ALLIES PREPARE AIRCRAFT FOR BOSNIA NATO yesterday began sending combat planes to Italy to prepare to provide air cover for the UN Protection Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which will patrol six Muslim "safe havens" designated by the UN. About 60 American, British, Dutch, and French planes are expected to take part in the operation, newly named "Disciplined Guard," NATO sources say. The operation could begin as early as July 22. Under the plan, any air strikes launched by allied planes would have to be authorized by the UN Security Council. But

the UN has yet to approve a plan to implement protection of the safe havens. The NATO deployment is part of a plan that calls for training exercises to be carried out at the Italian bases until the United Nations formally requests their assistance. (Peace talks to resume, Page 6.) N. Korea, US talk nukes

North Korea and the United States resumed talks yesterday over Western demands that Pyongyang open up two suspected nuclear sites to international inspection.

North Korea announced in March it was pulling out of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because of insistence by the International Atomic Energy Agency on inspecting the two sites. It withdrew that threat after talks in New York last month. But Pyongyang, which denies the sites are being used to store nuclear fuel, has yet to allow inspections. Tajik rebels hit Russians

At least 20 Russian border guards were killed near Tajikistan's frontier with Afghanistan in an attack by 200 Tajik rebels and Afghan fighters, Itar-Tass news agency said yesterday.

Russian agencies earlier reported a mortar raid on Tuesday that destroyed a small village about eight miles from the Tajik-Afghan border. Tajikistan has repeatedly accused Afghan guerrillas of backing and arming Tajik opposition groups that fled the country earlier this year after a virtual civil war in the former Soviet republic. Kenyans join UN critics

The Kenyan media yesterday added its voice to international calls for a review of UN combat policy in Somalia after a vengeful mob killed four foreign journalists in Mogadishu. The journalists, two of them Kenyans, were killed Monday by a crowd incensed by an air strike by US helicopters on a command center of warlord Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed. The attack killed dozens of Somalis.

All but one of Kenya's leading newspapers branded as provocative the UN military actions in Somalia and joined an angry government in calling on the UN to review its mission in Somalia. Aspin to move on gays

Defense Secretary Les Aspin is recommending allowing homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they do not declare their sexual orientation, sources in the gay community say. Mr. Aspin told White House officials Tuesday that "this is as far as the Joint Chiefs will go" on the matter, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. President Clinton will have the final say on the proposal and the White House could have an announcement by week's end. The president faces possible strong congres sional opposition to any policy change that lacks the backing of the military. Unwed mothers not all poor

A Census Bureau study of motherhood documents what women's groups have said for some time that many American women of all social classes are having children outside marriage.

The survey found more than a doubling of the proportion of mothers among never-married women who graduated from college, obtained graduate degrees, or held managerial or professional jobs. The increase in out-of-wedlock births cut across racial, economic, and social lines. The rate of white and Hispanic women giving birth out of wedlock nearly doubled in the last decade, according to the study. Retail sales up

Retail sales increased 0.4 percent in June, the third monthly advance after a first-quarter decline, the government said yesterday. The Commerce Department said sales totaled a seasonally adjusted $171.9 billion, up from $171.2 billion a month earlier.

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