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MEDIATORS FAIL IN SOUTH AFRICA Foreign mediation of South Africa's deep-rooted political dispute collapsed before it started today over a demand by Zulu nationalists that the nation's first all-race election be postponed. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announced the seven-member mediation team he headed would go home without beginning its effort to resolve the conflict threatening the April 26-28 vote. More talks between President F. W. de Klerk's white government, the African National Congress, and the Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party were possible. But the failure to agree on mediation guidelines indicated little chance for ending the impasse, which centers on Inkatha's demand for Zulu autonomy. Jobless claims jump

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits jumped by 12,000 last week to the highest level in more than a month, the government said yesterday. The Labor Department said new applications totaled 348,000, up from 336,000 during the week ended April 2. It was the largest number of new claims since 350,000 were filed during the week ended March 5. Many analysts had expected a decline. UN warns Bosnian Serbs

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UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali warned yesterday that he'd again ask NATO warplanes to bomb Bosnian Serb positions if necessary to protect peacekeepers in the former Yugoslavia. Boutros-Ghali issued his warning amid rising tension in Bosnia between Serbs and UN peacekeepers, who earlier called in NATO airstrikes to stop a Serb offensive against the UN-protected Muslim enclave of Gorazde. Chinese Army goods in US

K mart Corporation, Home Depot Inc., and other retail chains are selling goods made by the Chinese Army, which is using the profits to pay for an arms buildup, two newspapers reported yesterday. The sales are legal, but congressional and union investigators called them outrageous because they provide income to buy sophisticated weapons. Clothing, toys, exercise equipment, shoes, toilet seats, and rifles are among the consumer products being sold. Income growth slows

People in big industrial countries will see their income grow more slowly between now and 2003 than in the 1970s and 1980s, the World Bank predicted in a report made public Thursday. The estimate lumps together the countries of the Group of Seven (G-7): the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada. Between 1974 and 1980 their income rose by more than 3 percent a year. For 1994 to 2003 the bank estimates a rise of 2.7 percent.

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