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MIDDLE EASTA new book by Seymour Hersh says Israel has a nuclear arsenal far larger than previously suspected and that a principal potential target for the weapons has been the Soviet Union, the New York Times reported yesterday. The Israelis have gone to full nuclear alert three times - twice during the 1973 war and once earlier this year, while Israel was under missile attack from Iraq.... Israeli soldier Yossi Fink, kidnapped in 1986 by Hizbullah guerrillas, has been confirmed dead, military sources in Israel sa id Saturday. Information was provided by United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. Later Saturday, Israel television said a Western hostage held in Beirut will be released within a few days and that there may also be "a limited release" of Shiite prisoners held under Israeli control.... Nearly 30 million Turks voted Sunday in a parliamentary election expected to produce a coalition that will end eight years of rule by the Motherland Party created by President Turgut Ozal. Polls had shown the center-right True Path Party of former Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel would get most seats, but not a clear majority.

UNITED STATES In his new book, "Under Fire," Oliver North says he is convinced Ronald Reagan "knew everything" about the Iran-contra affair when he was president, but he offers no hard evidence. Mr. North also says that he was pressed by an aide to then-Vice President George Bush, a senator, and a Texas millionaire to say Reagan knew nothing about the scheme. The book makes no actual disclosures about President Bush or his nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Robert Gates.... The Senate Intelligence Commit tee voted Friday to approve the nomination of Mr. Gates to head the CIA. The 11-to-4 vote is being read to mean that Mr. Gates will be confirmed by the full Senate.... Clarence Thomas moved one step closer Friday to a seat on the Supreme Court by taking the constitutional oath at an elaborate ceremony at the White House.... An Illinois man who blamed the loss of his left eye on the drug Depo-Medrol has won a $127.6 million jury award from manufacturer Upjohn Company. A Cook County Circuit Court jury made it s decision on grounds that Upjohn failed to warn the medical profession about proper use of the drug.

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EUROPE Already gearing up for the Olympic Games and the Expo world fair in 1992, Spain must now also tackle the problems of its surprise role as host for the long-sought Middle East peace conference. Switzerland had been confident it would be named the venue, but Secretary of State James Baker III startled the world by naming Madrid for the conference, to start Oct. 30. Spain's good relations with all the Middle East parties involved and its connections in the region were factors.... Sexual harassment is a fact of life for up to half of Britain's working women, according to several opinion polls published yesterday.

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