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Macedonia Clouds Papandreou's US Trip

GREEK Premier Andreas Papandreou has adopted a pro-US stance and will pay his first official visit to Washington - but now his problem is Macedonia.

Mr. Papandreou meets President Clinton on April 22, and the economic embargo Greece has slapped on Macedonia - an action that has angered the United States and its fellow European Union members - is certain to be high on the agenda.

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Washington says the Feb. 16 embargo undermines the region. On April 18, the US flew in another unit of its soldiers to the former Yugoslav state of Macedonia, bringing to more than 500 the number of US troops keeping watch there. The soldiers serve in a UN force aimed at preventing a spread of the Yugoslav bloodshed into Macedonia.

Macedonia borders Greece, and Greece wants it to change its name and jettison other symbols that the Hellenic state believes imply designs on Greek territory. Most of landlocked Macedonia's trade used to pass through Salonica, Greece. Now only food and medicine are allowed through. @HEADBRIEF = Israel arrests Islamist @HEADBRIEF = IRAELI soldiers and undercover agents arrested more than 400 Islamic activists linked to armed organizations responsible for a series of suicide attacks that killed 13 Israelis, the Army reported on April 19. Scores of senior leaders and activists were rounded up overnight through-out the Israeli-occupied territories, more than 200 from the Gaza Strip and more than 200 from the West Bank, an Army spokesman said.

The Army said those arrested were from every level of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, its armed units called the Izzedine Al-Qassam brigades, and the Islamic Jihad organization. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are opposed to the Israel-PLO plan to grant Palestinians self-rule in Israeli-occupied territories, instead seeking all the land of Israel.

Hamas has announced it will carry out five attacks on buses to avenge the Feb. 25 mosque massacre in which 30 Palestinians died in the West Bank town of Hebron. Hamas took responsibility for two bombings and an ax attack on buses since April 6.

PLO leaders said the arrests were an attempt to appease Israeli public opinion and would cast a shadow on Cairo peace talks. @HEADBRIEF = Rolls-Royce Easier Buy in China

ACTORS in imperial costume danced in homage to two Rolls-Royces under the shadow of the Great Wall on April 19, celebrating a deal making it easier for China's young millionaires to acquire the luxury cars.

The dancing was in honor of a deal between Rolls-Royce and the Asian arm of a British car trading company to distribute Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars in China.

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Officials quoted a price of $197,000 in Hong Kong for a top-of-the-line Rolls-Royce. Since 1992, more than 50 Rolls-Royces have been sold in the relatively rich Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong.

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