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Somali warlords, having tentatively agreed in Addis Ababa to hold a national reconciliation meeting in April, argued yesterday over whether to sign a formal cease-fire accord or simply agree to stop fighting. In Somalia, United States attack helicopters, tanks, and ground forces yesterday blasted clan positions in northwestern Mogadishu to crush sniper attacks on US-led troops. The attack followed clan militiamen's refusal to surrender heavy weapons as demanded by the Marines. Helen Joseph praised

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Nelson Mandela hailed white anti-apartheid activist Helen Joseph as "my friend, my sister" at an emotional funeral yesterday day attended by thousands of blacks. The British woman had fought for racial justice for years in South Africa and had been tried and acquitted of treason charges. She also had worked for women's rights and union causes in South Africa. Keating found guilty

Former savings and loan chief Charles Keating, found guilty by a US federal jury Wednesday of fraud and racketeering charges, faces the strong possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars. He will be sentenced March 15 but is already serving 10 years for bilking elderly investors out of $268 million through the sale of worthless junk bonds. Arrests in Florida

Three white men have been arrested in Tampa, Fla., for an attack Jan. 1 on Christopher Wilson, a black tourist from New York City, who was abducted from a parking lot, doused with gasoline, and set on fire in a field, with a racist note, signed "KKK," left nearby. Unemployed claims fall

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment insurance fell by 40,000 during Christmas week to the lowest level in nearly four years, the government said yesterday. Jordanians learn Hebrew

With the prospect of some kind of a peace settlement in the air, a few Jordanian bankers, businessmen, and other professionals are learning Hebrew, the Associated Press reports. In the past, Jordanians caught studying Hebrew - usually academics or archaeologists were accused of being spies. Rabin yields on deportees

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has agreed to allow Red Cross officials to visit 415 Palestinian deportees stranded in Lebanon to assess their needs, a Defense Ministry spokesman said yesterday. Rabin reversed his earlier refusal to allow visits by the Red Cross in response to a new appeal Wednesday night made by the Red Cross officials. Kuwaiti border hit

As Baghdad defied an international ultimatum to remove its antiaircraft missiles from southern Iraq, tension in Kuwait rose with the report of an Iraqi attack on a border post yesterday. US officials said the Iraqis began locking the batteries' radars onto patrolling allied aircraft, taken as a hostile sign. Among the military options open to the allies are air strikes on the missile batteries' radars, without which the weapons are useless. The US also could bomb the runways of the air bases from which I raq is launching the intrusions below the 32nd parallel, officials said in Washington.

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