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A NATO-led mission to enforce peace in Bosnia could also include Russian and other forces from outside the alliance in an unprecedented joint operation, NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner said yesterday.

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While NATO has been forging closer ties with its former enemies in Eastern Europe, a joint operation that could involve combat in former Yugoslavia would be unprecedented since the alliance was founded in 1949 to counter Soviet military power.

NATO will take on the mission if the warring Croat, Serb, and Muslim factions reach agreement and the United Nations asks NATO to enforce an accord. Oil economics

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Feb. 16 pledged to curb runaway oil production, but analysts were skeptical that the dozen nations would live up to their accord to cut back by nearly 1.5 million barrels of oil a day on March 1. If it is broken, overproduction would cause oil prices to tumble.

Separately, China announced yesterday that it was opening sizable inland areas for foreign oil exploration and development, a move Western companies have long hoped for. Algeria crackdown

A police officer was killed Feb. 16, the seventh in four days, and three bombs were defused in Algiers in a mounting wave of violence by Islamic extremists. Seven police have been killed since Feb. 13, the day of the failed Islamic Salvation Front attack on Defense Minister Khaled Nezzar, considered the strongman of the military-backed regime. Lebanon fighting

Pro-Iranian guerrillas yesterday stormed four bases used by Israeli-allied militiamen in south Lebanon. The attack came hours before United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher was to begin a Middle East visit. Israel and its militia ally retaliated with air and ground bombardments for the fifth consecutive day of fighting, police said.

Oscar nominations

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"Howards End," the lush drama about love transcending class lines, collected a leading nine Oscar nominations yesterday, tying with Clint Eastwood's revisionist western "Unforgiven." The two were nominated for best picture, as were "The Crying Game," "A Few Good Men," and "Scent of a Woman."

"The Crying Game" had the second-most nominations with six, followed by the animated musical "Aladdin" with five. CBS News president

Former CBS News President Richard Salant died Tuesday. Under Mr. Salant, CBS News expanded its nightly news broadcast from 15 minutes to 30 making it the first half-hour nightly national news show created the "CBS Morning News" program, "60 Minutes," and "Sunday Morning." Housing starts

Housing starts fell 7.2 percent in January to the lowest level in six months, the government reported yesterday. Some analysts attributed the decline in part to unfavorable weather, although most agree housing growth would slow from last year's pace.

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