News Currents

MIDDLE EAST AND GULF Iraq rejected Tuesday the British idea of a UN safe haven in northern Iraq for Kurdish refugees and said it would use ``all means'' to block such a move.... But the concept gathered momentum at the UN Monday as the Security Council put the final touches on a resolution setting up a UN observer mission on the Iraq-Kuwait border. The safe-haven idea has won support at a European Community summit in Luxembourg (See stories, P. 1 and 6).... The Lebanese government intends to recruit 8,000 militiamen a nd 4,000 civilians into the Lebanese Army and police forces in line with efforts to disband the country's militia groups, a newspaper reported Tuesday.... Secretary of State James Baker III met Israeli leaders and Palestinians in Jerusalem Tuesday on a second mission aimed at keeping alive Washington's drive for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.


Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, battling to bridge a massive $850 million state budget deficit, filed legislation Monday that would require state employees who make more than $60,000 a year to take a 5 percent pay cut. His surprise announcement came shortly after he won a battle with the legislature to increase the salary of his cabinet members to $85,000 - $10,000 more than the governor earns.... The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis was trying to make radio contact with cosmonauts aboard the Soviet space station Mir, NASA said Tuesday.... The White House denied a report that President Bush had offered Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf the job as Army chief of staff, as reported by Newsweek magazine.... A study by the American Federation of Teachers released Monday shows 11 other industrialized nations spend more than the United States on education.


Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has ordered emergency measures to save this year's harvest. A decree read on state television Monday said the government had to act urgently to provide farmers with adequate labor, machinery, fuel, and other materials.... Striking Soviet miners are reported to be increasing their links with anticommunist political movements and sticking to demands for the resignation of Gorbachev. The Parliament in the Soviet republic of Georgia Tuesday approved an independence decree presented by President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, journalists in the capital, Tbilisi, reported.


A US judge in Los Angeles set a trial date of May 5 for a civil suit brought by the Philippine government against Imelda Marcos and the estate of the late ex-President Ferdinand Marcos, alleging the family looted billions of dollars from the Philippine treasury.... Brazilian authorities offered land Monday to some 3,000 squatters who had occupied a luxury condominium complex in Rio de Janeiro, easing fe ars of violence at the site after a judge ordered their eviction.

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