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ECONOMY REBOUNDS, U.S. AND JAPAN SPAR The US and Canada will spearhead a modest recovery in 1994 among the richest industrialized nations, while Germany and Japan will lag behind and unemployment will worsen, according to a major report issued yesterday by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. Continental Europe was singled out as the biggest trouble spot for the 24 members of OECD, which released its semiannual economic outlook. The economies of 12 OECD members 11 of them in continental Europe shrank in 1993, the report said. In a related trade matter, US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, in an unusual letter to a Japanese newspaper, accused Japanese government bureaucrats of blocking trade and economic reforms to protect their own power. Bureaucrats play an unusually prominent role in Japan, and most retained their jobs when Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa's reform-oriented coalition took power in August. Separately, trade official Jeffrey Garten said Washington has high hopes for the Feb. 11 summit between President Clinton and Mr. Hosokawa but added that working-level trade talks haven't progressed far. S. Africa transition

South Africa's government and the ANC sat down with right-wing whites and conservative blacks opposed to the transition to democracy package. The two sides are expected to announce a deal on accommodation today or tomorrow. Vatican-Israeli ties

The Vatican said it would sign a historic deal with Israel by the end of this year, expected to lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Jewish state. Dec. 30 is the expected signing date. Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators returned from weekend talks in Oslo. Both sides said not enough progress has been made to set up a summit between the sides. Russian constitution

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