News Currents

AROUND THE MIDDLE EAST Iraq, adding new conditions for accepting a proposed Arab summit, called on Arab leaders Nov. 14 to scrap the resolutions of an Aug. 10 meeting in Cairo where 12 Arab leaders agreed to seek foreign help and called for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.... Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati arrived in Baghdad Nov. 14, the most senior Tehran official to visit Iraq in a decade. Velayati was said to be on a two-day visit to discuss the Gulf crisis and issues relating to final settlement of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.... US Republican leaders, worried about growing public unease about the latest US military buildup in the Gulf, called Nov. 13 for a special session of Congress to help shore up waning public support for President Bush's policies.... Israel jailed three senior Palestinian leaders without trial Nov. 13 in a crackdown triggered by a wave of Arab-Jewish violence.


New Japanese investment in US real estate has slowed slightly, but will still reach between $10 billion and $13 billion this year alone, a consulting firm report showed Nov. 14. The cooling US real estate market has cut back potential investment.... The Air Force said Nov. 13 it had withheld payments to the Boeing Company because the firm failed to meet deadlines for its part of an air defense system being built for Saudi Arabia. Air Force spokesman Jack Rankin said the Seattle-based aerospace giant had breached its contract in the construction of the ``Peace Shield'' system, which has an overall price tag of $3.7 billion shared among several contractors.


In Czechoslovakia, the federal and regional governments reached agreement Nov. 13 on power-sharing, an issue that had threatened to split the federation.... Albania's Communist parliament Nov. 13 passed an election law allowing secret ballots and a choice of candidates and ordered a sweeping revision of the Constitution.... Former British Defense Minister Michael Heseltine Nov. 14 confirmed he would fight Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a forthcoming election for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party.... In Latvia, a defense factory spilled a deadly cyanide compound into the Western Dvina river, killing 300,000 fish and leaving one-third of the capital of Riga without water.


In Bogota, President C'esar Gaviria Trujillo appealed to Colombians to reject a union call for a 24-hour national strike Nov. 14 after last-minute talks to avert the protest failed. Trades union leaders called for the general strike to protest Gaviria's economic policies.... Cuban president Fidel Castro attacked legislation passed by the US Congress barring subsidiaries of US companies abroad from trading with Cuba. The US bill aims to tighten a 30-year US trade embargo against Castro's regime.

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