MANY STATES MISS CLEAN-AIR DEADLINE Twenty-seven states are lagging behind in complying with the 1990 Clean Air Act, which requires states to develop formal plans to improve air quality, a coalition of environmental groups said yesterday. The Clean Air Network said many states have missed interim deadlines leading to the development of strategies to reduce air pollution. The 1990 law requires 35 states and the District of Columbia to submit formal plans to the Environmental Protection Agency by today. The remaining 15 states already are in compliance with federal air-quality standards. Last week, the EPA gave the 12 states from Virginia to Maine more time to comply because the federal agency itself had not yet decided whether to approve a proposed strategy for reducing auto emissions in the Northeast. Peres raps Syria

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said yesterday that Syria could have gotten back all of the Golan Heights if it had made peace with Israel when Egypt did 15 years ago. Mr. Peres criticized President Hafez al-Assad's approach to talks, which have made little headway despite President Clinton's personal intervention.

Swedes choose Europe

Swedes voted by 52.2 to 46.9 percent to join the European Union in a referendum Sunday after deciding at the last minute that economic gains outweighed concerns about losing sovereignty to Brussels. The outcome means Sweden will join Austria and Finland in entering the EU on Jan. 1, and it increases the prospectthat deeply skeptical Norwegians will be inspired by their closest neighbor and vote yes in their referendum on Nov. 28. Pakistan political clash

Rowdy lawmakers shouted down the president and waged fistfights in Pakistan's parliament yesterday, while government and opposition supporters scuffled in the corridors, stairwells, and lobby. The political free-for-all began yesterday about 20 minutes into Pakistani President Farooq Leghari's state-of-the-union address, which mostly praised the performance of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government in the past year.

New Geneva newspaper

A Swiss lawyer and an international team of journalists yesterday launched Geneva's first English-language daily newspaper since the late 19th century, aiming to tap the region's growing foreign community.

The Geneva Post, a 12-page broadsheet in the style of many leading newspapers in the United States and Britain, will appear from Monday to Friday.

Shuttle diverted

Atlantis landed in California's Mojave Desert yesterday as tropical storm Gordon bore down on the east coast of Florida and the shuttle's home base. It was clear several hours before a scheduled touchdown at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that weather would prevent Atlantis's ending its 11-day atmospheric research flight there.

Japanese Antarctic dig

Japanese scientists plan to dig down as deep as 3,300 feet into Antarctic ice to study weather and environmental changes over the last 100,000 years. A group of 56 left yesterday by ship for Antartica, the 36th Japanese expedition there since 1956.

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