ST. LOUIS BRACES FOR HIGH WATER The high water everyone in St. Louis had dreaded began living up to its ominous billing over the weekend: Flood waters gushed through a breached levee, overrunning a suburban airport and hundreds of businesses. This, say St. Louis residents, could be just the beginning. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers still had not reached their peaks, and forecasters said weekend thunderstorms could dump as much as 3 inches of rain on parts of the area, straining more tattered levees. A storm Saturday night brought hea vy rain to downtown St. Louis and a tornado to nearby St. Charles County. It also knocked out power to thousands in the region. The tornado caused only minor damage. In the city, the Mississippi is forecast to reach 49.3 feet, less than 3 feet below the main flood wall and well above the previous record of 47.05 feet on July 20. 30 killed in S. Africa

At least 30 people, including a five-month old baby, were killed in clashes around a hostel in the Johannesburg township of Tembisa, police said yesterday.

Residents said violence began when hostel dwellers, most of them members of the Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party, attacked houses near their hostel. Residents, most of them supporters of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress, managed to repel the first attack, but hostel inmates regrouped and brought more firepower, witnesses said. Demjanjuk held in Israel

Israel's Supreme Court, after clearing John Demjanjuk of being Nazi killer "Ivan the Terrible," blocked his deportation to Ukraine yesterday while considering whether he should stand trial for other alleged war crimes.

The Supreme Court, despite acquitting the former Ohio autoworker, said there was evidence to place him as a guard at Sobibor death camp in Poland, where 250,000 Jews died, and in three other Nazi camps. Gorbachev on US `mentality'

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev criticized the United Nations and President Clinton yesterday for being too trigger-happy. In an editorial written for the Turin daily La Stampa, Mr. Gorbachev said the June 26 US missile attack on Baghdad "reflected an old American mentality that was proving hard to die."

The United States fired 23 Tomahawk missiles against the Iraqi capital in retaliation for what it said was an Iraqi plot to kill former President Bush during a visit to Kuwait. Baghdad says eight civilians were killed in the attack. Croatian bridge under fire

Croatia said yesterday that Serb rebels started shelling a civilian highway bridge and airport on the Adriatic coast 16 hours after the expiration of a deadline for handing the area over to UN control.

A Croatian Army spokesman told reporters that Serb artillery rounds were falling yesterday around the newly-opened Maslenica bridge and Zemunik Airport.

Croatian troops had failed to turn the bridge and airport over to United Nations peacekeeping forces by a Saturday midnight deadline under a demilitarization pact signed by both sides July 16.

Alexander to head NEA

Actress Jane Alexander is President Clinton's choice to head the National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Alexander, who has broad backing in the arts community, must be confirmed by the Senate.

The NEA this year received $174.4 million in funding from the government. In recent years the endowment has been caught in a cross-fire between critics of government involvement in the arts and defenders of subsidies for controversial arts projects. Belgium's King Baudouin

King Baudouin of Belgium, a respected monarch who became a unifying force in a country deeply divided between speakers of French and Flemish, died Saturday.

Though only a ceremonial king, Baudouin gained the reputation of being scrupulously impartial in dealing with the Flemish- and French-speaking populations. The divisions between the groups have led to the downfall of numerous governments in King Baudouin's 43-year rule.

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