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The Justice Department believed the Italian government must have known a bank it owned had secretly lent billions of dollars to Iraq, but later changed its stance, reports yesterday's New York Times. The newspaper said the change came before the 1991 federal indictment of Christopher Drogoul, Atlanta manager of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. The $5.5 billion in unauthorized bank loans helped Saddam Hussein rebuild after the Iran-Iraq war.... A Newsweek poll taken after Thursday's presidential debate, showed

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Gov. Bill Clinton with 46 percent to 31 percent for President Bush and 14 percent for Ross Perot, up from 44 to 35 to 12 in a similar poll taken before any debate. EUROPE AND ASIA

Bosnian army forces yesterday removed a blockade on the main road into the Bosnia-Herzegovina capital of Sarajevo. The blockade had prevented the flow of relief supplies. Meanwhile, tank, mortar, and machine-gun fire yesterday shattered 10 days of relative calm.... The Soviet leadership under Leonid Brezhnev decided to send troops to Afghanistan at least two weeks before they were invited by Afghan officials, the Red Star newspaper reported Saturday.... Russia and the US are discussing whether their inte lligence services should work together in such fields as nuclear nonproliferation, the fight against international terrorism, drug smuggling, and organized crime, the US Embassy in Moscow said yesterday.... China's Communist Party approved a new Central Committee yesterday. Sixty-one percent of new members are under age 55. The party congress closed with a resolution to speed up market-oriented economic reforms.

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