MILOSEVIC PURGES YUGOSLAV ARMY The Supreme Defense Council of Yugoslavia, a shadowy body headed by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, announced a purge of the federal Army yesterday. An estimated 40 senior officers will be replaced by younger officers who support Mr. Milosevic, military sources said. About 70 generals, including almost all who were not Serbs and Montenegrins, were fired during 1992. Among generals expected to lose their jobs in the new purge are those considered more moderate and closely linked with recenty ousted Yugosl av President Dobrica Cosic. Meanwhile, rebel Serb forces intensified attacks in Croatia yesterday, where they have seized 30 percent of the territory since 1991. Cedric Thornberry, deputy head of the UN Protection Force in former Yugoslavia, warned of a new war between Croats and Serbs. GOP wary of lending bill

Republicans lined up against President Clinton's community development lending proposal, unveiled yesterday.

The bill, which fulfills a campaign promise, would create a board to administer a Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Fund. The board is to get $382 million over five years to supply grants, training, and technical aid to private groups that create community development banks. Rep. Tom Ridge (R) of Pennsylvania, a member of the House Banking Committee, called the bill "just another government handout." US unemployment rises

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits edged up by 2,000 last week, the government said yesterday. The Labor Department said new applications for unemployment insurance totaled 334,000.

Many economists had predicted in advance that claims would be up by several thousand last week. The Labor department reported earlier that the jobless rate rose to 7 percent in June from 6.9 percent a month earlier. It said only 13,000 new jobs were created compared to more than 200,000 each of the previous two months. UN seeks food for Africa

Ten African nations will need international help to feed their people next year, with famine threatening the war-torn countries of Angola and Somalia, the United Nations said yesterday.

Swarms of locust could wreak havoc on crops in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan. But better harvests were recorded in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said. An estimated 1.4 million tons of food aid will be needed. Although food aid pledges for Africa this year stood at 1 million tons, only 39,000 tons have been delivered, it said. Mexico docks Chinese

Mexico agreed Wednesday to receive 658 illegal Chinese immigrants that have been stranded offshore since June 6, when the US refused to allow them entry. The agreement apparently ended a week's standoff between Mexico City and Washington.

The ship's crews will be jailed on immigrant-smuggling charges, and the passengers will be sent home. Yemen defends emigration

A Yemeni official said yesterday the government could not stop Yemeni Jews from traveling to Israel if they did so through another country. Israeli immigration officials said Wednesday that 246 Yemeni Jews have immigrated to Israel over the past year. Almost the entire Jewish community of Yemen, about 45,000, was brought to Israel in the early 1950s. About 1,000 Jews still live in Yemen. Georgian capital shelled

Separatists in Abkhazia ignored a Georgian ultimatum and yesterday shelled the capital of the country's war-torn northwestern province. There was no sign of the promised Georgian counterattack.

Georgia's defense minister had warned that unless the separatists lifted their siege of Sukhumi by midnight Wednesday, Georgian troops would attack the separatist stronghold of Gudauta, about 25 miles outside of Sukhumi.

But the deadline passed without any withdrawal of Abkhazian forces from strategic villages and hills surrounding the capital.

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