News Currents


White House Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner said Sunday that President Bush does support a cut in the luxury tax on yachts and wants to curtail environmental laws, in both cases to help create jobs.... US businesses are expressing heightened interest in a new tool for keeping drug users off the payroll - hair analysis. A low-cost hair analysis process developed by Chicago-based Psychemedics Corporation detected six times as many drug users as conventional urine testing in one corporate study. It has been e stimated that each drug abuser on a company's payroll costs the company $7,000 a year. MIDDLE EAST AND GULF

Four Palestinians appealed to Israel's high court Sunday against military orders to expel them for alleged involvement in attacks against Israelis and fellow Arabs. The four lost appeals to a military panel last week. The panel had accepted a fifth appeal in the first reversal of an expulsion order since 1979. The high court will discuss the four appeals in two weeks, along with similar appeals from seven other Palestinians.... Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said Sunday Israel was reaping both diplomatic and economic fruits of Middle East peace talks as they helped it to break out of its international isolation. He cited new diplomatic ties with China and prospects of similar links with India, Angola, and other African states. EUROPE AND ASIA

A storm of protests from human rights groups greeted Chinese Premier Li Peng as he prepared for talks with Italian leaders yesterday. He has just started an 11-day trip to Europe and the US.... UN Undersecretary General Marrack Goulding said yesterday he had failed to persuade Serbs in Croatia to accept all aspects of the UN peace plan for Yugoslavia but that progress had been made.... A new campaign to make Queen Elizabeth pay income tax could mark the 40th anniversary next month of her accession to the

British throne. Royal wealth, whether fabulous or merely substantial, is of modern origin. When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, she was 50,000 pounds sterling in debt, a huge sum then.... Boris Yeltsin suddenly canceled a diplomatic meeting yesterday with Japanese Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe. The Foreign Ministry spokesman told the independent news agency Interfax that Yeltsin would not be in Moscow over the next few days, but did not give further details. One minister said Yeltsin was busy

with "internal matters." ... The UN Human Rights Commission began its 48th anniversary session in Geneva yesterday with a record number of 53 countries attending.... Neutral Austria plans to improve the standard of its weapons but is not arming itself against its neighbors, the Defense Ministry said, denying a Hungarian radio report that Austria was boosting its weaponry in case of attack from Yugoslavia, Hungary, or Czechoslovakia.... Thailand and Malaysia are being considered as possible sites for new D isneyland amusement parks, the Bangkok Post reported.

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