News Currents

CANADA AND THE UNITED STATESThe Canadian government ordered striking public service employees back to work Sept. 16 and suspended collective bargaining for all federal public servants for two years. Employees, labor representatives, and unions defying the back-to-work order will face daily fines.... Fleet Bank of Massachusetts announced Sept. 16 it has pledged $1 million of equity and $3 million in a line of credit to the Massachusetts Minority Enterprise Investment Corporation, a multibank community-development agency financing mi nority businesses statewide.... US black activist the Rev. Al Sharpton arrived in Israel Sept. 17 to serve papers in a lawsuit to a Hasidic Jewish man who ran over and killed a 7-year-old black boy, sparking several days of race riots in New York last month.... Out of food and fatigued after 13 days of climbing, a paraplegic park ranger and his partner completed their ascent of the 2,200-foot face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park Sept. 16. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC China is planning to build up its network of spies in response to the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and the increasingly dominant role of the US in world affairs. Spearheading the drive is Qiao Shi, the security chief of China's Communist Party, informed Chinese said. Even before the failed hard-line coup in Moscow last month, Qiao announced plans to increase the size, budget, and powers of the Ministry of State Security.... Australian scientists said Sept. 17 the US should destroy chemical w eapons stored on Johnston Atoll in the central Pacific, and gave warning of leakage. Scientists Against Nuclear Arms said in a report that small Pacific states were wrong to fear incineration of the munitions.... Foreign Secretary Raul Manglapus said Sept. 16 the Philippine government has decided to extend US military presence in the nation, despite the Senate's rejection of a treaty that would have allowed the US to remain for 10 more years. Because of a 1966 amendment, there has been a legal disagreement between the two nations in respect to precisely when the US must withdraw after the 1947 pact terminated - which was on Sept. 16. Now, a constitutional battle is taking shape between the Philippine Senate and President Corazon Aquino. Aquino plans to call a referendum to challenge the Senate action.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar has begun trying to salvage 16 months of Salvadoran peace talks in special meetings in New York with the warring parties, but the likelihood of a cease-fire agreement within the present negotiation scheme is dim, reports UPI, citing confidential UN documents. Human rights groups estimate that 75,000 people already have died in the war or related political violence. Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani is in New York, as are representatives of the leftist reb el Farabundo Marti Liberation Front, which has been fighting US-funded government forces.

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