GULF AND MIDDLE EAST
The US was pushing for a speedy vote in the UN Security Council on a resolution that would require Iraq to dismantle its military machine and tap its oil revenues to pay for war reparations. Requiring elimination of Iraq's most-destructive weapons, it would be the most ambitious involvement of the UN in settling any war. But several members of the 15-nation council, who received the draft late Tuesday, urged caution in expecting a vote by the end of the week, saying the 20-page document needed further s tudy.... The White House says it does not want to intervene militarily in the internal conflict in Iraq. One reason is avoiding a major political backlash in the Middle East. Some Iraqi rebels have called on the US to help topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, but the White House said such a move would exceed the UN mandate that earlier authorized the use of military force to drive Iraq from Kuwait.... While details in Iraq remain sketchy, Iraqi opposition groups said rebel forces have retaken part of the imp ortant southern city of Basra, while a Kurdish leader returned to northern Iraq from exile in an effort to set up a secular, democratic government to replace Saddam's regime.... A Jewish settler was killed in an ambush in the West Bank by Palestinian gunmen who shot him while he was driving alone on a road, the Israeli army said Wednesday.
Gulf coalition commander Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf said in a TV interview with David Frost that he wanted to annihilate Iraq's armies, but President Bush pulled him up short. He said of the Bush decision: "I think it was a very humane decision and a very courageous decision on his part." Schwarzkopf also said Baghdad's cease-fire negotiators "suckered me" into letting Iraq keep flying the helicopters it is now using against Shiite and Kurdish rebels. They had told him that the helicopters would be used for transportation.... President Bush dismissed suggestions that major coalition partners may get a refund on their financial contributions to the Gulf War, which ended sooner than expected. He said original estimates were correct.... Three L.A. police officers and a sergeant have pleaded innocent in Los Angeles to criminal charges in the videotaped beating of a black man that sparked a national outcry against police brutality.... Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner said he believes "the worst is over" for the financially struggling US airline industry, but he said the worst may be yet to come for American automakers.
Mexican federal police have arrested Baltazar Diaz Vega, the alleged right-hand man of Mexican drug kingpin Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo on cocaine smuggling charges.... The leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay have signed a treaty committing their nations to form a common market by Jan. 1, 1995, realizing a 30-year old dream.