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THE FED WILL FIGHT INFLATION FIRST Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan seems willing to tolerate sluggish economic growth in order to stamp out the first hint of increasing inflation, economists said after Mr. Greenspan's semiannual report to Congress on Tuesday. They said he clearly signaled that the central bank's next move will be to nudge up short-term interest rates to dampen price pressures rather than trim rates to energize growth. "It looks to me like the Federal Reserve wants inflation lower and is willing to sacrifice growth an d jobs for another year or two in order to permanently and forever put inflation fires out," says economist Allen Sinai of Economic Advisers Inc. Bosnia crisis heightens

UN officials reported a "humanitarian crisis" across Bosnia yesterday as battles, blockades, and bureaucratic obstructions disrupted aid for desperate civilians. A battle continued on Mount Igman, overlooking Sarajevo airport, where government troops reportedly were holding out against a Serb offensive.

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Bosnian radio said a counter-offensive was pushing Serbs back. The heavy fighting and aid disruptions seemed aimed at pressuring the government into accepting a plan to divide Bosnia into Serb, Croat, and Muslim ministates. Tajikistan border dispute

Artillery shells hit Tajik border posts on the tense frontier with Afghanistan, wounding two Russian soldiers and raising fears of another major cross-border attack, officials said yesterday.

Last week, 33 Russian and Tajik servicemen died in one of the bloodiest border attacks since civil war broke out last year in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia. The war pits provincial gunmen and pro-Communist forces against mostly Islamic guerrillas. The Tajik government says Afghan fundamentalists are helping its opponents. Nuclear test ban talks

A senior US arms negotiator opened preliminary talks at Britain's Foreign Office yesterday on moves toward a global treaty banning all nuclear weapons testing. A State Department spokesman said Monday the US hoped a comprehensive test ban treaty could be negotiated "in the near future."

Earlier this month, President Clinton extended a freeze on US underground nuclear testing at least until September 1994 and urged other nuclear powers to do the same. Russia and France already had temporary moratoriums in place. Of the five nuclear states, Only China is carrying on. Britain depends on the use of the Nevada test site, so the US decision effectively cut off British tests. Nigerian governors protest

Nearly half of Nigeria's state governors swore Tuesday they will block new presidential elections planned for Aug. 14 to replace the ones the military dictator scrapped last month.Their decision raised the level of confrontation in a nation already paralyzed by a leadership crisis.

The governors represent 14 of the 30 states in the west-central African nation. All are from the Social Democratic Party, one of two parties that competed in the June elections. Moshood Abiola, the Social Democrats' presidential candidate, apparently won the vote, which was later annulled by President Ibrahim Babangida. Cambodian bridge bombed

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Thai soldiers reported that about 70 guerrillas blasted a hole in an important bridge in Cambodia, preventing the UN from delivering rice yesterday. The bridge connects the Thai border with central and eastern Cambodia.

Khmer Rouge guerrillas are suspected in such attacks. Cambodian officials say the Khmer Rouge damaged the cross-country rail line last weekend. Officials speculated the guerrillas were trying to pressure authorities into giving them a role in the government. Clinton aide found dead

A White House attorney who was President Clinton's friend for more than 40 years was found dead Tuesday in a park overlooking the Potomac River from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Vincent Foster Jr. was the No. 2 attorney in the White House counsel's office.

Stunned White House officials said they were unaware of anything that would have caused Foster to take his life.

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