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The 69,000 jump in the number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims, reported yesterday by the Labor Department, was the largest one-week surge since an increase of 83,000 in a week during the '81-'82 recession...

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A senior Vietnamese official yesterday dismissed as ridiculous claims that Vietnam held missing American servicemen in an underground detention center beside the tomb of Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi until the late 1980s...

Bill Clinton campaigned into the wee hours of the morning yesterd ay, making 11 stops in three states on the first day of his bus tour...

The Air Force has grounded all 55 F-117A stealth fighters at Holloman Air Force Base while it investigates the Tuesday crash of one of the radar-evading jets...

NASA has frozen all promotions and transfers in its executive ranks while it looks for ways to hire more women and minorities, the space agency's chief says.


China's Foreign Ministry denied yesterday that Beijing was planning to hold high-level talks with Tibetan exiles over their decades-old demand for independence. Also, China's Communist Party will write market economics into its platform at this year's congress, a senior government economist said...

Anti-nuclear protesters staged a protest yesterday in Japan as 50,000 people took part in Hiroshima's annual rite of mourning to mark the city's annihilation by an atomic bomb 47 years ago. Meanwhile, Japanes e Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa is in favour of extending economic aid to Russia to improve ties, an opposition party leader said yesterday...

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In South Africa, the ANC started a fourth day of nationwide pro-democracy protests yesterday after 200,000 blacks brought at least seven cities to a halt Wednesday.

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