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COURT TO HEAR ABORTION PROTEST CASE The US Supreme Court said Friday it will hear a case pitting the rights of demonstrators at abortion clinics against the need to protect clinic employees and clients from harassment and other crimes. The court will review a Florida court order that created a protest-free buffer zone outside a Melbourne, Fla., clinic. The justices' decision, expected by July, could have an enormous impact across the nation. The case follows large-scale protests outside abortion clinics across the country in recent years. During one demonstration in March 1993, Dr. David Gunn was shot to death outside his clinic in Pensacola, Fla. In the case to be heard, operators of the Aware Women Center for Choice in Melbourne sued Operation Rescue in 1991, leading to a court order permanently banning certain activities outside the clinic. Early last year, a state trial judge determined that those restrictions were insufficient to protect women seeking the clinic's services. The judge then expanded the earlier order and was upheld by the state Supreme Court. Irish accord imperiled

Irish Republican Army leaders have decided to reject an Anglo-Irish peace offer from Britain and are threatening to resume bombings in mainland Britain, the British newspaper Sunday Times said yesterday. Quoting senior intelligence sources, it said deep rifts in the IRA had already led Gerry Adams, head of its political wing Sinn Fein, to conclude he could not deliver an end to the brutal 25-year fight to oust Britain from Northern Ireland. Publicly, Mr. Adams is demanding further clarification from London and Dublin over the terms of a Dec. 15 declaration in which they offer talks with Sinn Fein in return for a permanent end to hostilities by the IRA. The two governments refuse to make any clarification. Crime is top concern

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Concern over crime and violence has become the nation's top concern, supplanting uneasiness over economic issues, a New York Times-CBS News poll released this weekend found. The poll, however, found Americans divided over whether Republicans or Democrats were best able to deal with the crime problem. Nineteen percent of respondents said crime or violence was the single biggest problem facing the nation. Fifteen percent cited health care as the biggest problem; 14 percent chose the state of the economy. Thirty-one percent said Democrats had an advantage in dealing with crime; exactly the same percentage said Republicans had the edge. Norway talks, memorial

Israeli and Palestinian leaders walked away from a brief meeting Saturday in Norway without breaking the impasse in Mideast peace talks, but they said they would try again in about a week. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat were in Oslo for the funeral of Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Jorgen Holst. Holst brokered the Israeli-PLO peace accord signed in Washington on Sept. 13. Russian gun smuggling

Russia's defense minister is demanding that the commander of Russian military forces still in eastern Germany crack down on gun smuggling and other crimes by Army officers, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. It said the order was sent after German police seized more than 9,000 military pistols near the Russian military headquarters just south of Berlin last Monday. It was the first known case of major black-market arms dealing by high-ranking Russian officers stationed in Germany. Journalism dangers

Fifty-six journalists died on the job in 1993, with more killed in Algeria and the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan than in any other country, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said. Sixteen other deaths are being investigated. The overall figure was down from 61 in 1991, but up from 49 last year. Most of this year's victims were local residents working for local and international news organizations. In many cases, the reporters were targeted for assassination by ethnic, religious, and nationalist extremists.

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