BOMBS,TRIALS SHOW ANTI-FOREIGN FEELINGS A letter bomb exploded in a Vienna law office yesterday seriously injuring a clerk in the ninth such attack in the past four days, Austrian television said. The attacks are apparently directed at people or groups active on behalf of foreigners and minorities. Friday two letter bombs injured their recipients, a priest and a television personality. Three further letter bombs were defused. But Sunday, Vienna Mayor Helmut Zilk opened a package and detonated a device, injuring his left hand. In a related situation, a verdict was expected yesterday in the trial of two neo-Nazis accused of firebombing a Turkish residential area in Moelln last year, killing three people. Instead, however, the case was thrown into turmoil when defense lawyers produced a man they said was a new suspect. The trial is seen as a test of the German justice system. Authorities have been criticized for poorly run investigations and light sentences in such cases. In another ruling expected this week, a court may be forced for lack of evidence to free three youths held for a May 29 firebombing in Solingen that killed five Turks. Twenty-six people have been killed and hundreds wounded in attacks on foreigners since Germany's reunification. Israel frees prisoners
Israel has agreed to release 3,500 Palestinian prisoners in about a week and agreed in principle to free thousands more over the next few months, a PLO negotiator said yesterday. The first releases would come around Dec. 13, the target date for the start of Israeli troop withdrawal from the occupied Gaza Strip and Jericho on the West Bank. Prisoner releases could deflect attention from an expected delay in the start of the Army pullout. Overall, Israeli and PLO negotiators still say they differ on many key issues. Meanwhile, disenchantment over the peace accord has been growing on both sides as Jewish settlers and Palestinian extremists step up their violent campaign to derail the agreement. Since the Sept. 13 signing of the Israel-PLO agreement of principles, 36 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed. Mellon/Dreyfus merger
Mellon Bank and The Dreyfus Corporation, one of the nation's best-known mutual fund companies, yesterday announced plans to merge in a deal valued at $1.85 billion. The two companies said in a statement that the combination will create a diversified financial services company with revenue of more than $3 billion and about $215 billion in funds under management. The merger was a result of consumer demand to have a variety of financial services available from a single source, the companies said.
Boy Scouts ruling
The Supreme Court yesterday refused to require the Boy Scouts of America to let in boys who won't acknowledge a duty to God. The court, acting without comment on the appeal of an 11-year-old boy from Illinois, left intact a ruling that said the Scouts organization is not subject to a federal anti-bias law. The law at issue bans religious discrimination by public accommodations. This suit was the first of its kind to reach the court. German spymaster convicted
Closing out the cold war's most daring espionage career, a court yesterday convicted former Communist East German intelligence boss Markus Wolf of spying, treason and bribery. The court sentenced Wolf to six years in prison but let him stay free on bond pending appeal. Known as the ``spy without a face'' for his elusive undercover operations, Wolf inspired writers of spy thrillers. Now he is writing his own books. Frank Zappa, musician
Musician and composer Frank Zappa, who fused rock, jazz, and classical music behind lyrics of scathing, often raunchy satire and social commentary, died Saturday. Zappa made his name in the late 1960s with his band the Mothers of Invention. He recorded nearly 50 albums, either with the band or as a solo artist and his classical compositions were performed by major orchestras.