News Currents

WAR IN THE GULF Saddam Hussein said over Baghdad radio Tuesday night he is willing to discuss ``a peaceful, political, equitable, and honorable solution'' to the war. He had met with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's envoy, Yevgeni Primakov. In Ottawa, UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar said Tuesday he would welcome any peace initiative by Iraq, but reiterated it must involve a complete withdrawal from Kuwait, which Saddam did not offer. Washington treated the Baghdad Radio report with skepticism.... A Pentagon official said coalition bombing had so demolished the roads and bridges that the Iraqi forces in Kuwait were running very low on food and water and were consuming emergency supplies.... Allied bombs hit a large air raid shelter in the center of Baghdad Wednesday and many casualties were feared, the Cable News Network reported.


Televangelist Jim Bakker's 45-year prison sentence for fraud was overturned Tuesday in Richmond, Va., by a US appeals court, which ordered resentencing. The court said that sentencing judge Robert Potter of Charlotte, N.C., abused his discretion and violated Bakker's rights with his remarks.... A second-rate educational system is the most serious long-term problem facing the US economy, President Bush's top economic adviser, Michael Boskin, said Tuesday in the annual report of the Council of Economic Advisers.


African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and South African President F. W. de Klerk said Tuesday in Cape Town they have settled their differences over suspension of armed ANC opposition to apartheid and will publish the text of their accord as soon as it had been ratified by the ANC's National Executive Committee.... In Johannesburg, a key witness at the kidnapping and assault trial of Winnie Mandela Wednesday refused to give evidence, saying he was afraid for his life. He may face jail if he does not testify.... A West African summit to firm up a shaky cease-fire in Liberia went into recess late Tuesday in the Togolese capital, Lome. One participant, a Ghanaian official who asked not be identified, said an accord was within reach.


A comprehensive peace settlement in Cambodia is very close, Australian Foreign Minister Sen Gareth Evans said in Canberra Wednesday. The three-part Cambodian resistance agreed to Thailand's request Wednesday to attend a new round of peace talks to try to settle the 12-year-old Cambodian conflict, a Thai government spokesman in Bangkok said.... China sentenced two alleged ``black hands'' to 13 years in prison Tuesday, the heaviest sentences so far on key dissidents accused of masterminding pro-democracy protests crushed by the army in 1989.... A Kansai Electric Power Company spokesman said in Tokyo Wednesday that it planned no extra safety measures despite a radioactive leak at one of its nuclear plants, which sparked nationwide protests.

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