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Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Sunday urged blacks to increase their political power in the 1992 election and curb drug-related violence in their communities. She also said the US "must now do a better job of providing economic security for our own citizens." ... Hopes that the Federal Reserve will engineer another interest-rate cut in the near future are dimming by the day, with economists now saying the next opportunity will come in February. EUROPE

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Tensions between Serbia and newly independent Croatia are mounting, with at least 10 people reported killed in weekend truce violations and hard-line Serb leaders refusing to accept Croatian sovereignty.... The illegal Irish Republican Army pledged Sunday to continue its killing campaign against firms employed on British Army contracts after it blew up seven Protestant workers Friday who had been repairing a bombed army base. Britain sent 600 extra troops to the province yesterday, and Prime Minister Joh n Major flew to Northern Ireland for a firsthand look at the crisis. AFRICA

Working groups in South Africa's multiracial democracy forum started meeting yesterday for the first time this year, trying to entice black leftist and white rightist groups to join the constitutional review process.... The Metal Mining Agency of Japan will send a research agent to mineral-rich South Africa by February to gather information about its mining industry. Japan signed an agreement with South Africa Jan. 13 to establish full diplomatic relations, following the lifting of its economic sanctions

against apartheid last October.... Prime Minister Nguza Karl-I-Bond has ordered Zaire's pro-opposition national conference to be suspended because he said it was getting out of hand. The conference is supposed to chart an end to 27 years of autocratic rule by President Mobutu Sese Seko. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, fresh from a trip to South Korea, described the question of Korean women forced to serve as prostitutes for Japan's army 50 years ago as an "unbearable problem" for the Koreans and suggested Japan may offer compensation to the women.... The Philippine Supreme Court ordered the government yesterday to explain in 10 days the continuing ban on the return of the body of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.... The speaker of Japan's House of Representatives, Yoshio Sakura uchi, said United States companies fail to sell cars in Japan because Americans are lazy and many of them are illiterate, the major daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday.... South Korean Prime Minister Chung Won-shik signed a pact with North Korea yesterday banning nuclear weapons from the divided Korean Peninsula.

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