BOSNIANS PREPARE FOR TALKS, ASK FOR HELP As Serb forces pressed an offensive on the outskirts of Sarajevo, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic on July 20 appealed to the United States and the United Nations to intervene. Heavy fighting was reported on the strategic Mt. Igman, a key access route into the besieged capital. UN officials said the only substantial source of food for Sarajevans is the UN airlift, which can provide only about 60 percent of what is needed. Fighting between government and Bosnian Croat forces also was reported in several a reas. Mr. Izetbegovic's appeal came the morning after his government decided to return to Geneva for talks with the leaders of Serbia and Croatia. At least 138,000 people have been killed or declared missing in the 15-month Bosnian war. (Turkey's view of the conflict, Page 3.) Miyazawa to step down

Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa told a ruling party panel he would step down soon, party officials said on July 20. His Liberal Democratic Party lost its majority in parliament in elections on July 18.

The day after the vote Mr. Miyazawa said he would postpone a decision on whether to resign until parliament convenes in August. Cabinet ministers and Liberal Democratic Party reformists have openly told him to quit. Rostenkowski faces charges

Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D) of Illinois faces fresh scrutiny in the House Post Office scandal because of court documents that suggest he may have received embezzled funds. Mr. Rostenkowski declined comment July 19 on the latest developments in the case, in which former House Postmaster Robert Rota has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement charges.

Rostenkowski, who is serving his 18th term, is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House's point man in compromise talks with the Senate on President Clinton's deficit-reduction legislation. UN relief halted in Sudan

Fighting between rebel factions in southern Sudan halted UN relief flights July 19 to two towns where about 100,000 people were receiving food and other aid. Relief workers evacuated from Kongor on July 18 reported seeing at least a thousand people fleeing.

The town has been the site of repeated clashes between two rival factions who are fighting for greater autonomy from Sudan's Islamic regime. Anti-gay law is set back

Colorado's anti-gay rights amendment has been dealt what may prove to be a fatal blow. Colorado's Supreme Court, in a 6-1 ruling on July 19, refused to let the measure take effect before a trial on its constitutionality is held in October. The court said the measure probably violates the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Amendment 2, approved last November by 53 percent of Colorado's voters, would ban state and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Nepalis killed in protest

The death toll from Nepal's most serious anti-government protests since 1990 has risen to at least five. At least three were killed July 19 as police opened fire on protesters in a Communist-led strike demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.

Opposition sources say at least 50 were injured on the first day of the two-day protest, called by the powerful United Marxist Leninists party and six other opposition groups. Costa Ricans strike

About 75,000 government workers struck for higher wages July 19, and many schools and hospitals were forced to close. The government ordered a 5 percent wage increase two weeks ago, but union leaders had sought a 26 percent increase, citing sharp increases in living costs, said Jose Joaquin Melendez of Permanent Workers' Council, a union involved in the strike.

Three weeks ago, Costa Rica's National Assembly delegates increased their own salaries by 30 percent to the equivalent of $2,350 a month.

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