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News In Brief

Talks on crisis 'hot line' thaw US-Soviet ties a bit

Delegations from the United States and the Soviet Union quietly resumed talks Wednesday aimed at modernizing the ''hot line'' that for the last 21 years has given the leaders of the two countries a private channel for crisis communications.

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The current hot-line system uses a slow, 66-word-a-minute teleprinter. The United States has proposed replacing or supplementing that with a modern system with high-speed facsimile capability. This state-of-the-art communications system would also permit the almost-instantaneous transmission of maps, charts, pictures, and other graphics.

The talks are one of the few areas of Soviet-American contact at a time when overall relations are cool.

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