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MIDDLE EASTIsrael announced a new plan Nov. 18 to attract Arab investments to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip to allow Palestinians to build their own infrastructure for the future. The gesture is apparently aimed at creating a positive climate for Israeli-Arab peace talks. A group of West Bank Palestinians have received approval to open a development bank, and Palestinian sources said Saudi and Jordanian investors had expressed interest in financing projects in the Gaza Strip. UNITED STATES Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) of Nebraska, a candidate for the 1992 presidential nomination, was videotaped by C-Span public affairs television in New Hampshire telling a sexually explicit joke about lesbians, the San Francisco Examiner reported Nov. 19. Another Democratic presidential hopeful, former California Gov. Jerry Brown, was the butt of the joke, the paper said. C-Span does not release comments made by public officials who are unaware they are being recorded, the paper said.... Turner Broadcasting System Inc. said Nov. 18 it is planning a private television network that would beam news, entertainment, and advertising into the nation's 8,500 McDonald's restaurants.... Intel Corporation introduced a supercomputer Nov. 18 that is 10 times as powerful as its previous models and can perform up to 300 billion calculations every second. The company wants to reach teraflop speed, or a trillion calculations a second.... The White House said Nov. 18 that the loss by a landslide of former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke i n Louisiana's gubernatorial election showed that Duke has no place in politics.... The Bush administration will give the Soviet Union about $1.5 billion in additional food aid and channel it directly to the 12 remaining republics rather than to Moscow.... A House Banking subcommittee had been scheduled to vote Nov. 18 on a credit card interest cap bill similar to one passed last week by the Senate, but the meeting was abruptly called off after the Nov. 15 decline in the stock market.

EUROPE The top UN official for refugees criticized the US Nov. 19 for sending Haitian boat people home while moves were under way to find provisional sanctuary for them. Venezuela, Belize, Honduras, and Trinidad and Tobago have indicated willingness to accept some of the people temporarily.... Travelers in Italy face widespread disruption this week after gas station owners and railroad and airport workers called separate strikes.

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AFRICA South African President F. W. de Klerk called for an economic union of southern African and Indian Ocean states during a stopover in Mauritius. De Klerk was returning home from a visit to Israel, Oman, and Taiwan. But Mauritius, which has some trade links with South Africa, ruled out diplomatic ties with Pretoria until apartheid had been completely dismantled.

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