MANDELA PONDERS AMNESTY President Mandela met yesterday with a right-wing leader and said he would consider an amnesty for white extremists convicted of political crimes, such as bomb blasts that killed 21 people this year. Mr. Mandela has stressed a desire to mend racial splits after decades of apartheid. His meeting with Ferdi Hartzenberg, leader of the pro-apartheid Conservative Party, showed he wants to keep channels open with whites who oppose black rule. After the talks, Mandela said he was willing to meet again with Mr. Hartzenberg and with Eugene TerreBlanche, leader of the neo-Nazi Afrikaner Resistance Movement that vows to fight a black-led government. Both groups boycotted last month's all-race election, won by Mandela's African National Congress. Gulf chemical attacks

Strong evidence exists that Iraq attacked United States troops with chemical weapons during the Gulf war, according to a congressional report released yesterday by Sen. Donald Riegle (D) of Michigan. It lists more than a dozen incidents where US troops appear to have been exposed to chemical agents, mainly from rocket attacks. It disputes Pentagon contentions that there is no evidence of Iraqi chemical attacks during the 1991 war, and criticizes the US Department of Defense for not having the capability to confirm whether troops were exposed to biological agents. Aftershock shakes L.A.

A moderate earthquake rattled the Los Angeles area yesterday, another aftershock to the devastating Northridge earthquake in January. There were no reports of injury or damage. The quake with a magnitude of 4.5, was centered about 20 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Northridge earthquake, which struck Jan. 17, had a magnitude of 6.7. There have been more than 8,000 aftershocks since the earthquake struck, and several have measured 5.0 or more. Rwandans ignore cease-fire

Rebel and army gunners ignored a truce in Rwanda's capital yesterday, pounding Kigali's center with mortar fire that hit a Red Cross hospital. Although both sides agreed to extend a shaky truce for a third day yesterday, UN officials could not get them to hold fire long enough for the UN special envoy's convoy to leave the city for talks with the interim government. Idaho nominee

Idaho voters overwhelmingly chose an American Indian as the Democratic candidate for governor Tuesday. Larry EchoHawk, a Pawnee, is vying to become the nation's first native-American governor. Mr. EchoHawk is Idaho's attorney general. His fall opponent will be Phil Batt, Idaho's Republican Party chairman.

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