INTEREST RATES PREDICTED TO RISE The Federal Reserve may not be slamming the brakes on the economy, but it is easing off the accelerator. As a result, consumers and businesses can expect a range of interest rates to rise. After the Fed's announcement Tuesday that it was tightening credit for a second time this year, analysts predicted higher rates on everything from adjustable mortgages to auto and small-business loans. But even with the threat that higher short-term interest rates could slow the economy, the Clinton administration has refused to criticize the Fed's action, with President Clinton declaring yesterday that ``the economy is on the rise, you bet it is.'' No Pollard release

Attorney General Janet Reno has recommended that President Clinton reject a request for a pardon for confessed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, administration officials said yesterday. They said President Clinton is unlikely to overrule the recommendation. European Union pact

The European Union signed a partnership and cooperation agreement with Ukraine yesterday, the first such pact with a former Soviet republic. The pact envisions a future free-trade area between the two following an assessment in 1998 of Ukraine's move to a market economy. Mexican elections

Peace negotiator Manuel Camacho Solis on Tuesday ruled out a run for the presidency that could have split the party that has ruled Mexico for 65 years. The announcement calmed months of uncertainty about the Aug. 21 presidential election. Mr. Camacho's popular and prominent role in the peace talks and his obvious unhappiness at being passed over for the presidency had created growing speculation that he might try to replace the PRI candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio, or jump to another party to challenge him. Congressional fast

Fifteen members of the US Congress yesterday said they are going without food to draw attention to the plight of people who are hungry every day. The three-day fast was organized by Rep. Tony Hall (D) of Ohio. Mr. Hall said he organized it to remind himself and his colleagues that many Americans don't get enough to eat. Members will participate in all or part of the program. Durable goods orders down

Orders to US factories for durable goods fell a larger-than-expected 2.5 percent in February, the first decline since last July, the government said yesterday. After six straight advances, the turnaround was led by a reversal of the surge in defense and aircraft orders. New pigskin plays

The National Football League is adopting the two-point conversion in hopes of livening up a game that often has become nothing more than a long-range duel between field-goal kickers. The new rule means football teams will have the option of going for two points after a touchdown by running or passing the ball into the end zone.

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