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DODD FAVORED FOR TOP DEMOCRATIC POST The last chairman of the Democratic Party, David Wilhelm, was the youthful and nice, if not always commanding, fellow who ran the day-to-day organization of President Clinton's election campaign. Mr. Clinton's choice to lead the Democratic Party out of the rubble of its crushing defeat last November has some very different qualities. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) of Connecticut is a sharp-tongued, scrappy advocate with the stature and assured public demeanor of a veteran senator. The White House has not announced the choice yet, since officials are working out the details of how Mr. Dodd can remain in the Senate and head the party's national committee part time. Dodd, a close personal and political friend of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts, has a generally liberal record in the Senate. Inflation under control

US wholesale prices rose a moderate 1.7 percent in 1994, as a drop in energy prices helped keep inflation under control at year's end. The Labor Department reported Jan. 10 that its Producer Price Index edged up 0.2 percent in December to close out the fourth straight year of tame price increases.

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US troops to Golan?

US Defense Secretary William Perry flew over the Golan Heights Jan. 9 and said Washington was prepared to send monitoring troops if Israel withdraws from the disputed region in exchange for peace with Syria. ``These would not be security forces, these would be strictly monitors,'' Mr. Perry said. He then flew to Pakistan, where Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Jan. 10 demanded that Washington either deliver F-16 fighter planes or return the $650 million Pakistan paid for them. Improving aviation safety

Aviation experts recommended to federal safety authorities meeting in Washington Jan. 10 a wide range of steps they said would make air travel safer and increase public confidence in US airlines, including tougher pilot certification requirements, improved training for maintenance mechanics, and upgrading communications between pilots and air traffic controllers. More rain in California

Redwood trees toppled and people fled communities Jan. 10 in the hills north of San Francisco as seven days of rain caused the region's worst flooding in nearly a decade. Thousands of people were evacuated and power was knocked out to tens of thousands of homes.

Power outage shuts Newark airport

Newark International Airport reopened Jan. 10 after a massive power outage closed this usually bustling gateway, stranding thousands of passengers on hundreds of flights. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey shut down the dark and unheated airport Jan. 9 after a construction worker accidentally severed three 26,000-volt feeder cables.

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