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POLITICS President Bush told NATO leaders the US will keep troops in Europe as long as the allies want them. He dismissed talk of a ``peace dividend'' created by defense cuts, saying any money saved should be used for deficit reduction rather than domestic spending. M. Danny Wall, the nation's top thrift regulator, resigned Monday after weeks of public criticism for his handling of the collapse of a California savings and loan. The Justice Department says it will conduct an investigation into possible criminal activities by former housing secretary Samuel Pierce.


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The Navy says it used ``minimum force'' in a confrontation with a Greenpeace vessel trying to prevent a test of the Navy's Trident missile. The environmentalist's ship was left with a three-foot hole in its hull. The EPA moved Monday to restrict the use of the fungicide EEDC on food crops, citing a cancer risk. NASA is reviewing whether to proceed with a planned Dec. 18 launch of the space shuttle Columbia. Five environmental groups Monday sued the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, charging the agencies have not protected the endangered gray wolf and grizzly bear in a Montana national forest.


The Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries Monday condemned the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, which crushed the ``Prague Spring'' reform movement. More than 150,000 East Germans demonstrated Monday night against alleged corruption by the nation's former leaders. Several speakers advocated reunification with West Germany. Bulgaria's justice minister says bills granting freedom of association and assembly and reforms in the penal code will be debated when parliament meets Dec. 14.


In Manila, Philippine troops advanced on rebel positions in the capital's financial district yesterday. About 5,000 Filipino and foreign civilians were trapped by the fighting, despite efforts to evacuate them. The PLO has told US officials it will not support Secretary of State James Baker III's peace plan unless it is allowed to form the Palestinian delegation to peace talks, something Israel opposes. Tank and mortar clashes erupted across Beirut's Green Line yesterday, causing concern that Lebanon is heading for all-out war.


Officials in Guatemala say the Central American summit will be held Dec. 10 to Dec. 12 in Costa Rica instead of in Nicaragua, and that all five regional leaders will attend. Leftist rebels in El Salvador fired Soviet-made heat-seeking missiles at Salvadoran jets during air attacks Monday, but missed their targets, the armed forces said. Meanwhile, the government eased a nationwide curfew and allowed radio news programs back on the air.

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