News Currents

UNITED STATES White House chief of staff John Sununu Sunday stalked out of budget talks with congressional leaders. Sununu said that the Democrats had rejected a compromise offer made by President Bush to raise the income tax on the wealthiest Americans.... Federal Reserve Governor David Mullins Sunday dismissed fears of a major economic downturn and signaled that the central bank would steer clear of sharp interest-rate cuts in the wake of the Iraq oil shock.... In Dana Point, Calif., a 15-foot megamouth shark, a species so rare that marine biologists have never seen one alive, was hauled onto harbor docks, and scientists hoped it would not die before they could study it. The giant shark, which lives more than 600 feet below the surface, was caught Sunday in a gill net by a commercial fishermen.


The Kenyan government yesterday said it was breaking off diplomatic relations with Norway following an increasingly bitter dispute over the activities of Kenyan dissidents based there. The Kenyan Foreign Ministry accused Norway of being an accessory to illegal activities carried out by what it called fugitives.... South African President Frederik de Klerk yesterday left on a trip focusing on the Netherlands, one of the harshest critics of apartheid.... Liberian rebel leader Charles Taylor made a defiant ``no surrender'' speech Sunday, condemning a West African peacekeeping force as murderous bandits.


The Taiwanese government yesterday denounced Japan for repelling a Taiwanese group from the disputed Diaoyutai islands and did not rule out military involvement in the long-standing territorial disagreement.... Nepalese Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai offered to resign after King Birendra sent to the government a draft constitution that retains the vast powers of the king.... Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad began a third term in power yesterday after decisively winning his country's general election. His 10-member multiracial National Front coalition took 127 of the 180 parliamentary seats in the weekend election.


In Lima, Peru, police detained about 8,000 people over the weekend after a series of leftist guerrilla bombings and killings. Most of the detainees were picked up for lack of identity documents and would probably be released by Monday, police said.... A decision by the US Senate to withhold 50 percent of military aid to El Salvador opens up greater possibilities of peace in the conflict-torn country, Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary archbishop of San Salvador, said Sunday. Peace talks between the government and the rebel Farabundo Mart'i National Liberation Front, deadlocked over the size of the military, are due to resume in Mexico by Nov. 4.

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