News Currents

WAR IN THE GULF Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it had been successful in protecting desalination plants and other vital facilities from a huge oil slick in the Persian Gulf. Iraq has dumped more than 11 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf from Iraqi-held Kuwait.... Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens said Tuesday all of Iraq's SU-24 bombers had flown to Iran, eliminating the main weapon that could be used in an Iraqi air attack on Israel.... A German television report Tuesday said Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government provided export guarantees for German companies helping Iraq to turn its Scud missiles into longer-range weapons able to strike at Israel.... US and allied aircraft Tuesday moved to the frontline of the ground forces and destroyed a convoy of 24 Iraqi tanks, trucks, and armored personnel carriers.... An apparently relaxed and philosophical Saddam Hussein, in an interview broadcast over CNN Wednesday declared that the Gulf war was being fought between good and evil - and God was on his side.... Iraq has moved several missile launchers to its border with Turkey, which has allowed US aircraft to use its bases to raid targets in Iraq, Iran's national news agency said Wednesday.... The International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday it had not yet obtained permission to visit allied pilots in Iraqi hands.


President Bush said Tuesday in his State of the Nation address that relations with the Soviet Union will probably improve again now that Moscow intends to withdraw some troops from the Baltic republics and to resume talks there.... US Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh, ending three days of talks, said on Tuesday that long-term peace in the Mideast must address Israeli-Arab problems. Their statement also offered Iraq another chance to pull out of Kuwait.... President Bush also said he will scale back the Strategic Defense Initiative program (``star wars'') to defend against limited missile attacks rather than a massive Soviet attack.... Congressional Democrats backed President Bush in the Gulf war but, in a response to his message, urged him not to ignore urgent domestic problems.... Iran's UN ambassador, Kamal Kharrazi, Tuesday night disputed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's statement that the two countries saw the Gulf war as a struggle ``between faith and infidel.'' Kharrazi said in an interview with CBS television that ``this war is a matter of power and domination, and that's why we have condemned the Iraqis.''


North Korean Foreign Minister Kim Yong-nam told a visiting Japanese delegation that his government was looking toward improving links with Washington.... East and Southeast Asian nations must consider new multilateral security arrangements in the post-cold war era and Japan must play a part, the Thai ambassador to Japan said in Tokyo Wednesday.

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