UN POPULATION PROGRAM UNRESOLVED The Vatican, backed strongly by several Latin American states, has blocked agreement on key points of a United Nations action program to stabilize the world's population in the next century. Battle lines were drawn at a turbulent three-week public preparatory meeting at the UN that ended over the weekend with such issues as abortion, family planning, and access to contraception for adolescents still unresolved. Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and, to a lesser extent, Argentina and Venezuela, backed Vatican positions in favor of outlawing abortion under any circumstances and circumscribing family planning to married couples. Many European Union states held off increasing financing for long-range programs until after the document is completed in September at a key population conference in Cairo. The aim of the Cairo conference is to formulate a 20-year program to stabilize the world's population, now 5.7 billion, at 7.27 billion by 2015. Without concerted action, the UN projects an increase to 12.5 billion by the middle of the next century. New Fed officers
President Clinton on Friday nominated two liberal economists Alan Blinder and Janet Yellen to positions on the Federal Reserve Board. Mr. Blinder, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, was nominated as vice chairman. Ms. Yellen, of the University of California at Berkeley, was nominated as a member. In a statement, Mr. Clinton seemed to make a passing reference to the opinion that the central bank sometimes fashioned its policies with insufficient regard for their true impact on people's lives. Some in Washington wonder if these appointments are meant to ease that criticism. Taiwan democracy reforms
Taiwan's governing Nationalist Party yesterday approved constitutional reforms, including a proposal for direct popular presidential elections in 1996. The move is intended to speed the growth of democracy in Taiwan. The president now is elected by the National Assembly, Taiwan's electoral college. Reformers want direct presidential elections, while conservatives oppose the plan, fearing it will lead to independence from China. Trucking strike talks
Representatives of the Teamsters Union and 22 trucking companies held their first meetings with a federal mediator Saturday in an attempt to end a nationwide trucking strike that has lasted several weeks. More meetings were scheduled for yesterday. Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Transportation Secretary Federico Pena asked the two sides to accept mediation, and both agreed Friday. Cuban travel eases
Cuba's foreign minister promised Saturday to ease travel for exiles who want to visit their homeland. Speaking at a conference meant to help end years of hostility between the Communist government and some 1 million exiles, Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina said Cuba is eliminating the requirement that exiles must wait five years after leaving before they can return to the island. Those who leave illegally, without an exit permit, apparently will still have to wait five years. Mr. Robaina spoke at the first meeting between Cuban exiles from the US and 28 other countries and the government of Fidel Castro since 1978. Rwanda airlift, cease-fire
The UN has resumed an airlift of urgently needed medicines and other supplies to the shattered Rwandan capital of Kigali. Rwandan rebels declared a unilateral cease-fire on Saturday, and peace talks were due to take place in neighboring Tanzania yesterday. More than 100,000 people are thought to have died and as many as 2 million have fled their homes because of recent violence unleashed by the death of the Rwandan president in a mysterious plane crash April 6. The UN had to pull out its aid workers, leaving only the Red Cross and some private agencies there to provide humanitarian assistance.