ALGERIANS THREATEN FRENCH REPRISALS Police fanned out across Paris yesterday after Algerian fundamentalists threatened reprisals if France failed to free 17 suspected Muslim militants it is detaining under heavy guard. About 3,000 people were stopped overnight on the streets of the capital. France on Saturday dismissed a demand by the military wing of the Islamic Salvation Front to free the 17 Muslims seized by authorities following Wednesday's guerrilla attack on a French Embassy housing compound in Algiers in which seven French officials were killed. The militant Algerian Armed Islamic Group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Guard on duty in Havana

Police guarded the Havana waterfront after a rare show of political unrest in Cuba, sparked by a wave of refugees fleeing the island nation. President Fidel Castro Ruz gave no figures on the damages caused by the melee in which thousands of antigovernment demonstrators battled police on Friday and looted stores. The Mexican government news agency Notimex said the crowd was drawn to the harbor Friday by reports that fleeing Cubans had hijacked a ferry. Hiroshima remembers Clinton complaint

President Clinton, addressing a $1 million fundraiser for Michigan Democrats in Detroit Saturday, said Republicans were refusing to compromise on health-care legislation. A Republican senator earlier Saturday said GOP legislators simply wanted to go slow to ensure that Congress enacts the best possible reform package, and a Newsweek magazine poll released Saturday found that 65 percent of those surveyed said Congress should wait until next year to pass health-care legislation. Dissension in the NAACP

The chairman of the NAACP's board of directors said he didn't know in advance about a settlement of up to $332,400 between executive director Benjamin Chavis and a woman who claims Mr. Chavis sexually harassed her. But William Gibson said he would stand by Chavis. Several people on the 64-member board, which also was not told of the settlement, have demanded that Chavis and Mr. Gibson resign. NASA robot topples

The spiderlike Dante II robot explorer has fallen over and must be airlifted out of a volcanic crater strewn with boulders. NASA scientists considered abandoning the $1.7 million robot but instead decided Saturday to try to have a helicopter lift it out of Alaska's Mt. Spurr, where it lay on its side, its camera still panning the terrain. Caterpillar probed

The US Justice Department is investigating allegations that Caterpillar Inc. uses illegal tactics to control the spare-parts market for its equipment. The government's interest was prompted by several lawsuits filed against the company, which include allegations that Caterpillar forced its dealers to stop buying parts from other companies.

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