News Currents

EUROPEDespite a cease-fire in force yesterday, Yugoslav federal army forces have secured all the high ground around Dubrovnik since a massive four-day bombardment began a week ago today. Even some Croats are saying it is now apparent that the medieval port city, which had become a symbol of the breakaway Croatian republic's battle, appeared on the verge of defeat. In Belgrade, European Community envoy Lord Carrington met Yugoslavia's army chief yesterday to discuss support for a broader cease-fire in Croatia a nd to discuss deployment of international peacekeeping troops.... Sources in London and Washington said that two Libyan agents, still at large, would be charged in the first criminal indictments from the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland, which killed 270 people.... Alexander Yakovlev, one of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's closest advisers, said Wednesday he thought the Soviet Union would stay together despite the recent turmoil and claimed that no republic had actually sece ded. In Moscow, talks on whether to create a new Soviet Union got off to a faltering start yesterday, with only seven of the 12 republican leaders represented at a meeting with President Mikhail Gorbachev.... Czechoslovakia will eventually split in two but it will be peaceful, Czech Minister for Privatization Tomas Jezek said in an interview published yesterday in Paris. ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE Sears, Roebuck & Co. said Wednesday in Chicago it will team up with 2,300 of its suppliers in a campaign to reduce by 25 percent the volume of packaging materials for products sold at Sears by the end of 1994. The program links thousands of American companies with Sears in a commitment to address the country's solid-waste disposal problem, a spokesman said.... The Snake River sockeye salmon is to be declared an endangered species by the National Marine Fisheries Service, US Rep. Jolene Unsoeld (D) of Was hington said Wednesday. The move will force a reduced water flow through dams on the Columbia River that could raise the price of electricity in the region.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN More than 400,000 women die each year in Brazil from botched abortions and thousands choose sterilization in order to get jobs, women's activist groups said Wednesday during a congressionally sponsored seminar to debate women's rights. "It is common practice in Brazil to demand that a woman, be she married or single, provide a sterility certificate as a basic prerequisite for employment," said Sao Paulo physician Luiza Viera.

LOOKING AHEAD Saturday: Election in Louisiana for governor. Democratic former Gov. Edwin Edwards is holding a narrow lead over former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a survey by the University of New Orleans released Wednesday showed.

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