News Currents

LATIN AMERICA Fighting continued in El Salvador as government troops battled guerrillas in poor districts of the capital, San Salvador. The government declared a 24-hour curfew in some sections of the city, and helicopter gunships fired into suspected rebel positions. More than 500 people have died in the fighting. A poll by a Miami TV station shows Nicaraguan Sandinista President Daniel Ortega Saavedra and opposition candidate Violeta Barrios de Chamorro running neck and neck in February elections. The Mexican Foreign Ministry Nov. 14 objected to US plans to deploy 75 Marines near the US-Mexican border in anti-drug operations.

UNITED STATES

The US Navy ordered a 48-hour suspension of routine operations Nov. 14 to review safety procedures following a series of serious accidents involving Navy ships and planes. Congress has approved an additional $3.2 billion to finance the war on drugs, bringing the total allocated this year to $8.8 billion. The money is included in the Transportation Department funding bill now awaiting President Bush's signature. Supporters of a law requiring warning labels directed at drivers and pregnant women on new bottles and cans of alcoholic beverages complained Nov. 14 that the warning is too small. Measures to create a three-year, $657 million aid package for Poland are moving swiftly in Congress, following House of Representatives and Senate votes this week.

ABORTION - US

The Pennsylvania Senate Nov. 14 passed legislation that would impose the nation's strictest abortion controls. The bill, if upheld in the courts, would require women to notify their husbands of abortion plans, establish a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and ban most abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The state House was expected to approve the measure Nov. 15. In Washington, the US House Appropriations Committee Nov. 14 approved new versions of two spending bills President Bush vetoed last month, deleting federal funding for abortions for poor women. One bill would still allow the District of Columbia to use local money to pay for abortions. The House also backed away from a threatened veto on a foreign aid bill that includes funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which opponents charge indirectly supports coerced abortions in China.

EUROPE

In Moscow, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev told visiting French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas Nov. 14 that the West should not damage international cooperation by ``exporting capitalism'' to Eastern Europe. He also threw cold water on calls for German reunification. Mr. Gorbachev summoned leaders of the rebellious Lithuanian Communist Party for a meeting with the Soviet Politburo on Nov. 16 in a further sign of Kremlin uneasiness over Baltic separatism. A Czechoslovak court released four leading dissidents Nov. 14 with a suspended sentence after trying them for urging citizens to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the 1968 Soviet invasion.

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