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MIDDLE EAST

German envoy Bernd Schmidbauer said yesterday two German hostages stood a good chance of being released in Lebanon within 48 hours. UNITED STATES

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the US government's kidnapping in Mexico of Humberto Alvarez-Machain, accused of killing a US drug agent, does not violate the US-Mexico extradition treaty, and the suspect does not have to be returned to Mexico.... Nearly 80 percent of the nation's Roman Catholics think it is permissible to make up their own minds on such issues as abortion and birth control rather than follow church teachings, a Time Magazine-CNN poll released Sunday said.... Mona Van Duyn has bee n named the nation's first female poet laureate.... President Bush Sunday broke ground on a Korean War Memorial.... The Chicago Bulls Sunday won their second straight National Basketball Association championship. EUROPE

Russian President Boris Yeltsin yesterday ordered thousands of inefficient state-owned enterprises to pay back their debts or be sold to private owners. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Japan's parliament gave final approval yesterday to a controversial bill allowing the government to dispatch troops overseas for the first time since World War II to help UN peacekeeping efforts.... Tokyo stocks dropped to a two-month low Monday, analysts said.... Growth of personal savings in Japan slowed to a record low rate in fiscal 1991-92 for the second year running, the Bank of Japan said in a report.


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