after Hurricane Joan cut a swath of destruction across the country in one of the worst natural disasters in Central American history. After hovering off the Caribbean coast for several days, Joan slammed into Nicaragua late Friday bringing torrential rains and 125-mile per-hour winds.

``It's total destruction, not a single house has a roof left, while churches and schools are all gone,'' official Ray Hooker said by radio from Corn Island. The island and Bluefields sustained the heaviest damages in what Mr. Hooker described as destruction exceeding the earthquake that flattened Managua in 1972. Authorities say up to 100 percent of buildings in Bluefields and other major towns in central Nicaragua were destroyed or seriously damaged, leaving at least 300,000 people homeless.

Several major rivers overflowed during the storm, causing further damage to crops, fisheries, and port facilities.

At press time, 26 deaths, untold injuries, and hundreds of missing were reported. Immediate relief aid was expected via flights to Bluefields from Cuba. Mexico, Sweden, and the Soviet Union also promised help.

Flooding was also reported in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama. El Salvador declared a state of alert in the south as the storm headed into the Pacific in a northwesterly direction.

For the record

The US State Department on Friday welcomed the decision of Soviet authorities to allow dissident leader Andrei Sakharov to visit the US. Typhoon Ruby dumped heavy rains and triggered flash floods yesterday in the southern Philippines, leaving 20,000 homeless, officials said.

CorrectionCorrection for 10/6/88

An Associated Press report appearing in an Oct. 6 article on warning labels for tobacco products incorrectly reported that chewing tobacco was being removed from supermarket shelves in California. In fact, chewing tobaccos carry federal warning labels and were not among the tobaccos removed.

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