NATO PLANES ATTACK SERB BASE In the largest attack in NATO's 45-year history, about 39 allied warplanes yesterday bombed a Serb air base in Croatia used to launch attacks in northwestern Bosnia. The bombing came at the request of the UN peacekeeping force in Bosnia. Reports say there were some hits on the base and no losses among allied aircraft. Before the strike, UN officials reported that Serbs, backed by Muslim forces, attacked Bosnian government troops in Bosnia's Bihac pocket; Sarajevo, Tuzla, and other areas were also hit. In Sarajevo, two missiles hit the Bosnian presidency and a nearby government building, injuring three. Many UN personnel were evacuated from bases in two areas of Serb-held Croatia on Sunday. Mideast agreement reached

PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Islamic militants agreed on a formula to end violence that erupted between Palestinian police and rioters last week, mediators said yesterday.

However, the fundamentalist Hamas group did not sign the accord, and its leader said they still wanted Mr. Arafat to accept responsibility for the Friday killing of 13 people and wounding of many others until an investigation determines who was to blame.

Global crime plan

Top international law officials, meeting in Naples, Italy, began work yesterday on a global plan to combat the growing scourge of organized crime. Delegates from 138 countries will attend the three-day United Nations conference; it is the highest-level gathering ever called by the UN on the issue.

Black graduation rate up

Three-fourths of blacks finished high school last year, but only about a third of them are going to college, the Census Bureau reports. That was up from 67 percent in 1973. Meanwhile, rates are unchanged for whites, at 83 percent, and Hispanics, 61 percent. In 1993, 42 percent of white high school grads went to college. In 1973, the difference between blacks and whites going to college was only 6 percentage points. But for Hispanics, the percentage rose from 29 percent to 36 percent from 1973 to 1993.

Nobel laureate escapes

Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Prize-winning writer, has reached Paris after slipping out of Nigeria, where the military dictatorship seized his passport two months ago. Mr. Soyinka, an outspoken critic of his country's regime, had twice been barred from leaving Nigeria since Sept. 22. He came to Paris to replace a UN travel document authorities also took.

Britain on alert for ducks

An armada of 29,000 plastic toy ducks, turtles, beavers, and frogs are bobbing toward Britain, The Times newspaper reported yesterday. Computer simulation is tracking the toys, which washed overboard from a container ship in the north Pacific in January 1992.

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