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MIDDLE EAST AND GULF US and British transport planes started dropping relief supplies Sunday to hundreds of thousands of Kurds fleeing Iraq. The operation will continue Monday and Tuesday. More than 1.6 million Kurds are believed to have fled their homes in northern Iraq to escape persecution by Baghdad.... US Secretary of State James Baker III, in Turkey Sunday to inspect camps filled with Kurdish refugees, warned Iraq not to interfere with the relief effort. He will travel on early in the week to Israel, Egypt, and Syria in quest of a wider peace settlement.... Palestinian and Lebanese representatives will confer on normalizing the Palestinian armed and political presence in Lebanon, PLO representative Zeid Wehbe said.... Hamza Abuzeid, a Palestinian convicted of killing three senior PLO leaders in Tunis in January, will be executed in Yemen later this month, PLO sources said. Abuzeid posed as a deserter from the breakaway extremist group led by Abu Nidal to infiltrate the PLO.... American troops can now get a taste of home , in fact an entire bucket of it - original or extra crispy - at two reopened outlets of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kuwait.


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Most Americans believe the US should not get get further involved in rebellions in Iraq, while half feel it should provide humanitarian aid for those fleeing the fighting, according to a poll by Newsweek magazine. Sixty-seven percent of the 751 adults polled Thursday and Friday agreed that President Bush has correctly served US interests by staying out of the internal Iraqi conflicts.... Police in Palm Beach, Fla., questioned Patrick Kennedy on Saturday about an alleged rape at the Kennedy family's Flor ida estate and planned to interview his father, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy Sunday. Police said that a 29-year-old Florida woman had identified William Kennedy Smith, a nephew of the senator's, as the man who sexually assaulted her early on the morning of March 30.... NASA's Gamma Ray Observatory satellite, which was to be launched from the Atlantis shuttle Sunday, may help prove whether a voracious black hole called the "great annihilator" is lurking near the heart of Earth's Milky Way galaxy.... Eight adventur ers took off by dog sled Saturday from the Alaska Gold Rush town of Nome, heading up the Bering Sea coast in a 900-mile race that will end in the Soviet Union in about two weeks.


The three-party Cambodian resistance agreed to a new round of peace talks tentatively scheduled for this month.... Officials from India and Pakistan signed two agreements Saturday to reduce military tension along the border between the two countries.... Japan and China have agreed on a visit to China this year by Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu... The US plans to withdraw some 176,000 troops from Germany, instead of the 56,000 originally planned, according to the German newspaper Die Welt am Sonnt ag.

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