MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan left prison yesterday and said he would work to change the Israeli law prohibiting contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization that landed him behind bars.... Western diplomats, concerned over Libyan reaction to expected UN sanctions against Libya, said their colleagues in Tripoli have started to ask the Libyan government to speed up exit procedures for nationals working there. Several thousand Britons, about 1,000 Americans, several hundred French citizens, and an unknown number of civilian and military experts from the former Soviet Union work in Libya.... The Algerian government yesterday dissolved 397 local councils and 14 district councils captured by the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the last local elections. The military-dominated government has already suspended FIS activities and banned FIS-orientated newspapers. UNITED STATES
Astronauts on shuttle Atlantis continued yesterday mapping the Earth's atmosphere on a mission that NASA extended by a day. The extra day in space was won by by judicious use of the shuttle's energy supplies. Landing is now expected on Thursday.... A US Supreme Court ruling on the size of the Massachusetts' congressional delegation last week seemed to bring political chaos to the state this week. The ruling enforced a federal plan that will reduce the state's US House seats from 11 to 10 and delayed unti l this summer a decision on a complicated redistricting suit brought by Attorney General Scott Harshbarger against the US Census Bureau. So neither incumbents nor challengers have a very clear idea of what districts they will be running in or whom they will face. Democrats now hold all of the seats, but the chaos may enhance GOP chances in three or four districts.... About 18 protesters were arrested early yesterday for spray-painting messages like "Save Earth Summit" on streets in front of the United Natio ns and two other New York landmarks. EUROPE
Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel travels to Moscow today for talks and to sign a friendship and cooperation treaty with Russia. The preamble to the treaty condemns the Soviet-led invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968.... Germany said yesterday that most of the 2.4 million property disputes in its formerly communist east would be resolved by 1994, bringing the planned completion date forward from beyond the year 2000. The disputes have blocked much needed investment in the depressed region by overloading the local bureaucracy.... Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel yesterday distanced himself from remarks by Ankara President Turgut Ozal in which Ozal likened Bonn's foreign policy to that of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. The remarks by Ozal followed Bonn's decision to halt arms sales to Turkey because of signs that the arms were being used against Kurds.