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PERSIAN GULF AND MIDDLE EAST The Bush administration is considering reconvening Congress to debate a resolution authorizing the use of military action to force Iraq to leave Kuwait, a White House official said Wednesday. The resolution would be similar to the one the UN Security Council was to vote on yesterday authorizing any means necessary to convince Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from Kuwait.... Egyptians trickled to polling booths yesterday in a slow start to general elections boycotted by three major opposition parties, which charge that the process is rigged. The ruling National Democratic Party is assured of being returned with an overwhelming majority.... Archbishop Hilarion Capucci arrived in Rome from Baghdad with 68 freed Italian hostages and said he would go back next week for more. There are still 194 Italians among the 2,000 or so Western and Japanese men held in Iraq and occupied Kuwait.


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In Washington, former Federal Home Loan Bank Board chairman Edwin Gray said Wednesday he thought four senators acted improperly, but did not break any laws, when they tried to coax him to change a banking regulation to benefit the now bankrupt Lincoln Savings & Loan Association California thrift.... In Sacramento, Calif., Gov. George Deukmejian ordered the state Legislature Wednesday to meet in a special session to consider $1 billion in proposed emergency spending cuts and transfers. State tax collections have unexpectedly dropped $408 million below projections just four months into the current fiscal year; a $4.3 billion budget shortfall is forecast for the next fiscal year.


The Kenyan government yesterday denied allegations by Amnesty International that hundreds of government critics had been arrested and several tortured in a crackdown on supporters of democratic reform. The London-based human rights group called for the immediate release of hundreds of ``prisoners of conscience'' it said were jailed after nationwide riots last July. The riots stemmed from the banning of a Nairobi rally for multiparty politics.... France yesterday said it has decided to reinforce its military contingent in Chad. A Libyan-backed rebellion has threatened the government of Chad. Libya, Chad's northern neighbor, is reportedly mobilizing its armed forces.... South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu yesterday convened a summit of black leaders to discuss black unity and factional violence.


Sunday: All-Germany elections to be held.... Monday: Colorado State Snow Sculpting Championships, through Dec. 9.... Wednesday: Bureau of Labor Statistics will release productivity statistics.

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