U.S., CUBA DISCUSS FLOOD OF REFUGEES In an effort to halt the flood of Cubans trying to reach the United States, US officials met a Cuban delegation yesterday to discuss the exodus and the possibilities of legal migration. The talks at the US mission to the United Nations come after more than 16,000 Cubans have fled their homeland in the past month. The exodus began when Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz responded to Aug. 5 riots in Havana by suggesting that he would no longer stop those trying to leave. As he left for the talks, Cuban delegation head Ricardo Alarcon said the only way to stop the exodus was for the US to end its 32-year economic embargo against Cuba. Washington has long rejected that demand, and US officials have said current talks will be limited to migration questions. Mayors watch crime bill

United States mayors want the newly enacted anticrime bill put into effect as quickly as possible so they can begin hiring more police officers. The US Conference of Mayors on Wednesday announced a task force to prod Congress and the Clinton administration along as money is appropriated to pay for the new anticrime measures.

China decries sanctions

The United States should lift all sanctions on China if it wants China to buy more US-made products, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday. But US Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, who concluded a trade mission in China this week, says the US has no plans to lift the remaining sanctions imposed after Beijing crushed the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Peace possibilities Clinton trims pay hike

Millions of federal workers will get a slightly smaller pay increase than they may have expected next year. President Clinton, while on vacation on Martha's Vineyard, directed Wednesday that the pay raise for white-collar federal employees be limited to 2 percent, instead of 2.6 percent as Congress had intended.

South African strikes

Mine security personnel used stun grenades and rubber bullets yesterday to quell labor disturbances at one of South Africa's biggest gold mines, the owners said. Labor unrest, either backed by unions or unofficial, has increased in South Africa since the black-majority government of President Nelson Mandela came to power in May. The biggest and costliest strike since Mandela's installation is in the car-manufac-

turing industry, where 25,000 workers have been on strike since Aug. 1. US, N. Korea talks

The United States has agreed to talk to North Korea next week in Pyongyang about establishing diplomatic ties with the hard-line Communist regime. State Department officials said Thursday that the negotiations, apparently the first ever with the United States in the North Korean capital, would concern arrangements to set up liaison offices in the two capitals.

Parks's assailant arrested

The man suspected of attacking civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks in her home Tuesday night was captured Wednesday by several neighborhood residents who held him until police arrived, authorities said. Police said the man, who has not been charged, was arrested after police distributed descriptions of the assailant.

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