News In Brief

Nearly 8,000 people were evacuated from cities and towns shattered by Armenia's earthquake as authorities began trying to clear the area of all but workers involved in the cleanup effort, Pravda reported yesterday. In another development, the Tass news agency said the Soviet Union reached agreement with the American Telephone & Telegraph Company to allow Armenians to call collect to the US, where many have friends and relatives. Soviet citizens usually cannot place collect calls.

Soviet-Japanese meeting centers on islands dispute

Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and his Japanese counterpart, Sousuke Uno, met yesterday to discuss a thorny border dispute. The Soviet foreign minister and Mr. Uno spent about 6 hours in talks that centered on the disputed Soviet-held Kirile Islands, which Japan claims.

The two ministers are to meet again today to discuss tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and in Cambodia and Sino-Soviet diplomatic relations.

British opposition leader urges firmness with IRA

Opposition leader Neil Kinnock yesterday urged the families of British soldiers to stand firm against IRA threats after a car bombing damaged more than 100 homes in Londonderry. The Labour Party leader spoke out in Londonderry in the Waterside district of Northern Ireland, where Sunday's bomb occurred. Two people were taken to the hospital, but no other injuries were reported in the bombing.

It was the fourth attack on British Army homes in the province in the past month.

Jordanian premier shuffles Cabinet

Jordanian Prime Minister Zaid Rifai changed Cabinet faces yesterday, bringing in one of King Hussein's senior advisers as foreign minister, an official source said. The source said that Marwan Qasem, previously the head of the royal palace, had been appointed deputy prime minister and replaced Taher Masri as foreign minister.

The source also said that two new faces had been introduced, Yinal Hikmat as tourism minister and Zuheir Malhas as health minister.

Greek leader wins vote for budget in Parliament

Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, whose socialist government has been hit by resignations and economic scandals, won a budget vote in Parliament Sunday. Mr. Papandreou had said that his government would resign unless Parliament passed its 1989 budget. All 156 deputies of Papandreou's ruling Pasok party voted for the bill.

The budget, designed to boost spending on education, health, and welfare, forecast a deficit of about $9.26 billion, compared with $7.73 billion for 1988.

Gandhi meets Chinese to discuss border issue

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India and Chinese leaders spent most of their time together yesterday discussing their troubled border, Indian journalists said. Mr. Gandhi also discussed Tibet and trade with his Chinese hosts. Gandhi and China's premier, Li Peng, met for two hours in the morning after Gandhi's arrival from New Delhi. Gandhi's five-day visit marks the first time an Indian leader has come to China since 1954.

US Peace Corps building in Honduras is bombed

A powerful bomb exploded outside the Honduran headquarters of the US Peace Corps yesterday, inflicting heavy damage but no injuries, the US Embassy and local police said. Police said they had no idea as to the motive of the attack. Police said unidentified assailants hurled the bomb at the building in central Tegucigalpa.

South African archbishop leads mourners in funeral

Archbishop Desmond Tutu defied a court order forbidding political statements as he led black mourners in prayer yesterday at the funeral of the wife of a jailed African National Congress (ANC) leader. More than 500 people attended the funeral of Irene Mkwayi, a nurse with a long career as an anti-apartheid activist, who died earlier this month. Mrs. Mkwayi was married in a prison wedding last year to Wilton Mkwayi, an ANC member who was jailed for life with Nelson Mandela in 1964.

Israeli Army takes action against officers for abuses

The Israeli Army has taken disciplinary action against officers in northern Israel for abuses during basic training such as denying water and medical treatment to recruits, an Army spokesman said yesterday. The newspaper daily Maariv said the action followed complaints filed by parents of recruits to the Golani Brigade.

Maariv said a sergeant and a platoon commander were removed from their posts and a company commander was to be tried by an Army tribunal.

EC to go ahead with ban on hormone-treated meat

The European Community agreed yesterday to go ahead with a Jan. 1 ban on imports of hormone-treated meat and tentatively adopted measures to counter any US retaliation against its ban. The EC foreign ministers accepted a recommendation by External Relations Commissioner Willy de Clercq not to postpone the ban again. The US opposes the ban and has threatened retaliation against EC imports. Further talks will be held in Geneva this week.

Minnesota judge rules Amish must display signs

A judge ruled yesterday that Amish people must display slow-moving-vehicle signs on their horse-drawn buggies, but lawyers said the religious-freedom issue could go all the way to the US Supreme Court. State law requiring the signs does not violate the Amish's First Amendment right to freedom of religion, according to Fillmore County District Judge Clement Snyder. A lawyer representing the Amish said the case will be appealed to the state Court of Appeals.

The Amish feel the signs are ``worldly'' representations of man, not God, and they hope to keep their religious practices separate from the modern world.

Pillsbury gives up fight against British takeover

The Pillsbury Company gave up its 2-month fight and agreed to a $5.68 billion takeover by British conglomerate Grand Metropolitan PLC, two days after major courtroom setbacks. Grand Met will purchase all outstanding shares of Pillsbury common stock for $66 a share in cash, $3 higher than Grand Met's most recent tender offer, which was made last week. Pillsbury's board approved the deal Sunday.

For the record

Employees returned to work yesterday at a government-owned uranium-processing plant in Fernald, Ohio, for the first time since a 10-week strike. Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani prime minister, will visit Saudi Arabia early next month on her first official visit abroad since being elected, a Pakistani official said yesterday.

Four people were killed and 13 wounded over the weekend in attacks that Los Angeles police linked to gang violence.

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