News Currents

UNITED STATESThe US economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate during the July-September third quarter, the Commerce Department said yesterday. The expansion in the nation's Gross Domestic Product followed a 1.4 percent rise in the second quarter.... Republicans could win majorities or near majorities in California's Legislature and congressional delegation under a redistricting plan commissioned by the state's highest court.... The US said yesterday it wants Japan to make a contribution worth around $1.25 billion to its Superconducting Super Collider project.... A federal judge in Miami ruled late Tuesday that the US government cannot force Haitian boat people to return to their Caribbean homeland.

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY AND BUSINESS The world produced more oil in November than at any time since the height of the Gulf war last February. The International Energy Agency said yesterday world output was at 67.3 million barrels per day in November. Higher production by OPEC more than compensated for declining Soviet output.... Japan's current account surplus soared in October over the same month in 1990; imports fell 13.1 percent, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. The merchandise trade gap rose to $10.11 billion from $5.84 billion. Imp orts sagged as Japan's economic growth slowed, while exports rose by 6.2 percent.

AFRICA Amnesty International began a two-week investigation yesterday into allegations of police complicity in South Africa's township violence. The group said it was concerned security forces might have directly taken part in the violence between the African National Congress and the Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party; more than 3,000 people have been killed in the past 16 months.... In Gaborone, Botswana, President Quett Masire has ordered the release of 15 South African prisoners after requests from anti-apartheid g roups and the South African government.... In Khartoum, Sudan, death sentences on nine people convicted of taking part in an attempt to overthrow the military government have been commuted to life imprisonment.... In Victoria, Seychelles, President Albert Rene yesterday said his country would adopt a multiparty political system, abandoning 14 years of single-party rule in the Indian Ocean islands.

LATIN AMERICA In Cartagena, Colombia, Latin American presidents blamed industrialized countries Tuesday for most of the world's environmental problems. Following a two-day summit, the Rio Group of 13 Latin American leaders called for more funding and adequate technology for wiser development of resources.... The presidents of Ecuador and Peru held a meeting Tuesday to discuss a decades-old border dispute and agreed to more high-level contacts to try to solve the problem.

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