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GULF CRISIS Iraq's ambassador to the US called Wednesday for more time for a diplomatic solution to the Persian Gulf crisis. Sadiq al-Mashat, in London en route to Baghdad, said that a war against Iraq would be a disaster for the world.... As the UN deadline passed for Iraq to leave Kuwait, Iraqi sources in Baghdad said its troops had their fingers on the trigger ready for war if President Bush ordered an attack. In a final appeal at the UN, Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar late Tuesday pledged every effort to solve the Palestinian question, once the ``present crisis ... is resolved.... US-led troops, with tanks and fuel trucks, rolled north toward the Saudi Arabian frontier with Iraq early Wednesday, a French correspondent on the scene reported.... More than two dozen US B-52 bombers have been flown to an undisclosed Middle East nation in range to strike targets in Iraq and Kuwait.


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The widow of Nobel Peace laureate Andrei Sakharov is seeking to return the prize, saying she does not want his name linked with that of fellow Nobelist Mikhail Gorbachev since the bloody crackdown by the Soviet military in Lithuania.... Tens of thousands of Lithuanians filed through the Vilnius sports arena at a public funeral to pay last respects to those killed in Sunday's military assault... In Moscow, President Gorbachev on Tuesday sought to justify the Soviet Army crackdown, while denying personal responsibility for the 14 deaths it caused.... The central Soviet weather bureau on Wednesday called a two-day strike to protest the Kremlin's use of military force in Lithuania, cutting off forecasts for radio, television, and newspapers.... Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Taizo Watanabe said Wednesday that Japan's humanitarian aid to the USSR, in support of perestroika, would be reconsidered if Moscow retreated from reform.... Vadim Bakatin, former Soviet interior minister, also condemned the use of troops in Lithuania as illegal.


President Bush Tuesday decided to release $42.5 million in military aid to the Salvadoran government that had been blocked by Congress. The administration was angered earlier this month by the deaths of three US servicemen, apparently at the hands of Salvadoran leftists.... Jorge Luis Ochoa, the No. 2 leader of the Medellin cocaine cartel and one of Colombia's most-hunted fugitives, surrendered Tuesday to a justice official.... Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere, has boosted security at its petroleum installations for fear of terrorist attacks if Persian Gulf war breaks out. President Carlos Andres Perez ordered additional troops to be deployed at all oil fields, refineries and ports.... Thousands of people joined in anti-war protests across Latin America Tuesday, while others girded for a seemingly inevitable conflict or knelt in prayers for peace. An attack against the US Embassy in Panama added to growing fears of anti-American violence if war breaks out in the Persian Gulf, and panicky housewives throughout the region horded food in anticipation of imminent shortages.

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