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EUROPENATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner said yesterday that the Western alliance would soon decide to scrap short-range nuclear weapons in Europe. He said defense ministers of the 16 allies would probably make a formal decision on these battlefield nuclear weapons at a November summit.... In a widening of the ongoing battle between Serbia and Croatia, Croatia shut down the main oil pipeline that supplies the Serbian Republic and the Serb-dominated Yugoslav Army. MIDDLE EAST One of five US hostages held in Lebanon will be freed within days, Seyyed Hussein Musawi, the chief of Islamic Amal, an offshoot of the Iranian-backed Hizbullah organization, told UPI yesterday. Musawi, who is widely believed to be close to the kidnappers of nine Westerners, did not name the American expected to be released.... Iraq still has a large stock of Soviet-made missiles and has even tried to rebuild its weapons, indicating that it has a "master plan" for its weapons program, a UN official said Wednesday. Before the 1980-88 war with Iran, Baghdad had a total of 800 Scud missiles, some of which it used in that war as well as against allied forces and Israel during the Persian Gulf war. UN teams have destroyed some of the remaining missiles, but UN inspectors were not able to determine what happened to the rest.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC China and Vietnam announced yesterday after historic talks they have agreed to hold a summit this year, the first in public since the 1970s, and move toward normal relations by resuming economic, cultural, and other ties. The announcement came in a statement issued after a visit to Beijing by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam.

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ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE Lead levels in Greenland ice have dropped more than seven-fold in the last 20 years, apparently due to pollution reduction associated with the phaseout of leaded gasoline, a team of French and Soviet scientists said Wednesday in Washington.... Genetic or DNA "fingerprints" may not positively identify a person because key measurements are unreliable and vary depending on who does the measuring, a researcher said. A study comparing measurements of a control sample of genetic material by five different FBI technicians found each technician's measurements differed, said Martin Shapiro, a psychology professor at Emory University in Atlanta.

LOOKING AHEAD Saturday: In South Africa, Inkatha, African National Council, and the government meet to sign a peace accord. Sunday: Swedish general elections. Monday: In Washington, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee begins hearings on the nomination of Robert Gates as director of the CIA.

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