Hindu-Muslim riots broke out across India yesterday after thousands of frenzied Hindus tore down a mosque built on disputed holy ground. By mid-afternoon, the death toll stood at 52. The 430-year-old Muslim shrine was on the site where Hindus believe one of their gods, Rama, was born. The government's inability to prevent the rampage was especially notable because the mosque dispute had exploded into violence before. In 1990, about 1,000 people died in riots after Hindus tried to raze the building. That unrest brought down a previous government and helped a Hindu fundamentalist party make major gains at the polls. Slovenian elections

Moderates, claiming a victory for stability in the volatile Balkans, were ahead yesterday following Slovenia's first elections since it battled Yugoslav troops to win independence last year. According to official results, with just over half the vote counted, pragmatic President Milan Kucan, a former Communist running for reelection as an independent, had a commanding lead with nearly 64 percent of Sunday's vote. Venezuelan elections

A leftist high school teacher's stunning victory in the Caracas mayoral race underlined voters' rejection of President Carlos Andres Perez in elections that followed a failed coup attempt by nine days. All independent television projections proclaimed anti-corruption crusader Aristobulo Isturiz mayor of the capital. His victory was a blow to Perez, whose government has been beset by corruption charges. Iraq opens canal

Iraq opened a 350-mile canal yesterday that will drain the southern marshes, making the area accessible to government forces fighting Shiite Muslim rebels. Saddam Hussein had 4,500 men work around the clock for four months to complete the canal from Baghdad to the southern port city of Basra. The irrigation project, called a "welfare artery," was built partly to boost national morale in the wake of the Gulf war. TWA's outlook brightens

TWA has reached an agreement with the US government in a $1 billion pension dispute, clearing the way for the troubled airline to emerge from bankruptcy court protection, according to reports published yesterday. TWA was under pressure to reach a deal because it was running short of cash. Failure to resolve the issue could have put it out of business. US king of tennis

The United States team of Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and Jim Courier overwhelmed first-time finalist Switzerland over the weekend to recapture tennis's Davis Cup in Fort Worth, Texas, a year after a stunning US loss to the French. Faults found under L.A.

Geologists have discovered two earthquake faults passing under downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers and freeways, leaving them worried that a possibly connected third, deeper fault could produce a major jolt. Other scientists said the discovery only slightly aggravates the city's already-high quake risk.

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