MIDWEST COPES WITH NEW FLOODS Renewed flooding in the saturated Midwest forced hundreds of people from their homes over the weekend, closed roads, and washed away mobile homes, even as people were still cleaning up from a summer of high water. As much as 7 inches of rain fell Saturday night, on top of two previous days of heavy rain. And in Des Moines, where summer flooding knocked out drinking water to 250,000 people, a rain-swollen creek threatened to cause new problems. Since Wednesday, three people in Missouri have died in the latest round of flooding. In eastern Missouri, cleanup work stopped and sandbagging resumed in the Chesterfield valley of St. Louis County, where hundreds of businesses were flooded in July. US helicopter downed

Three Americans were killed Saturday when Somali militiamen fired a rocket-propelled grenade that brought down their helicopter in Mogadishu. Jubilant crowds surrounded the downed craft. It was the first time a helicopter was downed during the 10-month UN operation in Mogadishu and the worst loss of US life since four American soldiers were killed Aug. 8 by a land mine.

The Clinton administration says the deaths will not diminish its support for the UN mission. But Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D) of West Virginia, said the attack demonstrates the need for US forces to get out of Somalia.

Israel, PLO to meet in Egypt

News reports in Israel say Israeli and Palestinian representatives will meet next month in Egypt to negotiate the initial stage of Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is heading for the United States, and reports say he will meet in the US with two senior PLO officials. Mr. Peres is to meet with some 40 foreign ministers and heads of state this week at a session of the United Nations General Assembly. Racial riots in Britain

Police said yesterday they had arrested 57 people in the East End of London to prevent new clashes between right-wingers and anti-racist demonstrators. Most of those arrested were members of the British National Party (BNP), a racist group which had been warned by police not to distribute its newspaper in the largely immigrant district. Hundreds of police were on hand to prevent BNP supporters from confronting about 500 members of the Anti-Nazi League, Youth Against Racism in Europe, and other organizations. Violent clashes last Sunday between the two sides led to 27 arrests. Agents told not to raid cult

Federal agents raided the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, despite a standing order that forbade the raid because they had lost the element of surprise, according to a broadcast Friday. CBS News, citing an unreleased Treasury Department investigation of the raid, said agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms knew that a television cameraman had inadvertently tipped off cult members about the Feb. 28 raid. Four ATF agents were killed and 16 wounded in the failed raid that led to a 51-day standoff that ended April 19 with a fire that destroyed the compound. More than 80 cult members, including leader David Koresh, died during and just before the fire. Chamorro to come to US

Nicaraguan President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro left Saturday for New York to address the UN General Assembly and lobby for aid ``from all the many nations that want to help us who are true lovers of democracy.'' She is to meet with President Clinton on Wednesday. While Mrs. Chamorro's policies forced inflation down from 33,000 percent in 1990 to 3.5 percent last year, unemployment has soared to 60 percent. VMI not coed yet

The all-male Virginia Military Institute said Saturday it would create a program for women at a private college to comply with a federal court order. The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the state-supported college last October to either admit women, go private, or establish a program for women elsewhere.

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