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UNITED STATESA group representing more than 100 US Jewish leaders has urged Israel to freeze settlements in occupied Arab lands. The group, called Project Nishma, says its members are mostly current or former officers of national Jewish organizations, including Theodore Mann, former head of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, who co-chairs Project Nishma. It noted that in 1978, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin agreed to a three-month settlement moratorium "in the interest of a larger goal - peace with Egypt." ... US government analysts have expressed doubts about Israel's ability to cope with mounting foreign debts, the Washington Post reported yesterday. The paper cited a secret US Export-Import Bank credit report.... Videotapes of meetings between Oliver North and senior Iranian advisers, in which the former White House aide laid out terms of an arms-for-hostages trade, were broadcast late Wednesday by ABC television. The tapes belied former President Reagan's claim that the secret US nego tiations with Iran were meant as a diplomatic opening to Tehran, not a hostage deal.

ECONOMY AND BUSINESS IBM and Apple have released details of how they hope to become the perfect couple, instead of the odd couple. The firms released details of their joint program, which is designed to let the two firms both cooperate and compete. The program calls for networking between IBM's systems and Apple's Macintosh, a new family of microprocessors, development of common software, a multimedia joint venture - joining of sound, graphics, video, text, and animation - and development of "friendlier" software.... Japanes e Finance Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto resigned yesterday to take the blame for widespread banking and brokerage abuses. His announcement followed passage of legislation aimed at helping prevent a recurrence of this summer's market-rocking scandals.

EUROPE The Royal Swedish Academy awarded Nadine Gordimer the Nobel Prize for Literature yesterday. South Africa's most celebrated political author, she was cited for her novels and short stories that focus on suffering caused by apartheid.... The Yugoslav Navy reimposed a blockade of rebel Croatia's key ports yesterday and the Army closed in on the Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik on the second day of a fierce offensive by federal armed forces. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman said his breakaway republic would fig ht to the end against advancing Yugoslav federal forces.... The new head of Soviet foreign intelligence, Yevgeny Primakov, said Wednesday he wanted Soviet and US spies - arch-enemies for decades - to start working together in the spirit of glasnost.... It may soon be Lady Thatcher. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is to join the aristocracy as a hereditary countess, according to press reports yesterday in London.

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