An armored vehicle ripped into cult leader David Koresh's compound in Waco, Texas, yesterday, tearing into the walls on the 51st day of a standoff with federal agents. Federal agents had called the compound and informed cult members to give up or they would be gassed. The person inside the compound hung up, a TV report said. A tank-like vehicle fitted with a battering ram then broke several holes in the compound and, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tear gas was used. President Clinton s aid he had advance notice of yesterday's assault on the compound and said Attorney General Janet Reno made the decision to begin what appears to be the final operation to oust the cult members. Italians vote yes

Italy's referendum on sweeping electoral reform has been approved by a landslide, an exit poll reported yesterday, with as many as 83 percent of voters saying "yes" to change. The poll, for RAI state television, is regarded by analysts as reliable. The referendum's backers had been looking for a 60 percent approval figure at best. Up to 67.5 percent of the country's 48 million electorate voted. The referendum asked them to replace the proportional representation system with a first-past-the-post majority

voting system. Yugoslavia isolation

Yugoslavia appeared to be on the verge of exclusion from the United Nations' Economic Commission for Europe yesterday after Turkey challenged its presence at a key meeting in Geneva. Diplomats said a Turkish proposal, seconded by the European Community at the start of the Geneva-based ECE's annual session, could be followed by similar moves against Belgrade in other UN bodies, including the Human Rights Commission. In Yugoslavia, A UN relief convoy reached the besieged Bosnian town of Srebrenica yesterda y and UN helicopters ferried dozens of people to safety during a truce between Serb besiegers and Muslim defenders. El Salvador killings

A Roman Catholic Church leader said that rightist death squads are still killing and torturing people even though the 12-year civil war ended last year. Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez said Sunday that a church human rights watchdog group the Legal Tutelage Office reported that six people were tortured and slain during the past two weeks. The squads were responsible for most of about 75,000 deaths during the civil war with leftist guerrillas. Russians to China

Russia is sending 10 nuclear scientists to China to cooperate in designing a fusion-fission hybrid reactor, the official Xinhua News Agency said yesterday. It would be the second joint nuclear research project undertaken by the two countries. Last year, China announced that Russian scientists were working with Chinese on a fusion research project. Chrysler reports losses

Chrysler Corporation, which is enjoying strong sales of its new model cars, yesterday reported a massive $4.15 billion loss for the first quarter due to the adoption of an accounting change to pay for retiree health care. The automaker said that without the one-time charge, it would have earned $530 million in the period. In the first quarter of 1992, Chrysler reported a loss of $13 million. The automaker's revenues climbed to $10.9 billion in the period, from $8.2 billion a year earlier. Sailors can't sue

The US Supreme Court refused yesterday to revive a lawsuit stemming from a 1987 Iraqi air attack against an American ship in which 37 sailors were killed and dozens more injured. The court, without comment, let stand rulings that barred USS Stark crewmen and the families of killed sailors from suing contractors over allegedly defective equipment on the ship. The court also agreed to decide whether Utah authorities may prosecute Indians for crimes committed on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah.

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