News Currents


The Bir Zeit University on the West Bank, closed since the start of the intifadah in late 1987, will be allowed to reopen, a senior Israeli military commander told the institution's board of trustees yesterday.... Syria has released two Jewish citizens held in jail on charges of espionage and treason, Israel Army radio said yesterday.... Libya yesterday began deporting all Arab and other foreign journalists who arrived in Tripoli shortly before the implementation of UN sanctions against it on April 15, t he Middle East News Agency reported. And Lebanon's national airline canceled flights to Libya after insurance companies refused to cover them.... Arab justice ministers opened their eighth meeting at the Cairo-based Arab League headquarters yesterday to discuss unifying legal and judicial procedures. Arab League Secretary-General Esmat Abdel Meguid said in his opening speech Arab countries should have a role in the new world order. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa virtually ruled out the extradition of two Tamil rebels wanted by India in connection with the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, news reports said yesterday.... UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, ending a visit to Cambodia, said yesterday he is confident the country can move smoothly toward a peaceful future.... A serious food shortage is expected for as many as 44 million people this year in China's poor Anhui Province. The ar ea was among the hardest hit by the disastrous flooding in east China last summer, with millions left homeless, and was then hit again in the fall by drought.... Chinese police seized 3,000 Bibles in a raid in the southern city of Canton, an American missionary said yesterday. He said that the police have stepped up surveillance of foreign missionaries in the past month.... Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, architect of China's market reforms, has begun a second media drive against opponents in an article publi shed in southern newspapers, Reuters reports. Hard-liners opposed to Deng wield great power in the Communist Party bureaucracy. ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

Dolphins and whales in the Mediterranean are being poisoned by mercury and choked by industrial waste and air pollution, report scientists working in the area. Prof. Denise Viale, an expert on marine mammals at the University of Corsica, said she has found increasingly large quantities of mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, and other heavy metals in relatively young dead animals washed up on beaches. Henri Augier, director of the marine biology laboratory at Marseille University, has confirmed her findings . Many die trapped in fishermen's nets. And a joint World Bank/European Investment Bank report issued in 1990 said 650,000 tons of gasoline are dumped in the Mediterranean each year, while 550 tons of pesticide also reach the sea.

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