News Currents

THE GULF AND OTHER MIDEAST NEWS Forty Western journalists held by Iraqi authorities for nearly a week in southern Iraq arrived in Amman Saturday night and described growing fighting and anarchy last week in the Iraqi port of Basra, where loyalist troops are battling insurgents. Other sources reported that the revolt against Saddam Hussein in other parts of Iraq is also growing.... US officials have warned Iraq against using chemical weapons in any effort to quell anti-government rebels.... US Secretary of State James Baker III a nd the foreign ministers of Arab states in the US-led alliance against Iraq met Sunday in Riyadh to forge a consensus on post-Gulf war peacemaking plans.... President Bush said in an interview with Arab journalists over the weekend said that it will fall to Middle East countries to craft an eventual peace plan and bail themselves and Iraq out financially from the Persian Gulf War.... Up to 55 Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli troops over the weekend in fierce clashes. Saturday marked the 40th mo nth of the Palestinian revolt against Israeli rule.... An 18-truck Red Cross convoy of food, medicine, and water-treatment machinery left Amman, Jordan, for Iraq Sunday as fears mounted of widespread disease and hunger there.... Serious efforts by Syria, including talks with Iran, to win the release of 12 Western hostages held by Islamic fundamentalists in Lebanon were part of conditions Washington placed on Damascus, diplomatic sources in Beirut said Saturday.


Two soldiers the Pentagon did not know were being held by Iraq were returned to US control in Saudi Arabia after Iraq turned them over to the Red Cross, the Pentagon said Saturday. Their return does not reduce the list of 10 US troops still missing in action and unaccounted for by either side.... Eight of 10 Americans believe the US proved its military might in the Gulf war, but most believe the nation should not act as a global watchdog against aggression , according to a poll released over the weekend by Time magazine.... Prospective New York Daily News buyer Robert Maxwell Saturday said his conditions for buying the troubled tabloid include the elimination 300 drivers and one printing plant. He had to reach a decision by today.


Troops were poised Sunday to storm ships in the Albanian port of Shengjin carrying some 2,000 people trying to flee to Italy after at least 10 people were wounded in a similar action in Durres. Albania's Communist authorities declared Durres a military zone and troops have sealed off the harbor from which at least 15,000 Albanians fled across the Adriatic to the Italian port of Brindisi last week.... The Communist-dominated Polish Parliament, rejecting the recommendation of President Lech Walesa, overwhelmingly decided Saturday to delay new parliamentary elections until fall. The vote was a stunning victory for the Communists, who have organized a series of strikes in past weeks against the Solidarity government.

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