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In the wake of a wide-ranging corruption scandal, a new Italian government took power yesterday under a technocrat prime minister who has vowed to stamp out influence-peddling and revive the economy. Carlo Ciampi, the first premier without a party affiliation since the republic was founded, widened the government to include seven parties, including the former Communists. By embracing so many parties, Mr. Ciampi is apparently trying to keep Italy's quarrelsome factions from undermining his government befo re it gets started. But squabbling was blamed for delaying the start of the swearing-in ceremony by more than an hour. Costa Rica won't pay

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Costa Rican President Rafael Calderon vows his government "will not pay one single cent in ransom" to gunmen holding Supreme Court justices hostage, but expressed hope for a peaceful solution. A few hours before the president's Wednesday night statement, 2 of the 18 justices who had been taken hostage on Monday were released, apparently to carry messages between officials and the kidnappers. CIA on France: `J'accuse'

French officials expressed surprise and indignation Wednesday over United States reports that French industrial spies are targeting American aviation and weapons technology. American news reports say the Central Intelligence Agency circulated a warning to 49 defense and aerospace firms that French intelligence was targeting their technological secrets. Hughes Aircraft Co. said the warning prompted it to withdraw from the June 10-20 Paris Air Show. Haitian army resists

The Haitian army and its allies appear to be stiffening resistance to US pressure to yield power and reinstate Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president. Former Information Minister Gerard Bissainthe, who remains a prominent spokesman for the ruling elite, told the Asociated Press: "The Clinton administration should meditate deeply on what happened in Waco, Texas on the image of that farm fortress in flames. Impulsive and self-righteous policy, which is blind to the reality of power, ends in disaster." Muslim-Croat battles

Muslim-Croat fighting raged yesterday in central Bosnia despite a United Nations-brokered cease-fire, and Serbs seized food supplies headed for a western enclave they penetrated this week. UN monitors also reported increased shelling in the besieged Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, with nearly 300 artillery, mortar, and anti-aircraft rounds counted in a 24-hour period ending early yesterday. Meanwhile the US contemplates military action. (Story, Page 3.) Clinton unveils plan

In New Orleans today, President Clinton will announce the details of his National Service Initiative, reports staff writer Linda Feldmann. The plan, which aims to enable students to pay for college by performing community service, would cost $400 million its first year and $7.4 billion over the next four years. US blasts GM trucks

The US government continues its efforts to get General Motors to recall 4.7 million full-size pick-up trucks with side-mounted fuel tanks. On Wednesday, the US released a study showing that side-impact accidents involving GM trucks with side-mounted fuel tanks are more likely to result in death than crashes of Ford pickups. Meanwhile, GM reported earnings of $513 million in the first quarter, reflecting a dramatic turnaround in its North American auto business. Valvano, basketball coach

Jim Valvano, the controversial former basketball coach of North Carolina State University, died Wednesday. In 1983, Mr. Valvano coached N.C. State to one of the great upsets in college basketball history when his team won the NCAA title with a last-second basket. Three years ago, he was forced out as coach after a scandal involving his players.

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