The Clinton administration is ready to unveil a four-part plan for ending ethnic warfare in Bosnia-Herzegovina that could send United States military forces to the fractured Balkans in a peacekeeping role, senior administration officials say. In addition, White House Communications Director George Stephanopoulos said that "the president wants to build on" a plan formulated by United Nations mediator Cyrus Vance and European Community mediator Lord Owen that would establish 10 autonomous zones in Bosnia. The plan calls for 25,000 UN troops. Asked whether US troops would be used, Mr. Stephanopoulos said, "I can't rule that in or out. No decisions have been made." Powell to leave early

Gen. Colin Powell said yesterday he wants to step down as chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff a few months before his term ends this September, but denied that he was "in any way unhappy or disgruntled" with President Clinton's policies. The September departure would mean early retirement for him. General Powell also denied a published report that he wants to resign because of impending cuts in the Pentagon budget and Mr. Clinton's move to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military. Haiti allows monitors

Haiti's government will allow a team of human rights monitors from the Organization of American States and the United Nations into the country in return for concessions on the team's power and autonomy. The decision breaks a stalemate between the UN and the military-backed government. Sea change in Taiwan

Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui named a Taiwan-born politician as premier yesterday in a historic move that transferred power from old guard Nationalists to a younger generation. Following weeks of intense infighting within the governing Nationalist Party, the party's 29-member Central Standing Committee approved the appointment of Taiwan provincial governor Lien Chan as the island's first native-born premier. US car companies

The National Broadcasting Company settled its lawsuit with General Motors Corporation by issuing a public apology to the carmaker for claiming GM's trucks were unsafe. Under terms of the settlement, NBC agreed to reimburse GM for the expenses of the carmaker's investigation into NBC's crash tests, which had been rigged. Ford Motor Company said yesterday its losses last year totaled $7.4 billion, the biggest deficit ever recorded by an American company. However, Ford had slashed $6.9 billion from its bott om line for special accounting charges. British health stir

A political dispute erupted yesterday over the failure of British health officials to warn Britons that apple juice sold in supermarkets contained a potentially dangerous chemical. The government admitted that tests on some brands of English apple juice in March last year showed eight times the permitted level of the chemical patulin.

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