US officials said Wednesday they hope President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin will agree at their June summit on a multination antimissile defense concept. The system would develop in stages this decade and next. US ships in the Mediterranean might provide some of Europe's defense, Assistant Defense Secretary Stephen Hadley told a House subcommittee.... White House budget chief Richard Darman said Wednesday a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget could lead to a balanced
budget in four years with no new taxes. ECONOMY AND BUSINESS
In a UN-backed program, 30 commercial banks from 23 countries with combined assets of $1.5 trillion Wednesday pledged to consider environmental risks when making loans. No US bank was included in the signatories, but Citibank has shown interest .... After induring through one of their worst years ever, newspaper publishers say business has begun to turn up, reflecting the improving state of the overall economy. The bad news is that the industry's share of the advertising market has fallen steadily since the 1950s, and nobody knows when it will hit bottom. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
North and South Korea yesterday signed accords to implement their historic non-aggression pact, and family visits between the nations are being discussed.... The Thai military yesterday ordered tens of thousands of anti-government protesters to disperse from around parliament.... The US has named Richard Solomon, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, as its new ambassador to the Philippines.