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Economists in major financial centers yesterday described President Clinton's plans for the American economy as painful but necessary. Josen Takahashi, a senior economist at Mitsubishi Research Institute in Tokyo, said Clinton's measures would be painful for Americans and might promote protectionism but are the only way the United States can cut its deficit. "Even though the deficit reduction can be successfully achieved, they will have a big negative effect, for instance on employment, and the big issue

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is how long [Clinton] can maintain the public support," he added.

In London, Britain's leading business daily, The Financial Times, said in an editorial that the plan may not be sufficient to tackle the deficit and spur economic growth, but "is broadly in the right direction." It added, however, "Mr. Clinton is taking a gamble in the tax increases he now proposes. He bought votes on the basis of promises he knows he ought not to keep." Nobel mission

Seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates offered solace yesterday to refugees who told of widespread abuses by the Burmese military and promised to seek UN sanctions. Earlier in the day, 14 peace prize winners issued a statement demanding freedom for 1991 peace prize winner, Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Serbian aid

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said yesterday a UN decision to suspend aid was regrettable and blamed rival Muslims for blocking humanitarian convoys. The UN has accused Serbs of preventing aid convoys from reaching besieged Muslim enclaves. Muslims have also blocked humanitarian aid. US economy

Mixed news was released yesterday by the government.

America's trade balance deteriorated in 1992 for the first time in five years as the deficit with Japan surged to a four-year high and consumer prices jumped 0.5 percent in January, the worst increase in two years. However, the Federal Reserve said its index of industrial production rose 0.4 percent in January in its fourth consecutive increase and weekly jobless claims dropped by 19,000 to 321,000 during the week ended Feb. 6, the third consecutive decline.

Overall, analysts said the pace of economic growth is gradually improving and will soon be felt in the job market. Scowcroft knighted

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Former US National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, who played a key role during the Gulf war, yesterday was awarded an honorary knighthood by Britain. US immigration

The Senate yesterday voted to prevent people infected with the AIDS virus from immigrating to the United States. The 76-to-23 vote was a defeat for President Clinton who had vowed to lift a Bush administration ban and allow those determined to be HIV-positive into the country.

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