News Currents

MIDDLE EASTPLO leader Yasser Arafat told a session of the Palestine National Council, the Palestinian parliament-in-exile, in Algiers Sept. 23 that cooperation with the US on plans for a Middle East peace conference should be renewed. He drew immediate fire from his opponents. Palestinian participation has been bogged down over who should represent the fractured group.... Turkey says it is extending the stay of the multinational force on its soil for another three months to offer continued protection to the Kurdish minority in northern Iraq. The mandate was to expire at the end of this month.... Oil ministers from OPEC's 13 nations are meeting through Sept. 25 to consider increasing output a million barrels a day to 24.5 million barrels to meet rising world demand for oil.

UNITED STATES California Gov. Pete Wilson rejected redistricting plans Sept. 23 that he called an "outrageous gerrymander" bent on protecting incumbents, and Democratic lawmakers could not muster enough votes to override the vetoes. Aides to Wilson said he is prepared to ask the California Supreme Court Sept. 24 to step in at once, barring a last-ditch effort by lawmakers.... Manuel Noriega's former righthand man, Luis Del Cid, testified in Miami Sept. 23 he twice delivered an envelope full of drug money to the Panama nian dictator and several times helped deliver suitcases that apparently were full of drug profits. Noriega is accused of accepting millions of dollars from Colombian drug kingpins who used his country as a shipping station and money-laundering haven.... Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett O'Hara put it 54 years ago, but tomorrow will arrive for thousands of "Gone With The Wind" fans Sept. 25, when the long-awaited sequel "Scarlett" will be released in 18 languages and 40 countries, completing a hectic fi ve years for author Alexandra Ripley. What will happen to the South's most famous heroine has been kept a deep secret - until now.... New York Gov. Mario Cuomo released Sept. 23 a $7 billion outline of ways to build what he called a new New York. Most, if not all, of the building would occur in New York City, which he called "the engine of the state economy." As expected, Cuomo also proposed a state takeover of local Medicaid costs for New York City as part of a fiscal recovery program.... In its first 14 d ays of operation, Illinois' only riverboat casino, in Alton, took in more than $850,000 and officials said the gambling boat is earning more per passenger than Iowa vessels.

EUROPE Prominent reformist politicians gathered in Moscow Sept. 23 to lay the foundation for a centrist, Western-style political party that they hope will replace the Communist Party as the Soviet Union's main political force.... The government of the Ukraine wants to shut down the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant by 1995, German Finance Minister Theo Waigel said Sept. 23 on a visit to Kiev.

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