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EGYPTIAN MILITANTS HIT KEY MINISTER Gunmen blasted the car of Egypt's interior minister with automatic-weapons fire yesterday in an assassination attempt that killed at least four people and wounded the minister and four others. Attackers also planted an explosive device that went off under a parked car, a Tourism Ministry spokesman said. Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi was shot multiple times and rushed to a hospital, the state-owned Middle East News Agency said. His condition was not immediately known. The Interior Ministry leads the gover nment's battle against militants who have carried out a two-year campaign of violence to topple the secular government and install strict Islamic rule. Followers of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the spiritual leader of the radical Gamaa Islamiya (Islamic Group) who is being held in the US on immigration charges, claimed responsibility. Sheikh Rahman deal

Lawyers for Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman said yesterday they are negotiating a deal with the US Immigration and Naturalization Services to allow the skeikh to leave voluntarily for Afghanistan or some other unnamed nation rather than be deported Aug. 26.

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Egypt is seeking his extradition to stand trial for alleged political crimes. Panama arms sales

A Panamanian diplomat in Spain was involved in an attempted unauthorized arms sale, a presidential commission has found.

Foreign Minister Julio Linares offered his resignation Tuesday following publication of the report.

Panamanian newspapers said the $25 million sale, including 25,000 submachine guns, might be an attempt to break the UN arms embargo on Bosnia-Herzegovina. Israel won't try Demjanjuk

Israel's Supreme Court yesterday moved a step closer to freeing John Demjanjuk by rejecting a new Nazi war crimes trial, saying it might expose the former Cleveland autoworker to double jeopardy, but a further appeal kept him in jail for at least two more days.

Despite the delay there appeared little chance for a new trial, but given the strong sentiments in Israel against releasing Mr. Demjanjuk, prosecutors and judges seemed to be allowing Holocaust survivors a chance to exhaust every legal avenue before freeing him. Presidential nominees

President Clinton said Tuesday he will nominate Luis Sequeira to be assistant secretary of Agriculture and Margaret A. Browing, an attorney, to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board.

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Coffee cartel

About two dozen African and Latin American countries, meeting in Uganda, said Tuesday they will establish an OPEC-like Association of Coffee-Producing Countries. Members plan to hold back 20 percent of their exports, beginning Oct. 1 to raise coffee prices. Legal parent

A judge ruled today that the biological parents of Kimberly Mays should have no contact with the 14-year-old swapped at birth in 1978 and declared the man who raised her to be her legal father.

But Judge Stephen Dakan stopped short of granting Kimberly's wish to "divorce" her biological parents, said a legal assistant to one of the girl's attorneys. Her biological parents have vowed to appeal, and her future could be in the courts until she is 18. Taiwan government

President Lee Teng-hui was reelected as leader of the Nationalist Party today in the party's first-ever secret ballot. He appointed two of his rivals as deputies in an effort to appease both conservative hard-liners and the younger generation, which faults Lee for slow progress on legal independence from China. Russia corruption

A commission probing corruption accused Russian Vice-President Alexander Rutskoi yesterday of salting away state funds in a Swiss bank account and demanded the resignation of Prosecutor-General Valentin Stepankov.

The scandal could strengthen Yeltsin's hand against the parliament in reforming the Russian Constitution, even if Rutskoi is not forced to resign. Rutskoi has been the primary accuser against Yeltsin's government.

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