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CLINTON HEADS WEST WITH EYE ON '96 President Clinton is picking up his travel schedule in hopes of convincing US voters that he - not his rival Republicans - can slice them ``a piece of the American dream.'' The president marked the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Denver yesterday before heading to California, a state holding the key to his reelection prospects. More than 30,000 people were expected to hear the president in Denver. In California, the president planned to commemorate the Jan. 17, 1994, Los Angeles earthquake (see story, Page 1) and assess damage from disastrous floods. Democrats are worried that Clinton, who won the vote-rich state in 1992, may have trouble holding on to it in 1996. The president is to return to Washington tomorrow. Mexico peace talks resume

Mexican Interior Minister Esteban Moctezuma met with southern rebel leader Subcommander Marcos for about four hours on Sunday near the rebel capital of Guadalupe Tepeyac in the Lacandon Jungle. It was their first meeting in 10 months.

US, Chinese confer

A top US government science adviser met with Chinese officials in Beijing yesterday for talks on cooperation in space and other areas of scientific research. John Gibbons, President Clinton's assistant for science and technology, and a 23-member US science delegation met with Chinese officials led by Song Jian, minister of the State Science Commission.

Maryland governorship

Republican Ellen Sauerbrey has abandoned her court challenge to the Maryland gubernatorial election she lost by less than 6,000 votes. Democrat Parris Glendening, certified the winner in December, will be inaugurated tomorrow.

Bishop an apparent suicide

Episcopal Bishop David Johnson has died, an apparent suicide. He had announced his retirement in November as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, the largest in the US.

Algerian peace plan

The Armed Islamic Group, which claimed responsibility for the Christmas Eve hijacking of an Air France jet, says it is prepared to end its war against Algerian authorities if the Army-backed government accepts a plan for a settlement. The plan, aimed at ending Algeria's internal conflict and restoring democracy, was signed in Rome Friday by the north African nation's eight main opposition groups. The plan urges negotiations with the Army-backed government on a broad-based transitional administration that would lead to democratic elections.

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