News Currents

UNITED STATESThe Senate endorsed a proposal to renew air strikes against Iraq if Baghdad fails to disclose its nuclear-weapons program. The action preceded passage of a $291 billion military bill that provides money for the space-based missile defense system, buys four more B-2 "stealth bombers" and allows women to fly in combat missions.... The House and Senate voted to give unemployed Americans up to 20 more weeks of jobless benefits.... Two California condors bred in captivity will be released in their natural hab itat this fall, four years after the last of the prehistoric species was removed from the wilds.... Bridgeport, Conn., cannot file for bankruptcy because it has too much money, a US bankruptcy judge ruled. Bridgeport would have been the first large US city to get bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9. AFRICA The largest privately owned truck fleet in Africa is moving tons of wheat and other basic foods to Ethiopia, United Nations World Food Program (WFP) officials said yesterday. The first convoy of 27 trucks carrying 810 tons of wheat left the Kenyan port of Mombasa this weekend for the Ethiopian border.... Said Mohamed Djohar, president of the Comoros, says he is still in control despite an attempt to oust him using the same constitutional clause that brought him to power two years ago. Information Ministe r Mohamed Adamo said Supreme Court president Ibrahim Ahmed Halidi and a disgruntled opposition party staged the weekend coup attempt.... Merchant ships and the South African military yesterday rescued 580 passengers from a Greek cruise liner that lost power and was sinking off the South African coast.

EUROPE The Republic of Croatia accepted a cease-fire called by Yugoslavia's state presidency over the weekend but rejected a control commission appointed to supervise it. A special session of the Croatian parliament also voted to freeze relations with Serbia.... Britain shipped more than eight tons of depleted uranium to Baghdad in the two years before the Persian Gulf war, the Sunday Times reported. The newspaper quoted a former chief in Iraq's nuclear industry as saying the material was used in President Sadd am Hussein's nuclear-weapons program.

OIL The Mexican state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos announced over the weekend it would raise the price for two types of crude oil exported to the Far East, principally Japan. Pemex raised prices for light crude by 90 cents to $17.55 and for heavy crude by 64 cents to $12.63 per barrel.... Gasoline prices rose strongly on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing gas futures prices to their highest point since the end of May. By the weekend, unleaded gasoline for September delivery rose 1.22 cents t o 66.40 cents per gallon.

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