GEPHARDT SAYS NAFTA TOO CLOSE TOO CALL House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D) of Missouri says the struggle over the North American Free Trade Agreement is so close that ``no one knows what the outcome will be.'' Mr. Gephardt, who opposes NAFTA, told reporters at a Monitor-sponsored meeting that the fate of the agreement in tomorrow's House vote lies primarily in Republican hands. The GOP strongly supports NAFTA, but most House Democrats oppose it, even though the pact is being pushed hard by a Democratic president. (Final appeals, Pages 1, 2.) Russian elections
President Boris Yeltsin has told the Russian newspaper Izvestia that an order calling early presidential elections next June was still in effect, Itar-Tass news agency said yesterday.
Tass quoted Yeltsin as saying that he had expressed a personal opinion when he told Russian media chiefs last week that he did not want early presidential polls, and preferred to serve his full five-year term until 1996. Kohl in China
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl told Chinese Premier Li Peng yesterday that his country is eager to expand business contacts and trade with China. He specifically told Li that Germany has no problem cooperating with China in developing high technology, a pointed reference to US sanctions against providing China with technology that can be used militarily. The trip highlights Germany's new policy of strengthening its presence in Asia. Argentinian president
President Carlos Menem and the leader of Argentina's main opposition party agreed Sunday on a constitutional reform plan that would allow Menem to run for reelection in 1995.
The current restriction of one six-year term would be replaced by a four-year term with the possibility of reelection. The compromise also drops the requirement that the president be Roman Catholic.
Menem agreed to some reduction of the president's broad powers and guarantees for the political independence of the judiciary.
The deal produced a sudden 180-degree change in Argentine politics, dominated until now by a stiff confrontation between the ruling Peronist Party and the opposition. Chicago schools reopen
The doors of the nation's third-largest school system were open yesterday, after Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar signed a bill rescuing Chicago's public schools. The measure, which allows the schools to borrow $378 million over the next two years and adopt policies meant to save money, was a source of bitter political wrangling between Democratic legislators and the Republican governor. Nigerian strike
A strike grounded planes and closed businesses in Nigeria yesterday as workers protested the government's decision to raise fuel prices by 700 percent.
The military-installed government imposed the prices last week to help ease the country's crushing deficit. The strike is the fourth since the military voided results of June presidential elections. Abortion rulings
Ruling on two abortion issues yesterday, the Supreme Court:
* Let stand a Mississippi law requiring requiring unmarried girls who seek abortions to get the consent of both parents or a judge's permission. The justices, without comment, turned away a constitutional challenge to the law.
* Let stand a trespassing conviction for a woman who says her concern for the unborn justified her trespassing crime at a Kansas abortion clinic. Lawyers had urged the high court to use her case to ``reconsider whether or not it is now necessary to determine when human life begins.'' US economy jumps
A big increase in auto manufacturing helped boost output at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities in October by 0.8 percent, the biggest increase in 11 months, the government said yesterday.
Economists were expecting the large October increase and pointed to it as another sign of economic improvement this fall after a dismal first half. October was the fifth straight month in which the indicator went up.