GERMANY READIES TOUGH CRIME BILL Germany's law officers will soon have some potent new tools to combat neo-Nazis and organized criminals. An omnibus crime bill, passed yesterday by parliament's lower house, the Bundestag, and expected to win final approval in the upper house tomorrow, represents a big turnaround in the way Germany can conduct its crime-fighting. Much of the legislation is aimed at getting tougher with neo-Nazis. The bill increases from three years to five the maximum sentence for causing bodily injury. In addition, people who deny the Holocaust occurred can be sentenced to up to five years instead of three, while display of neo-Nazi symbols will be banned. Protest in Algeria

Ethnic Berbers staged a general strike and marched in northeastern Algeria yesterday as a show of force against the government and Muslim fundamentalists. The one-day walkout underlined a sharpening split between pro-democracy opposition groups and the military-backed government that has been seeking its own settlement with fundamentalist militants in recent weeks.

NEC decides on Scotland

Japan's NEC Corporation ended weeks of speculation yesterday when it announced it will invest $816 million to build a new chip plant in Scotland in preference to California. Livingston, Scotland, won out over Roseville, Calif., which NEC had also been considering as a location for a plant to make dynamic random-access memory chips.

Discovery in California

No sooner had Discovery and its crew of six made a perfect landing in the Mojave Desert than NASA resumed planning the next space shuttle mission, 10 days away. The interval between Discovery's landing Tuesday and the planned Sept. 30 launch of Endeavour would fall just short of the nine-day record set last year. Discovery's smooth landing followed an 11-day journey highlighted by the first untethered spacewalk in a decade.

Congress raise blocked

Less than two months before Election Day, Congress made the politically correct decision to forgo a pay raise for 1995. House-Senate conferees Tuesday approved an appropriations bill with language blocking the $3,473 raise that lawmakers would have received automatically in January. Congressional pay for all but a handful of leaders will be frozen at $133,600.

Composer Jule Styne

Songwriter Jule Styne, who wrote the music to such classic Broadway shows as ``Gypsy,'' ``Funny Girl,'' and ``Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,'' died Tuesday. The British-born Styne won an Academy Award for the song ``Three Coins in the Fountain,'' from the 1954 film of the same name, and a Tony for ``Hallelujah Baby,'' 1968.

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