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EUROPEThe town of Vukovar in the breakaway republic of Croatia fell yesterday after 85 days of fighting between secessionist forces and the Serbian-dominated federal Army, Serbian officials in Zagreb said. Croatian authorities did not confirm the development. The capture of Vukovar would unify Serb-dominated enclaves in the eastern Slavonija region. Meanwhile, a cease-fire reportedly held for a fourth day in Dubrovnik. A Yugoslav journalist was killed Saturday during fighting in rebel Croatia, the 17th reporte r known to have died in the conflict.... The Russian government has decided to expel former East German leader Erich Honecker from its territory, its justice minister said Saturday. Russian President Boris Yeltsin has said that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was blocking his efforts to have Honecker returned to Germany, where he is wanted on charges of killing about 200 would-be refugees on the Berlin Wall and at the former inter-German border.... Russia and three other big republics restated a pledge t o repay their share of the old Soviet debt but rejected responsibility Saturday for any new foreign loans negotiated without their agreement.... Boris Yeltsin has fired the first shots in his battle to overhaul Russia's economy by freeing foreign trade, giving people the right to own hard currency and letting market forces decide the rouble's rate. UNITED STATES Rocket engineers yesterday started the shuttle Atlantis's countdown to blastoff Tuesday on a 10-day flight highlighted by the launch of a sophisticated missile early warning satellite.... The Dow Jones industrial average, the New York Stock Exchange's most closely watched barometer, suffered its biggest decline in two years Friday when it fell 120.31 points, the Dow's fifth largest single-day point loss.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN A fragile peace descended on war-torn El Salvador over the weekend after the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front announced a cease-fire during UN-sponsored peace talks in Mexico last Thursday.... Police are searching for three Rio de Janeiro drug traffickers they believe killed six homeless children. Homeless Brazilian children are frequently the target of drug traffickers and of death squads said to be organized by businessmen who feel that the children - many of whom turn to drugs and pet ty crime to survive - are bad for business.... Venezuela has agreed to a UN request to grant temporary refuge to 100 of 668 Haitian refugees picked up by US coast guard ships. The rest of the refugees, who fled Haiti in boats in the hope of reaching the coast of Florida, are being held on coast guard vessels anchored off the US naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba.... Indonesia's President Suharto will make an official three-day visit to Mexico starting Nov. 21 to discuss trade and technical cooperation, and then fly on to Venezuela.

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