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RUSSIA COULD PULL OUT OF ARMS TREATY Russia is threatening to withdraw from a vital European conventional-arms pact unless it can station more tanks and other military hardware near conflicts in the Caucasus, NATO sources in Brussels said yesterday. Moscow wants changes in the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty to allow such a move. NATO members and Eastern European states refused. ``If they carry out that threat, it would mean the end of the treaty,'' one source said. The agreement imposes big cuts in the number of tanks, artillery pieces, armored vehicles, and other equipment deployed by NATO and the former Warsaw Pact. The accord was signed in 1990 and came into force last year. UN's Yugoslavian mandate

A renewed United Nations peacekeeping mandate began on a bleak note yesterday, with Muslims, Serbs, and Croats renewing their struggle for territory in Bosnia. The resolution warns Serb-led rump Yugoslavia not to support rebel Serbs in Croatia. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said on TV that the new wording may please the Croats, but it would harm efforts for peace. All Serbs would join forces to defend the Croatian Serbs if they were attacked, he added. UN troops have been in Croatia since 1992 to enforce a cease-fire. Rebel Serbs have declared autonomy in nearly a third of the country after it seceded from Yugoslavia. Power sentenced in Boston

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A Boston judge has sentenced Katherine Ann Power to eight to 12 years in prison for her role in a 1970 bank robbery, carried out in protest against the Vietnam war. The robbery resulted in the murder of a policeman, Walter Schroeder. Ms. Power drove the getaway car in the crime, then disappeared for 23 years before surrendering last month. The judge, Robert Banks, also gave Power 20 years probation on an armed robbery charge. And he barred her from book, movie, or other business deals on her story that would generate profit for her. Both officers to prison

Both of the police officers convicted in the Rodney King beating case will go to prison next week. The US Supreme Court Tuesday denied without comment the request by Sgt. Stacey Koon to remain free during appeals, one day after rejecting a similar motion by Officer Laurence Powell. The officers are to begin serving their 30-month prison terms next Tuesday. Another health-care plan

Conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans are joining to push a health-care plan they argue is more moderate and affordable than anything offered so far. A coalition led by Rep. Jim Cooper (D) of Tennessee and Rep. Fred Grandy (R) of Iowa unveiled a ``managed competition'' plan yesterday. It doesn't require employers to provide coverage and has less government regulation than President Clinton's plan, and it aims to provide ``universal access'' by making insurance affordable for low-income people and small businesses. Mr. Cooper said that Clinton's plan is too liberal, and the lead Republican alternative, by Sen. John Chafee of Rhode Island, is too conservative. France reacts to China

Refusing for now to resume French nuclear tests, President Mitterrand yesterday nevertheless ordered consultations with the US, Russia, and Britain over how to react to China's detonation of an atomic device. In a communique a day after the Chinese blast threatened a year-old moratorium on nuclear tests, the president said that France and the other countries observing the ban stood before ``a new situation.'' Defense Minister Francois Leotard was told to be ready for new tests. A killing in Algeria

Gunmen shot and killed a leading Algerian communist in front of his wife and children, not long after Islamic extremists threatened to kill a communist a week. No claim of responsibility was issued for the murder of Rabah Guenzet, who was struck by several bullets Tuesday as he stepped out of his car in front of his home. Police so far have reported no arrests. Suspicion fell heavily on Islamic extremists, who announced several weeks ago that they would kill a communist every Tuesday.

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