JUDGE DERAILS FREE TRADE AGREEMENT A federal judge yesterday derailed the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada that President Clinton has insisted Congress approve by January. US District Judge Charles R. Richey ruled that the agreement negotiated last year by former President Bush and the president of Mexico and prime minister of Canada violates the National Environmental Policy Act. "NAFTA will have significant environmental effects and ... may worsen the environmental problems already existing in the United States-Me xico border area," the judge said in a 23-page ruling. He issued an order forbidding the Clinton administration from submitting the proposed pact to Congress until it first prepares a formal statement on its environmental impact, a process that could take several months or even years. US factory orders drop

Orders to United States factories fell 1.4 percent in May, marking the first decline for three straight months in more than two years, the government said yesterday. The Commerce Department said orders for both durable and non-durable goods totaled a seasonally adjusted $249.3 billion, down from $252.8 billion in April and the lowest since $244.0 billion last November.

It was the latest sign of weakness in the manufacturing sector since it began fading last winter after spurting ahead briefly at the end of 1992. Haiti talks progress

UN Special Envoy Dante Caputo yesterday reported progress in talks on restoring democracy to Haiti, despite the military ruler's insistence that many of his colleagues retain power in a civilian government."It was the most important meeting to date," Mr. Caputo said of his session Tuesday with Haiti's military ruler Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras.

Meanwhile in Haiti, a little-known group calling itself "Liberty or Death" sent media outlets a "hit list" Tuesday with names of 80 journalists and supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Information Minister Andre Calixte scolded journalists for reporting on a Sunday police raid of a church. Tutsis appear toppled

The opposition in Burundi appeared headed toward victory yesterday in the first multiparty legislative elections in the tiny central African country in more than three decades, preliminary results showed.

An opposition victory would cap a stunning ouster from power of the minority Tutsis, whose long domination of the majority Hutus has been marked by tribal clashes in which thousands have died.

Opposition leader Melchior Ndadaye scored a stunning win in presidential elections June 1, taking nearly 65 percent of the vote to defeat President Pierre Buyaya, a Tutsi military ruler who seized power in a 1967 coup.

First results of Tuesday's parliamentary ballot showed Mr. Ndadaye's Front for Democracy capturing about 75 percent of the vote in which 81 legislative seats were contested. Mexican tanker stranded

A damaged tanker carrying 4,000 tons of highly corrosive sulfuric acid and 300 tons of crude oil broke away from a tugboat and was adrift yesterday without a crew near several of Mexico's west coast resorts.

By late Tuesday, the Norwegian ship, the Betula, had drifted to within less than a mile west of the coast of Playa Azul, a Pacific coast beach resort in Michoacan state, said Red Cross spokesman Carlos Sanchez. According to a government statement, officials were planning to remove the cargo from the damaged ship and transfer it to another vessel. OAU plans peace role

At the summit of the Organization of African Unity in Cairo, heads of state agreed yesterday on the outlines of a mechanism to deal with the continent's many conflicts, despite reservations expressed by Sudan and Eritrea. African leaders charged a committee with working out details.

The OAU secretary-general would be given certain powers to take initiatives in preventing, managing, or resolving conflicts, such as appointing special envoys. The agreement also allows for money to be raised outside Africa to pay for conflict observers and peacekeepers.

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