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Six Gulf Arab states that control almost half the world's oil reserves meet at an annual summit today in Manama, Bahrain, to try to iron out border disputes and maintain a common stand on potential threats from neighbors Iran and Iraq. Delegates said the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates also want to push ahead ambitious plans for economic integration -- a key to prosperity at a time of contracting oil revenues. The Gulf Cooperation Council heads of stat e were expected to reaffirm support for the Middle East peace process and renew calls for Israeli withdrawal from Syria's Golan Heights, South Lebanon, and Palestinian territories including Arab East Jerusalem.

White House is target -- again

Gunshots pelted the White House grounds Saturday for the second time in less than two months (see photo). One bullet was found on the president's back porch and another reportedly pierced a window. President Clinton slept through the 2 a.m. incident, when shots were fired from the direction of the grassy Ellipse south of the White House. Investigators found four 9-millimeter bullets apparently shot from the same gun, but did not catch the person who fired them.

Elections in Bulgaria

For the first time since they were ousted five years ago, the former Communists hoped to retake power as Bulgarians went to the polls yesterday to elect a new parliament. The Socialist Party, made up of former Communists, has led in opinion polls with about 30 percent support, while the staunchly anticommunist Union of Democratic Forces had about 20 percent. A party representing ethnic Turks was third.

S. America trade bloc

Four presidents signed a trade agreement Saturday that unites the countries along South America's eastern coast from the steamy Amazon jungle to the frosty south. The Mercosur trade bloc of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay will have a population of 200 million people and an economic output of $750 billion a year. The agreement takes effect Jan. 1.

Buchanan may run again

Conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan is looking into making a second bid for the Republican presidential nomination, including forming an exploratory committee to gauge support, a spokesman said in Concord, N.H., Saturday. Mr. Buchanan mounted a strong challenge to then President Bush in the New Hampshire presidential primary in 1992.

Red Sox-Celtics deal?

The Boston Celtics, already flush with cash, are about to get more, $85 million, by selling off a television station, WFXT-TV (Channel 25) to Fox Television Stations Inc. Across town, the Boston Red Sox have made it known they are looking for a buyer. But officials with both teams say that doesn't mean the Celtics are about to buy the Red Sox. But rumors persist.

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