News Currents

ASIA AND THE PACIFICIndia and Pakistan yesterday opened high-level talks - the fifth in a series - aimed at easing tensions that have built between the two rivals over the disputed Kashmir region.... The billions of dollars China is spending to try to save state industry have done no good, the official media said yesterday.... The Soviet Union, after establishing ties with South Korea last year, cut off supplies of offensive weapons to communist North Korea, the Joongang Daily News, a leading Seoul paper, said yesterday.... Japan has told North Korea it will be difficult to normalize ties between the two countries unless Pyongyang allows international inspection of its nuclear facilities.... Australia was used for a secret shipments of weapons from Israel to Iran in 1987 despite an international arms embargo against Tehran, former Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe said. He added that $80 million had been deposited in Australian banks since 1983 from arms deals.

MIDDLE EAST Speaking before Iran's national assembly yesterday, leading hard-liner Ali Akbar Mohtashami urged Muslims round the world to kill those taking part in the Madrid Middle East peace conference. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said over Tehran radio that those taking part in the conference would "face the wrath of nations." ... Iran has freed some 100 prisoners from its 1980-88 war with Iraq as a sign of its "willingness to improve relations with Baghdad," an Iraqi parliamentarian said.

EUROPE Poland's ex-communists, now the Democratic Left Alliance, which made a surprise comeback in recent elections as one of the country's strongest forces, said yesterday they opposed President Lech Walesa's bid to become prime minister.... A French judge issued international warrants yesterday for the arrest of four Libyan officials, including the brother-in-law of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, in connection with the 1989 bombing of a French airliner over the Saraha Desert, in which 170 people died.... The USSR State Bank began issuing new 200-ruble bills yesterday without explanation, doubling the face value of the current highest bill in circulation in the country.... The Soviet grain harvest fell sharply this year to 165 million tons from 237 million last year.... The Soviet Union could suffer a coup attempt, "with reactionary right-wing people getting stronger," unless a visible improvement is made in living standards, said Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a poet and a member of the Soviet parliament.

LOOKING AHEAD Saturday: Two anti-incumbent groups - Throw the Hypocritical Rascals OUT! (T.H.R.O.) and Coalition for Better Government - sponsor a symposium and rally in Tampa, Fla., through Sunday.

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