News Currents

MIDDLE EAST Palestinian guerrillas and Lebanese militia were on full alert in south Lebanon yesterday after one of the heaviest Israeli air strikes there in nine years, which killed at least 13 Palestinians. In the third attack this week, a rare night raid, Israeli planes struck a base of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command in the village of Lebaa east of the southern port of Sidon.... Syrian President Hafez Assad made a surprise visit yesterday to Egypt for talks with Presiden t

Hosni Mubarak, arriving soon after Israel's air strikes in Lebanon. The strikes are in apparent defiance of Syria's recent political and military cooperation treaty with Lebanon. The Syrian leader is under heavy US and Soviet pressure to make concessions so peace talks can begin.... OPEC officials, meeting in Vienna, decided yesterday to freeze its output ceiling at current levels for the next three months, expecting rising demand to nudge oil prices gradually higher toward its target of $21 a barrel. Sau d

i Arabia has refused to make production cuts.


The US House on Tuesday night defeated President Bush's civil rights bill, possibly paving the way for a compromise bill that includes the highly politicized issue of minority hiring.... Bush's surprise choice as the new US ambassador to the Soviet Union, veteran Democratic strategist Robert Strauss, says he considers Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev a "very attractive" politician.... President Bush Tuesday announced that Attorney General Dick Thornburgh will run for the Senate from Pennsylvania but will

remain in the Cabinet through July.


President Bush has agreed that Gorbachev may attend the Group of Seven economic summit in London next month to present his plan for political and economic reform, according to press reports. Bush reportedly gave his assent in a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister John Major Tuesday.... Pope John Paul II, on a visit to his native Poland, yesterday told visiting Lithuanian worshipers that a historic papal visit to the Soviet Union was drawing ever closer. He was in Lomza, Poland, 80 miles f

rom the Soviet border.... Israel and the European Community agreed yesterday that the EC would be represented at any future Middle East peace talks alongside the US and the Soviet Union, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jacques Poos said.... Gorbachev arrived in Oslo yesterday to further work on persuading the West that democratic reforms in the Soviet Union are still on course despite a crackdown in the Baltic republics. Winner of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, he was also to deliver a Nobel speech at the Oslo Ci t

y Hall during the 22-hour visit to NATO-member Norway.... German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher in Bonn urged the European Community yesterday to speed up trade and membership talks with former communist nations of East Europe. He mentioned Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary.

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