News In Brief

Thousands of angry Chinese took to the streets of Nanking yesterday, defying riot police and a ban on demonstrations, in a protest against African students. It was the third successive night of street protests after a clash between African students and Chinese employees of Hehai University Saturday. At least 13 people were injured in the clash, according to the official New China News Agency.

US business spending to see slower rise in 1989

Businesses plan to spend more money on new plants and equipment in 1989, but the increase will be well below the heady levels reached this year, the government reported yesterday. The Commerce Department said a survey of businessmen in October and November showed they planned to raise real capital spending in 1989 by 5.9 percent to $451.64 billion after a revised increase of 10.8 percent this year.

Investigators find 2nd Eastern fuselage crack

Inspections of an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727s found a fuselage crack in ``roughly the same area'' where a 14-inch hole tore open in another plane, the airline said yesterday. Eastern officials said the Boeing 727 was grounded for repairs after company inspectors discovered the 3-inch crack in the fuselage Monday. The airline ordered the inspection of its Boeing 727 fleet after a 14-inch hole tore open in the fuselage of an Atlanta-bound 727 Monday, forcing it to make an emergency landing.

Sudanese demonstrate over price increases

Thousands of people flooded the streets yesterday to protest government-ordered price increases, and Sudan's largest trade union announced a nationwide strike. The strike by the 2 million-member Sudan Workers' Trade Union Federation is to begin today. Leaders vowed to keep workers off their jobs until prices are rolled back.

Participants in the current demonstrations are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi's government.

Bush taps Robert Gates for national security post

President-elect Bush yesterday chose Robert Gates, the controversial No. 2 official at the CIA, to be his deputy assistant for national security. Mr. Gates was President Reagan's choice to head the intelligence agency after the death of William Casey. But Mr. Reagan withdrew Gates' nomination in March 1987 amid questions about his role in the Iran-contra affair.

Mr. Gates joined the CIA in 1966, and was a member of the National Security Council staff from 1974 to 1979.

Australian government issues Aborigine report

To stem a rash of aborigine deaths in police custody, a government report yesterday urged that drunkenness be abolished as an offense and racist police officers be replaced by aboriginal recruits. The preliminary report calls for widespread changes in Australia's legal, police, prison, and medical systems to tackle the problem and warns that a failure to institute such changes would damage Australia's reputation abroad.

Afghan resistance group rejects role for ex-King

The leader of the Pakistan-based Afghan mujahideen guerrilla alliance has rejected a role in any settlement in Afghanistan for ex-King Mohammad Zahir Shah. ``Zahir Shah belongs to history and he has no role in Afghanistan and its political future,'' said Burhannudin Rabbani, who quoted by the Iranian New Agency Tuesday.

The Soviet Union recently contacted the exiled king in an effort to persuade him to take part in a settlement when Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

Chile's opposition rejects government offer of talks

Chilean opposition parties have rejected the military government's first offer of talks on the transition to democracy, because the left was to be excluded. Opposition leader Patricio Aylwin said that the demand to bar the left from the Jan. 3 talks was a ploy to ensure that the meeting failed.

The government had said that far-left groups within the 17-party opposition alliance be excluded from the discussions.

President Reagan extends sanctions against Libya

President Reagan yesterday extended the authority for US sanctions against Libya for six months, saying the Libyan government continues to support international terrorism. Mr. Reagan issued a notice continuing the national emergency that he declared on Jan. 7, 1986, ``to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States'' that he said was posed by Libyan actions.

For the record

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian teen-ager and four Arabs were reported wounded yesterday in clashes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during a general strike. The Soviet Union detonated yesterday a nuclear device underground at its Semipalatinsk range in Central Asia, the official Tass news agency said.

Investigators say bomb caused Pan Am airliner crash

The Pan Am jumbo jet which crashed in Scotland a week ago killing up to 270 people was blown up by a powerful bomb made of plastic explosives, British authorities said yesterday. ``The explosive's residues recovered from the debris have been positively identified and are consistent with the use of a high-performance plastic explosive,'' the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the Transport Ministry said.

Pan Am Flight 103 crashed on the small Scottish town of Lockerbie on Dec. 21 an hour after it took off on a flight from London's Heathrow Airport to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

The crash followed a warning to the US Embassy in Helsinki that a Pan Am flight originating in Frankfurt would be attacked. Many of the 259 people on board were US servicemen and their families who transferred at Heathrow to the Boeing 747 from a smaller Pan Am jet from the West German city.

Eleven residents of Lockerbie are believed to have been killed when wreckage slammed into their homes.

The AAIB said investigators had not yet established exactly where in the Boeing 747 the bomb had been placed. Plastic explosive can be easily moulded inside luggage and anti-terrorism experts say it is extremely hard to detect.

Police officials in Scotland said Britain's London-based anti-terrorist police squad and the FBI would take part in a worldwide criminal investigation into the crash.

The AAIB said it had made a preliminary conclusion the explosion took place soon after the plane had crossed the Scottish border as it was cruising at 31,000 feet.

``Much investigative work remains to be done to establish the nature of the explosive device, what it was contained in, its location in the aircraft and the sequence of events immediately following its detonation,'' it said.

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