News Currents

MIDDLE EASTIraqi forces are carrying out sweeping security checks in the city of Mosul in Kurdistan, according to travelers there, who say the area is rife with rumors about plots against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.... The Libyan news agency JANA, quoting Lebanese sources, reported yesterday that two German hostages being held in Beirut would go free in the next few days.... Israel has set aside land in the occupied West Bank for a settlement near the site where two Jews were shot dead in October, a settlers' l eader said. UNITED STATES Former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke kicked off his presidential campaign in ethnically diverse south Florida over the weekend, but encountered angry protesters. Duke's bid to get on the ballot for the Massachusetts Republican primary has apparently failed.... The remains of William Buckley, head of the CIA station in Lebanon until he was taken hostage in March 1984, were flown to the US Saturday.... The North American continent's only living barrier reef, off of Key West, Fla., is dying faster than had be en feared because of pollution, says a study by researchers at the Universities of Georgia and Florida.... The pesky zebra mussel has met its match in Toledo. The small imported mollusk clogs city water intakes in Lake Erie and other great lakes. So Toledo has successfully pumped sodium hypochlorite to flush away both the zebra mussels and a thick coat of algae.

EUROPE Switzerland announced yesterday it is closing its embassy in Tehran because of increasing Iranian threats against diplomats stationed there.... Britain's free-marketeering conservative government is preparing to sell the state-run rail network to private investors.... Besieged President Zviad Gamsakhurdia's chances of holding on to power in Georgia have diminished after rebel and loyalist armed groups united late Saturday to demand his resignation. A week of fighting in Tbilisi has killed over 50 people. ... Intense battles raged yesterday in the Croatian regions of western Slavonia and Banija, south of the capital Zagreb. And Croatia said Yugoslav armed forces had used surface-to-surface missiles for the first time, probably Soviet-made.... Boris Yeltsin decreed Saturday private farms in Russia will replace the Soviet state collective-farm system.

AFRICA AND ASIA A spate of ministerial resignations has shaken the Kenyan government of President Daniel arap Moi as it attempts the transition from a one-party state to a multiparty democracy.... A newspaper reports that Nelson Mandela says he will consider guaranteeing white seats in parliament to allay white fears over black majority rule in South Africa.... The Philippines has told the US it must leave the Subic Bay naval base by the end of 1992. The US had wanted three years to withdraw.

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