SOMALI RIVALS FINALLY MEET AT TALKS Five days after they gathered for Ethiopian-sponsored peace talks in Addis Ababa, Somalia's two main factions sat down Dec. 7 for their first face-to-face meeting. Absent were the factions' two leaders, Mohamed Farrah Aideed and Mohamed Ali Mahdi, who remained in their hotel suites. The two worked together to overthrow Somalia's dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in January 1991 but split after his downfall because each wanted to be Somalia's leader. They divided Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, in a fierce battle from November 1991 until a UN peace agreement in March 1992 with Mr. Ali Mahdi winning control of the city's north and Mr. Aideed occupying its southern half. Each sent eight members to the meeting with the goal of preparing the agenda when all of Somalia's 16 factions meet later in the week. ``It's still possible the two leaders will meet,'' said a member of Ali Mahdi's delegation. Haiti talks urged
Embattled Haitian Prime Minister Robert Malval called Dec. 6 for new ``broader'' talks with all segments of Haitian society to find a way to restore democracy in the Caribbean island nation. Mr. Malval also told a news conference that he would resign Dec. 15, as he originally planned, but would remain as acting prime minister until a successor could be found. Ivy League first
Behavioral psychologist Judith Rodin was named president of the University of Pennsylvania Dec. 6, becoming the first woman to head an Ivy League school. If approved as expected, the Yale University provost and 1966 Penn graduate will succeed Sheldon Hackney, who was nominated by President Clinton to head the National Endowment for the Humanities. Seoul rice protests
Thousands of angry South Korean farmers, shouting ``no foreign rice,'' demonstrated in Seoul and elsewhere Dec. 7 to protest government moves to lift South Korea's ban on rice imports. Clashes erupted when police blocked protesters trying to march toward the US Embassy to denounce American pressure for the opening of South Korea's rice market. Taiwan student protests
About 70 Taiwanese student protesters demanding the removal of military instructors from universities clashed with police after storming parliament in Taipei Dec. 7. The protesters were dragged away by police only to return later to smash the glass doors of the parliamentary chamber when parliament voted 67 to 52 against banning military instructors. Conservative military instructors have been used by the ruling Nationalist Party to brainwash university students, a university professor and protest leader said. Serbs block convoys
UN officials Dec. 7 rejected Serb claims of innocence in Dec. 6's shelling of Sarajevo and criticized them for blocking supply convoys. UN forces in central Bosnia came under fire. The comments revealed frustration that has been developing for months as UN officials and crews have been repeatedly stymied from delivering aid to people facing severe deprivation because of Bosnia's war. The UN also reported that Bosnian Serbs, who may be acting as a renegade unit, resumed blocking winter supplies and reconstruction materials for the besieged Muslim town Gorazde, violating free-passage accords signed last month. Don Ameche Don Ameche, versatile leading man of 1930s and '40s films whose comeback in the 1980s climaxed with an Oscar as supporting actor in 1985's ``Cocoon,'' died Dec. 6. Already a radio star, he began making films in 1936. When his film career faded in 1948, Ameche moved on to Broadway and later dinner theater and touring musicals. His second film career began in 1983 with ``Trading Places.'' Felix Houphouet-Boigny
Felix Houphouet-Boigny, the sole ruler of the Ivory Coast since its independence from France 33 years ago, died Dec. 6. Houphouet-Boigny was the world's longest-ruling president, and often was called the Grand Old Man of Africa.