NEW HOME SALES REACH SEVEN-YEAR HIGH Sales of new homes shot up 20.8 percent in September to the highest level in nearly seven years, the government said Nov. 2. Sales rose in every region except the Northeast. Sales totaled 762,000 at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up from a revised 631,000 in August, reported the Commerce and Housing and Urban Development Departments. For the first nine months of the year, sales were 6.3 percent higher than last year. The news followed a National Association of Realtors' report last week that stated that sales of previously owned homes in September jumped to the second highest level in more than 14 years. Major meeting for Irish

British Prime Minister John Major will meet Northern Ireland's political leaders to try to halt sectarian killings and relaunch peace talks, officials said Nov. 2. Talks have been requested by John Hume, leader of the moderate nationalist Social Democratic and Labor Party.

Talks will probably take place Nov. 4. Twenty-four victims of sectarian violence have been killed in 10 days since a botched Irish Republican Army bombing killed nine Protestants in Belfast. Serbs, Croats hold talks

Croatian officials and representatives of the Serb-held Krajina enclave have been holding secret peace talks in Norway this week, diplomats said Nov. 2. They said the talks on a cease-fire could lead to a meeting, perhaps in Oslo later this week, between Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic. Bombs hit election offices

In Bogota, Colombia, four bombs exploded Nov. 2 outside offices of candidates for next year's presidential and congressional elections, the latest in a wave of attacks that have been blamed on guerrilla groups attempting to disrupt democracy. The bombs caused minor damage, but no injuries were reported as a result. Afghan fighting

The president's forces battled the prime minister's guerrillas Nov. 2 in the second day of fighting outside Kabul, Afghanistan.

Clashes were the worst in months between militias of President Burhanuddin Rabbani and Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Heavy casualties were reported. Both leaders hold territory in the region, and they accused each other of launching offensives Nov. 1. Economic indicators up

The government's economic forecasting gauge rose 0.5 percent in September, the Commerce Department said Nov. 2, signaling moderate growth into 1994. The advance in the Index of Leading Indicators followed a strong 0.9 percent gain in August. September was the fourth month without a decline. New TV network

Time Warner Inc. and Tribune Company plan to start a TV network, USA Today reported Nov 2. Tribune owns seven major market TV stations, reaching 22 percent of American households. The network would join four commercial networks and a fifth announced last week by Paramount Communications Inc. and Chris-Craft Industries Inc. Soccer game sparks riot

Hundreds of Ivorians upset with a soccer game's outcome beat and robbed migrants from Ghana. At least one person was killed and dozens injured. PLO reports plot

Tunisian officials have arrested a senior PLO official in what Palestinian sources Nov. 2 called a new assassination plot against Yasser Arafat. Adnan Yassen and his son Hani were arrested Oct. 26. Beating denounced

The German government Nov. 2 denounced a neo-Nazi gang's beating of a member of the American luge team and the racist taunting of his black teammate in an attack Oct. 29 in the eastern German resort of Oberhof. German athletic officials worry that the luge team will boycott a January World Cup meet in Oberhof. Walther Troeger, Germany's National Olympic Committee president, said he asked the government to arrange protection for American lugers.

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