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WAR IN THE GULF US commanders in the Persian Gulf say the Iraqis have lost up to 35 percent of their armor, enough for them to qualify as ``combat ineffective'' by the standards of NATO. The commanders also believe they can finish off the Iraqi army in Kuwait in a ground war with far lighter casualties than many had predicted.... NBC News reported Sunday that US military and intelligence officials now estimate that 15 percent of Iraq's fighting forces in the Kuwait area have been killed or wounded.... Signs mounted in Washington that a major ground attack on Iraqi forces in Kuwait was imminent, according to reports from Reuters. Also, the Los Angeles Times, quoting US Defense Department sources, reported Sunday that the US and its allies would soon mount a combined land, sea, and air assault, unless Soviet diplomatic efforts to end the Gulf war brought an unexpected success.... Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev met Iraqi Foreign Minister Tareq Aziz Monday in Moscow in what seemed to be a final effort to head off an all-out Gulf land war.


Soviet forces shot their way into an unofficial Georgian militia base and captured it in the early hours Monday, journalists and politicians in Moscow said. It was the first known instance of Soviet military intervention against the Mkhedrioni (horsemen), a well-armed vigilante group.... Bombs exploded at two of central London's busiest rail stations Monday, killing at least one man during the morning rush hour and injuring more than 40 people.... France's four major TV networks have agreed to boycott future coverage of French forces stationed in the Gulf starting Monday to protest a decision by French military officials to bar a pool of French television teams from front-line units.


The party that has ruled Cape Verde since independence from Portugal 15 years ago lost its last foothold in power Sunday when President Aristides Pereira was trounced in presidential elections. Opposition candidate Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro apparently has won 66 to 68 percent of the votes as against 32 to 34 percent for Pereira.... Saudi Arabia said Sunday its decision last week to borrow $3 billion abroad to cover war costs was designed to meet an urgent need and reflected international confidence in its economy.


A high-ranking North Korean delegation arrives in Tokyo Wednesday to put pressure on cautious Japan to speed up the normalization of relations between the two countries.... Doctors on the South Pacific island of Bougainville say 3,000 people may have died because of an economic blockade by the Papua New Guinea government, an Australian television program claimed on Monday.... The Chinese Christian Council, China's state-approved Protestant church, was accepted as a member of the World Council of Churches in Canberra Monday.

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