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WEIGHING OPTIONS TO CONTAIN IRAQ The United States, Britain, and six Gulf countries - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar - forged a united front yesterday against Iraq for massing troops near the Kuwait border. They called on the world to condemn President Saddam Hussein. In a joint statement, they said that Saddam was threatening Kuwait's security in clear violation of UN resolutions and must be turned back. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said foreign ministers of the countries meeting in Kuwait discussed new measures but made no decisions. Options include establishing a zone near the Kuwaiti border from which Saddam's troops would be excluded. The US troop buildup continued. The six Gulf countries committed their troops to Kuwait's defense while British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd said a British battalion was on the way. France also is sending naval and air forces to the region, Mr. Hurd said. Uproar in Israel

In a videotaped plea yesterday, a dazed Israeli soldier kidnapped by Muslim militants urged his government to free 200 Palestinian prisoners by Friday. ``If not, they will kill me,'' he said. The kidnapping of Cpl. Nachshon Waxman has plunged Israel and the PLO into their worst crisis since they signed a peace agreement in September 1993. Hamas, a rival of the PLO, claimed responsibility for the abduction, but Israel has held Yasser Arafat responsible. All this was occurring as reports circulated that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Arafat were to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday.

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Haiti president quits

Haiti's military-backed president has quit, completing the sweep of coup officials before the homecoming Saturday of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The formal resignation of Emile Jonassaint, broadcast yesterday morning on local radio, followed the takeover Tuesday of the National Palace and other government ministries by US troops.

Shuttle lands safely

Endeavour landed in the California desert Tuesday after thick clouds in Florida foiled plans to end the shuttle's 11-day Earth-mapping mission at its home base.

Nobel science prizes

An American and a Canadian won the Nobel Prize in Physics and another American won the chemistry prize yesterday. The physics prize, for developing ways to study condensed matter, was awarded to Canadian Bertram Brockhouse, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and Clifford Shull of the United States, who works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. George Olah of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles won the chemistry prize. He was honored for discovering ways to manipulate hydrocarbons.

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