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The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, or national legislature, said yesterday that Estonia's parliament had acted unconstitutionally in granting itself the right not to apply Soviet laws in Estonian territory. The Estonian parliament adopted a resolution to amend the Estonian constitution, giving itself the right to refuse to apply Soviet legislation in the republic.

Meanwhile, the parliament of a second Baltic republic, Lithuania, met yesterday to consider action similar to Estonia's.

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Poland rehires workers dismissed in labor unrest

About 50 people claimed victory yesterday and ended a five-day fast aimed at forcing officials to rehire the last of about 100 workers dismissed for roles in Poland's worst labor unrest in seven years. Also yesterday, state-run radio announced a Nov. 30 date for a debate between Solidarity leader Lech Walesa with the leader of a government-approved labor union.

Albanians stage protest in Yugoslav province

Thousands of ethnic Albanians marched on the capital of Yugoslavia's Kosovo Province yesterday to support local leaders who are under pressure to resign for allowing the growth of Albanian nationalism. Belgrade Television news showed up to 3,000 Albanian miners marching from the nearby lead-zinc mines at Titova Mitrovica to Pristina.

South Africa bans white racist group

The government banned a white supremacist group yesterday after a self-proclaimed white racist was charged with shooting to death six blacks in Pretoria. Law and Order Minister Adriaan Vlok imposed the ban on the small White Liberation Movement under national emergency regulations. He did not explain why the White Liberation Movement in particular was outlawed.

The gunman, Barend Strydom, has been linked to two extremist organizations but not to the White Liberation Movement.

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Police battle protesters at US Embassy in Seoul

Riot police fired volleys of tear gas yesterday to drive back thousands of farmers chanting ``Drive out the Yankees'' as they tried to march on the US Embassy to demand a halt to American farm imports. Some 2,000 riot police blocked 7,000 farmers and other protesters who tried to get to the embassy in central Seoul. Protesters claimed their farms were threatened by cheap food imports, such as those from the US.

US ousts Iraqi diplomat in retaliation move

The State Department yesterday denounced as ``unjustified'' Iraqi's expulsion of an American diplomat and retaliated by throwing out an Iraqi diplomat stationed here. State department spokesman Charles Redman declined to identify the Iraqi or his job. In Baghdad, diplomats said American Haywood Rankin was asked to leave Iraq after making an unauthorized trip to the north, home of Iraq's estimated 3.5 million Kurds.

`Great Smokeout' enlists help by smokers' friends

Americans hoping to live tobacco-free were determined to stop smoking yesterday in the 12th annual Great American Smokeout. New to the smokeout this year is the ``Back a Quitter'' program. Backers act as buddies to the smokers for the day.

The American Cancer Society, which sponsors the event, estimated that nearly 40 percent of the nation's 50 million smokers took part last year.

Mexican opposition party recognizes Salinas win

The main opposition party Wednesday ended its fight to overturn the results of the July 6 election and said Carlos Salinas de Gortari can legitimize his presidency by ensuring democracy. The conservative National Action Party said, however, that it still maintained that Mr. Salinas, of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, won the presidency in a fraudulent election. It was the first time that a major Mexican opposition party publicly accepted Mr. Salinas's victory.

For the record

Sudanese rebels and a political party in the country's coalition government have signed an agreement calling for a constitutional conference next month to end the civil war in Sudan's south. Justice Department officials have postponed initial indictments in the massive Pentagon purchasing fraud scandal while they debate whom to charge first, department officials say.

NASA pronounced the space shuttle Atlantis ``ready to fly'' and set Dec. 1 as its launch date.


A Nov. 15 article on wetlands protection incorrectly stated that agriculture has destroyed as much as 80 percent of American wetlands in the last 300 years. The statement should have read that of the wetlands destroyed in that period, 80 percent have been lost to agriculture.

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