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Jewish settlers tried yesterday to set up four new settlements in reprisal for a Palestinian ambush of a settler bus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.... Lebanese Foreign Minister Faris Bouez said his country had reservations about attending multilateral Middle East talks due in Moscow at the end of this month unless present peace talks in Washington make progress. The US and Russia would cosponsor the Moscow talks. EUROPE

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Britain said yesterday it was recognizing the Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia as independent states in line with a decision by the European Community (see story, Page 3). Austria, Brussels, and Denmark also announced their recognition of the two republics. Germany, which had done so earlier, upgraded its consulate in Slovenia to an embassy and said it would do the same in Croatia.... Some 99.9 percent of Albanians in Yugoslavia's southern republic of Macedonia voted for "political and territor ial autonomy" in a referendum last Saturday.... The human rights organization Amnesty International yesterday said British firms are exporting instruments used for torture to third-world countries. It cited iron leg-chains exported to Malawi and an electronic torture chamber supplied to the special police in Dubai. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

The finger of suspicion in Japan's latest scandal moved closer to Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa yesterday with a report that a close ally asked a company for an $8 million donation for Miyazawa's party faction.... Thai Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun left yesterday for an official trip to Vietnam, which earlier was seen as Thailand's greatest military threat.... Hyundai Motor Company closed Korea's largest auto plants yesterday in a move against more than 30,000 union members who have been staging job slowdowns for nearly a month demanding special bonuses..... About 21 percent of China's children suffer from illnesses due to malnutrition despite a huge government program to increase health care for rural families, the official China Daily said yesterday. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

The Organization of American States said Tuesday in Washington it is ready to drop its demand that deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide return to power in Haiti as a precondition to lifting the trade embargo on the island.... The Cuban Red Cross said Tuesday that Haitian authorities were blocking the planned voluntary repatriation of nearly 1,000 Haitian refugees from Cuba by refusing them permission to return.... The formal signing of the truce between leftist rebels in El Salvador and the governmen t will come today in Mexico City and will be attended by the heads of government from several Latin American nations as well as UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

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