News Currents

UNITED STATESWholesale prices shot up 0.7 percent in October, the biggest increase in a year, the Labor Department reported yesterday. Prices for energy, food, and a broad array of other products fueled the jump, which may keep the Federal Reserve from lowering interest rates again. Democrats have unveiled a campaign finance reform proposal that would limit spending for US House races to $600,000 and provide partial public financing. Speaker Thomas Foley (D) of Washington said the House will vote on the bill next wee k. The Senate has passed its own version, which also abolishes political action committees.... President Bush appealed to US banks Tuesday to lower interest rates on credit cards to boost consumer confidence. But many economists say credit card rates do not have a significant impact on big consumer purchases. Bush again ruled out a tax cut aimed at middle-income earners.... A high-ranking volunteer in David Duke's campaign for governor of Louisiana has resigned. Bob Hawks, who has worked actively in Duke's Louisiana campaign, said he resigned as a state coordinator because Duke "has not changed and is a racist, not a Christian," The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Tuesday. The former Memphis state legislator said he had hoped to stay in the voluntary post through Saturday's election, but he thinks the race is too close for him to remain silent.... The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency, has agreed to provide up to $100 million in insurance coverage to an American fund that plans to i nvest in the Soviet Union.... President Bush will send a US ambassador to Laos for the first time since the 1975 communist victories over US-backed forces in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

EUROPE Russian President Boris Yeltsin says his efforts to hand former East German leader Erich Honecker back to Germany to stand trial are being blocked by President Mikhail Gorbachev.... British police arrested 10 people in a nationwide sweep yesterday after uncovering a plot by suspected animal rights activists to contaminate bottles of one of the country's most popular health drinks, Lucozade... The French government yesterday set March 22 as the date for the first round of next year's regional and local el ections, which are expected to result in defeat for the ruling Socialist Party.

AFRICA AND ASIA Long-awaited all-party talks to negotiate a post-apartheid democratic constitution for South Africa will start Nov. 29, African National Congress President Nelson Mandela said yesterday. He told reporters the ANC was ready to join other black parties and the white government of President F. W. de Klerk at the negotiating table.... Indonesia, bowing to international pressure, said yesterday it would investigate an Army shooting in East Timor that may have killed up to 100 people marching to protest earli er killings.

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