News Currents

MIDDLE EAST DEVELOPMENTS Pursuant to United Nations Resolution 678, Iraqi must withdraw from Kuwait by midnight tonight Eastern standard time or risk military confrontation with the US-led multinational forces in Saudi Arabia (See related stories, Pages 1 through 6).... The Iraqi National Assembly unanimously backed President Saddam Hussein's ``no concessions'' stand on Kuwait Monday.... US Secretary of State James Baker III and British Prime Minister John Major said Sunday that the forces gathered in the Gulf were ready to do battle after the midnight deadline.... Returning emptyhanded from Baghdad, UN Secretary General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar yesterday planned to meet French President Fran,cois Mitterrand, who has offered to make final diplomatic attempts to mediate in the Gulf crisis.... The Israeli armed forces went to their highest state of alert yesterday, and Saudi Arabia is preparing its citizens for war.


According to a Justice Department report released Sunday, violent crimes against women in the US are more likely to be committed by family members or lovers than violent acts against men. Women were victims of more than 2 million violent crimes between 1979 and 1987, and 25 percent of those were committed by family members or boyfriends.... In New York, Mayor David Dinkins announced he would propose $500 million in new taxes when he releases his fiscal plan this week. The city has a budget gap estimated at $2.1 billion.... Astronomers yesterday announced the discovery of a record eruption from a quasar 2 billion light years away - a three-minute burst of energy that, when viewed from Earth, rivaled the total output of the sun over 1 million years.


Top Soviet officials defended the military crackdown in Lithuania, but said there was no direct order from Moscow for the incident in which 13 people were killed. Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis spoke by telephone to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev yesterday (See story, Page 7).... Residents in the Latvian capital of Riga worked to seal off the city center and repel possible attack by Soviet troops.... Alexander Bessmertnykh, Moscow's ambassador to the US, will be proposed to parliament as new foreign minister, and Gorbachev yesterday nominated Finance Minister Valentin Pavlov to be the new prime minister.


In Taiwan, holder of one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, Central Bank officials have cut most of its US dollar holdings in US commercial banks because it fears the banks could fail in a recession prolonged by a Gulf war.... Insurance premiums for ships leaving Singapore for the Persian Gulf have soared and some insurers are refusing to cover shippers.... Oil prices jumped more than $2 in a jittery Asian market yesterday as Baghdad increased its war rhetoric.

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