The Middle East peace process, with its successes and problems, was the top news story for the second consecutive year in 1994, according to a poll of the world's news media by The Associated Press.

The year brought limited Palestinian autonomy, Yasser Arafat's return to Gaza and the West Bank, and a joint Nobel Peace Prize for Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. But it also brought terrorist attacks as Palestinian divisions erupted in violence.

Newspapers, news agencies, and radio and TV stations outside the United States were asked to list the top 10 news stories of the year (there is a separate poll of domestic news media). AP received 111 ballots from 42 countries. Stories below are ranked according to point totals: a first-place vote got 10 points, down to one point for a 10th-place selection. (The number of first-place votes is in parentheses.)

1. The Middle East peace process, 773 points (25 first-place votes).

2. Rwanda's ethnic massacres and refugee crisis, 684 (21).

3. South Africa's elections, 667 (18).

4. Bosnia's civil war, 607 (13).

5. The United States congressional elections, 362 (5).

6. North Korea's nuclear crisis and the death of leader Kim Il Sung, 298 (7).

7. The Estonian ferry disaster, 262 (5).

8. The US intervention in Haiti, 236 (4).

9. Northern Ireland peace prospects, 221.

10. Elections that ousted Italy's scandal-plagued parties, 195.

The second 10 stories and their point totals:

11. The GATT world trade agreement (174 points).

12. The Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Indonesia (170).

13. Violence blamed on Islamic fundamentalism in Algeria and elsewhere (142).

14. The US and Cuba agreeing to end the boat exodus of refugees (129).

15. The marital troubles of Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana (120).

16. Expansion of the European Union (113).

17. India's plague (103).

18. Freelance terrorist Carlos the Jackal's arrest by France (100).

19. Iraq threatens Kuwait, then recognizes its borders (98).

20. Turmoil in Russia and other former Soviet republics (95).

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