CHINA'S `MFN' STATUS TO BE CONDITIONAL President Clinton has decided to renew favorable trade privileges to China for one year on condition the Communist regime improves its record on human rights, trade, and weapon sales to radical governments, administration officials said May 24. The president is consulting with congressional leaders on the precise wording of conditions that would extend most-favored nation status to China, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Mr. Clinton must announce his decision on China's trade status by June 3, the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Chinese Army's crackdown on the 1989 democracy movement. Clinton health plan

President Clinton has decided not to heed economic advisers who wanted him to significantly scale back the basic package of health benefits he has promised all Americans, an administration official says. Instead, Clinton has given a firm commitment to a broad benefits package, with coverage for most Americans in such areas as immunizations, mammograms, and regular checkups for healthy children. Clintonomics

The Clinton administration's much-reduced jobs bill is staggering toward a vote in the full House on May 26. The House Appropriations Committee on May 24 reduced the proposed bill of slightly more than $1 billion by $200 million amid objections from both parties over other government programs to be cut to pay for the jobs package. The House is slated to vote May 27 on the president's full economic plan, and House leaders say the measure may not pass unless Clinton compromises on the controversial energy tax. HDTV sharpens picture

Wrangling among industry groups over the best technology for high-definition television ended May 24 with an agreement by competing companies to work together. Now, they'll build a system using the best of each technology to be tested as soon as possible and presented next year to the Federal Communications Commission. `Water Buffalo' case ends

Five black women called "water buffalo" by a fellow University of Pennsylvania student dropped their racial-harassment claim on May 24, complaining that the accused man had turned the news media against them. The case against Eden Jacobowitz had been seen as a case of political correctness run amok and an embarrassment for university president Sheldon Hackney, President Clinton's choice to head the National Endowment for the Humanities. Rule by decree in Guatemala

Guatemalan President Jorge Serrano Elias dissolved Congress and the Supreme Court May 25 and said he would rule by decree in the Central American country until a constitutional assembly is formed. Mr. Serrano, speaking over television after weeks of protests against the high cost of living, said an election would be held within 60 days to choose an assembly to discuss changes in the constitution. The president also fired Guatemala's human rights prosecutor, who has criticized kidnappings and political mu rders. Mexican cardinal killed

Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, his driver, and five others were killed on May 24 in a deadly cross-fire between drug traffickers at Guadalajara's international airport. The Vatican on May 25 deplored the killings. Iran attacks opposition

Iranian warplanes attacked two Iranian rebel bases inside Iraq on May 25, the Iranian opposition said. The attacks were the first major Iranian action reported by Mujahedeen Khalq, or People's Warriors, against their bases in Iraq in more than a year. Cannes winners

"Farewell to My Concubine" by Chinese director Chen Kaige and "The Piano" by New Zealand's Jane Campion are co-winners of the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival. Britain's David Thewlis won the best actor award May 24 for his portrayal of Johnny in Mike Leigh's film "Naked," and American Holly Hunter was named best actress for her role as the mute Scotswoman Ada in "The Piano."

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