News Currents

THE GULF All 35 remaining allied prisoners of war held by Iraq were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross March 5, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry told Baghdad radio. The US-led allies said they would release 300 of the 63,000 Iraqi captives they hold on March 5 but bad weather might delay it.... Jordan's King Hussein is interested in reviving peace initiatives with Israel and negotiating a solution to the Palestinian problem, a senior Israeli official was quoted as saying.... The US is wa tching a rebellion in Wasit and Maysan provinces in southern Iraq, a Shiite Muslim heartland, with hope that it could lead to the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Many retreating Iraqi soldiers appeared to have joined the rebellion. Saddam reportedly has sent his top aide, Izzat Ibrahim, vice-chairman of the ruling Revolution Command Council, to rally support in two provinces that rebels say they already control. The Iranian news agency IRNA also reported that a Republican Guard unit had joined the rebels and that anti-government disturbances had spread to the capital Baghdad, where several government officials had been killed.... Iraqi opposition leader Mohammed Baker al-Hakim said in an interview published March 5 in Madrid that he believed Iraqis would elect a Muslim government if free elections were held.... A prominent Kuwaiti banker charged March 4 in Washington that Kuwait's ruling family has drawn up a hit list of members of the democratic opposition and hired assassins to kill them.... Nine journalists are missing in the Persian Gulf after striking out on their own to report on hostilities, the Defense Department said March 5.


The New York Daily News will close March 15 unless the debt-riddled, strikebound tabloid can be sold in the next 11 days, News' executives said March 4.... The Supreme Court on March 4 let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court in New York that states are allowed to impose tougher warranty restrictions (``lemon laws'') on new automobile manufacturers than required by federal law. The Supreme Court al so let stand a decision that the federal government can build a national repository for high-level radioactive waste in Yucca Mountain, Nev., despite the state's vehement objections.


Presidents Bush and Fran,cois Mitterrand will meet on the French island of Martinique March 14 to discuss the Middle East peace process.... Soviet President Gorbachev still wants cooperation with the West and is sticking to his liberal policies for Eastern Europe, German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher said March 5. He said Moscow's support for ratification of the ``two-plus-four'' treaty enabling Germany to unite and for th e dissolution of the Warsaw Pact showed Gorbachev was continuing on a reformist path.

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