US TRADE DEFICIT WORSENS IN FEBRUARY The US foreign trade deficit worsened dramatically in February as the imbalance on merchandise trade shot up to the highest level in six years, the government reported April 19. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit in goods and services was $9.71 billion in February, a 46.1 percent increase from January's imbalance of $6.64 billion. The sharp deterioration was unexpected. Many analysts had been forecasting that the February deficit would post a slight improvement. Policy dispute in Japan
Japan's ruling coalition failed to resolve a dispute over tax reforms April 19, delaying the expected selection of Foreign Minister Tsutomu Hata as the next prime minister. The delay did not put Hata's succession in doubt, parliamentary officials said. Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa quit on April 8 after a personal loan scandal. Meanwhile, Michio Watanabe, the power broker who had threatened to shake up Japan's political world by running for prime minister, withdrew from the race. Rwandan stadium shelled
Rwandan Army troops fired mortar rounds into a UN-guarded stadium sheltering thousands of people April 19, killing about 20 and wounding 50, a Red Cross official said. UN efforts to achieve a cease-fire and bring food and medicine to victims of Rwanda's ethnic strife were almost totally halted, said Abdul Kabia, executive director of UN forces in Rwanda. Fighting in Cambodia
Khmer Rouge guerrillas on April 19 drove out government forces that had occupied the guerrilla headquarters at Pailin for a month, a government official said. Government troops withdrew under heavy guerrilla attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Khmer Rouge then recaptured Pailin, said a Khmer Rouge spokesman in Phnom Penh, who also demanded anonymity. However, battlefield claims by the Communist Khmer Rouge often are said to be unreliable. The deputy governor of Battambang Province, where Pailin is located, said that ``it is not true to say that the Khmer Rouge has completely occupied the Pailin area.'' Israeli arrests
Israeli soldiers and undercover agents arrested up to 500 Islamic activists linked to the armed organizations that have carried out a series of suicide attacks that killed 13 Israelis, the Army reported April 19. Scores of activists were rounded up overnight throughout the occupied territories, with more than 200 from the Gaza Strip and 200 plus from the West Bank, the Army spokesman said. The Army said those arrested were from every level of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas.