Israel halted all newly contracted building in the occupied territories yesterday but stopped short of a total freeze demanded by Arab partners to Mideast peace talks.... US Secretary of State James Baker III, the most senior US official to visit Lebanon since 1983, met with Lebanese President Elias Hrawi yesterday. UNITED STATES
Democratic Party ex-chairman John White said yesterday that the growing threat of military action against Iraq is "very risky" politically for President Bush. "This is Saddam Hussein's thumb in the eye to Bush and the US," he said. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa is holding an emergency government meeting today, to discuss the stock market's recent plunge.... China lashed out at the US House of Representatives yesterday for passing two bills - one that overturned Bush's one-year extension of most-favored-nation preferential tariff treatment, and one that would let the MFN status run until next July but then impose conditions on its renewal. EUROPE
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said yesterday that former East German Communist leader Erich Honecker, wanted for killings along the Berlin Wall, may soon leave exile in Moscow and return to Germany. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Colombian President Cesar Gaviria insisted yesterday he will not change the policy of prosecuting alleged drug lords at home despite the Wednesday escape of cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar.