U.S. FIRMS PLAN TO HIKE INVESTMENT American businesses plan to increase investments in new building and equipment by 8 percent this year on top of last year's 7.1 percent rise, the government said yesterday. If the spending plans are realized, it would be the biggest jump in capital investment since an 11.4 percent increase in 1989. Capital investment has played an important part in the current economic expansion that has helped cause some wild gyrations in financial markets. Economic strength has triggered concerns of rising inflation and interest rates. Chinese unemployment

China admitted to an extremely serious unemployment problem Wednesday, saying that moves away from the socialist welfare state toward a capitalist system had put unprecedented strains on the economy. The moves have exposed huge failings in many money-losing state enterprises, which are still the primary job-providers for China's 1.2 billion people. The New China News Agency said China would try to start registering its unemployed. The unemployment problem strikes to the heart of Communist Party leaders, who worry that social unrest could shake their hold on power. Honduras plot

Honduran President Carlos Roberto Reina said yesterday a foiled plot to assassinate him was not politically motivated. But he did not explain how his killing would have served the plotters' interests. Mr. Reina's private secretary said one possibility was that the conspirators appeared to be drug traffickers. Trucking strike

Scattered violence broke out on picket lines around the US as Teamsters on strike against some of the nation's biggest trucking companies sought to prevent delivery of everything from toilet paper to auto parts. As the walkout by up to 75,000 drivers, dock workers, and mechanics entered its second day yesterday, its biggest effect had been to create more business for nonunion trucking companies. It is the Teamsters' first nationwide strike since 1979. IRA cease-fire

The Irish Republican Army is unlikely to extend its three-day cease-fire, the leader of its allied political party said yesterday. Gerry Adams, president of the Sinn Fein party, laid the blame on British Prime Minister John Major for refusing to agree to talks. The IRA says the cease-fire will end Friday. Both the British and Irish governments expressed disappointment that the IRA only offered a 72-hour cease-fire.

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