News In Brief

The parliament of Soviet Estonia unanimously rejected yesterday Kremlin plans to modify the Soviet Constitution which deputies said would restrict the rights of individual Soviet republics. The chamber instead voted to amend the Estonian constitution, giving itself the right to refuse to apply Soviet legislation in the republic. The parliament also elected Indrek Toome, current Estonian Communist Party ideology chief, as Estonian prime minister.

Jewish leader resigns in Kristallnacht furor

A Jewish leader who defended last week's controversial Kristallnacht speech by the president of Parliament resigned yesterday after being strongly criticized by other Jews, officials said. Michael F"urst, deputy chairman of the national Jewish council, had been harshly criticized for comments he made after Thursday's speech of then-Parliament President Philipp Jenninger.

In his speech, Mr. F"urst said he welcomed the Parliament president's open comments on what happened in Germany during the 1930s and how masses of Germans had strongly supported Hitler.

Thousands stage march for peace in El Salvador

Thousands of peasants, students, and workers marched through the capital Tuesday to demand that the US-backed government negotiate with leftist rebels to end the nine-year-old civil war. The march coincided with a meeting of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States. Organizers of the event included dozens of antigovernment labor, peasant, student, church, and human rights organizations.

Bush said to tap Sununu to be his chief of staff

President-elect George Bush has tapped Gov. John Sununu of New Hampshire as his chief of staff, sources close to Bush say, a signal of change after his first two top appointments went to Reagan administration veterans. Mr. Sununu helped Mr. Bush bounce back from a defeat in the Iowa caucuses last February. The lame duck New Hampshire governor, a one-time engineering professor, was an indefatigable Bush campaigner.

Greenspan stresses need to solve deficit problem

Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday that continuing high federal budget deficits represent a ``dangerous corrosion'' of the US economy and must be reduced. Mr. Greenspan joined a number of other top economic experts testifying as the National Economic Commission launched its post-election effort to come up with solutions to the seven-year budgetary deadlock.

Thatcher bids farewell to President Reagan

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, paying a farewell call on President Reagan, yesterday praised his administration as ``one of the greatest in American history.'' Mr. Reagan, in turn, praised Mrs. Thatcher as a leader of ``courage, resolve, and vision.'' Reagan had said this past spring he wanted Thatcher to be his last state dinner guest, and it was agreed she would come in November to greet his successor.

300-foot radiotelescope collapses in W. Virginia

One of the world's biggest radiotelescopes collapsed in what an astronomer lamented as a ``major blow'' to science. The 26-year-old instrument, an antenna dish the size of a football field in diameter, gave way late Tuesday, an official from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory said. The cause of the collapse was under investigation.

The 300-foot telescope was capable of intercepting naturally emitted radio signals from celestial bodies up to 10 billion light-years away.

Tornadoes sweep South, Midwest

At least 49 tornadoes churned a trail of destruction through five states in the South and Midwest, killing seven people and injuring dozens. The twisters took their worst toll in Arkansas, where six people were killed and many others injured Tuesday. National Guardsmen in Arkansas helped search for people yesterday and clean up damage.

Tornadoes also struck Missouri, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa, and Oklahoma.

Brazilian left gains in municipal elections

A leftist became the first woman mayor of Brazil's largest city yesterday in nationwide municipal elections that strengthened the standing of the left a year before a crucial vote for president. Leftists also won in Rio de Janeiro, the nation's second-largest city, in the elections Tuesday. The Social Democrats were leading in Belo Horizonte, the third-largest city.

In Sao Paulo, Luiza Erundina, a social worker belonging to the leftist Workers' Party (PT), narrowly beat millionaire businessman Paulo Maluf, who was linked politically to the military dictators who ran Brazil from 1964-85.

More than 70 million Brazilians, bound by law to vote, cast ballots for mayors and councilors in 4,307 municipalities.

Political analysts said the PT's rise was the most significant outcome of the elections.

They said the party, which grew out of the Sao Paulo trade-union movement, gathered many votes from Brazilians unhappy about the relentless rise in prices.

Inflation is now at a record 700 percent and the center-right government of President Jos'e Sarney is very unpopular.

The PT's support grew substantially in the last days of the election campaign after an Army assault on a strike-bound steel plant in Rio de Janeiro State. Troops killed three workers in the assault.

Trade gap narrows

The nation's merchandise trade deficit fell nearly $2 billion, to $10.5 billion, in September as exports hit a record high, the government said yesterday. The 15 percent improvement came from an August deficit revised upward from $12.18 billion to $12.3 billion. Imports declined slightly in September from $39.8 billion the previous month, the Commerce Department said.

The dollar drifted lower on European and Canadian foreign exchange markets in response to the trade report.

For the record

North Korea proposed high-level political and military talks yesterday with South Korea next month. The US Air Force has inspected and cleared more than two-thirds of its B-1B bombers following a crash last week that destroyed one of the long-range planes in Texas, officials said Tuesday.

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