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ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Students in Burma went back to school yesterday after a three-year break when the military government reopened all colleges and universities closed since a failed pro-democracy uprising in 1988.... The United States has offered the Philippines large amounts of weapons as part of a deal to allow US bases to remain in the country, a Philippine official said yesterday. Washington wants a treaty that would allow keep C lark air base and Subic naval base open for at least 10 years. Manila has offered a seven-year deal.... Nepali communists and liberals vied neck and neck for power yesterday after the first free general election in 32 years. Early results showed the Nepali Congress had won 64 Parliament seats and the United Marxist-Leninist party and its allies 57.... Heavy rains produced severe flooding in northeastern MD BOBangladesh, killing at least 47 people and trapping some 1 million others.


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In Cairo, Egypt's Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel Meguid was elected yesterday secretary-general of the 21-member Arab League.... Secretary of State James Baker III met Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir yesterday in Jerusalem. Baker has been trying to settle differences between Israel, Palestinians, and Arab states over the structure of regional peace talks.... Ministers from the eight Arab states that formed an anti-Iraq all iance during the Persian Gulf war met yesterday in Cairo. The meeting follows Egypt's surprise decision last week to withdraw its 35,000-strong force from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.... UN Security Council members were expected to approve a resolution this week establishing a war-damage fund into which Iraq is to pay its future oil revenues.


New York Mayor David Dinkins headed to Washington, D.C., yesterday to plead for help for America's recession-plagued cities.... In Sacramento, Gov. Pete Wilson signed legislation Tuesday that grants a single company a tax break for construction of a giant solar-energy generating facility in the California desert.


French Prime Minister Michel Rocard has resigned and been replaced by former European Affairs Minister Edith Cresson, a spokesman for President Francois Mitterand said yesterday. In Yugoslavia, Stipe Mesic, a Croat, was to take over the presidency yesterday, becoming the federation's first noncommunist president. But Mesic needed at least five of the presidency's eight member votes to secure the post. The republics of Serbia, which has three votes, and MD BOMontenegro appeared ready to vote against him.... British Prime Minister John Major was set to intervene yesterday in the deadlock over talks on the future of Northern Ireland. Britain's Northern Ireland Minister Peter Brooke, seeking to establish local government in Belfast, demanded that squabbling Catholic and Protestant politicians agree on a compromise formula for talks.

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