News Currents

UNITED STATESThe Federal Reserve yesterday cut its key discount bank-loan rate a half point to 4.5 percent.... Texans overwhelmingly approved a statewide lottery Tuesday. Analysts said the vote underscored the loss of power by rural conservatives and the religious right.... Children came out winners Tuesday when San Francisco voters passed a measure requiring city government to spend a portion of its budget for their welfare. The first-in-the-nation law forces government to set aside 1.25 percent of property tax reve nues for children's services the first year and 2.5 percent for the next nine years.... Opponents of a Washington state initiative that would have let doctors help terminally-ill patients end their lives declared victory early yesterday on the basis of statewide election returns.... Florida Circuit Judge Mary Lupo said she has ruled against most defense motions to disclose the sexual and psychological background of the alleged victim in the William Kennedy Smith rape trial. EUROPE The Ukraine voted yesterday to join the accord setting down the principles of economic cooperation between the Kremlin and the former Soviet republics.... World Bank President Lewis Preston said yesterday his institution will open a permanent office in Moscow and wanted to "integrate the Soviet Union into the world economy." Preston and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed a $30 million aid agreement Tuesday stressing technical help. Preston said the country is rich "in the long run," although it n ow has "political problems," and is worthy of credit.... Soviet Armenia, saying Azerbaijan was planning military action against it, accused the leadership in Baku Tuesday of cutting off its gas supplies and throwing Armenian industry into turmoil.... Robert Maxwell, head of a global publishing empire that included New York's Daily News, died at sea after being lost overboard from his yacht near Spain's Canary Islands Tuesday.

MIDDLE EAST Egypt yesterday denounced the building of a new Israeli settlement in the occupied Golan Heights as a "flagrant violation" of UN resolutions and an act that jeopardizes initiatives pursued at the Middle East peace conference in Madrid.... Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation of Dubai appointed the US research firm of Stanford Research Institute yesterday to analyze the world market for a supersonic executive jet it plans to design with the Soviet Union.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Canada and Argentina Tuesday signed a joint agreement to promote and protect bilateral investment, and on the same day Israeli Minister of Trade and Industry Moshe Nissim arrived in Mexico for a week-long visit he said was aimed at boosting his nation's trade and investment flows with Mexico.

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