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Monitor Writer David Rohde Still Sought in Bosnia

Bosnian Serb leaders have told UN officials that they are not holding Christian Science Monitor writer David Rohde but will look into his whereabouts, according to a US official. Mr. Rohde has been missing since he entered Bosnian Serb territory Sunday.

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This latest report contradicts an earlier report by an informed source that Rohde was detained by Bosnian Serbs.

The UN, meanwhile, is checking its logs to see if Rohde passed through its road checkpoints in Bosnia. And the International Committee of the Red Cross has requested a meeting with Bosnian Serb leaders to seek information on Rohde.

The US

Secretary of State Christopher was set to officially open Bosnian peace talks on the windswept Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, yesterday. When Serb President Milosevic - who is widely seen as the main Balkans' powerbroker and the key to regional peace - arrived Tuesday, he said, ''I'm an optimist. I believe the talks will succeed.'' Milosevic, Bosnian President Izetbegovic (above with US Assistant Secretary of State Holbrooke) and Croatian President Tudjman have already agreed on a constitutional blueprint for a new Bosnia. But sticky details - from troop separation to redrawing the area's map - remain. Also, a tenuous cease-fire has been holding, but Croatia has threatened to go to war if the talks don't yield agreement by the end of November.

President Clinton, Senator Dole, and Speaker Gingrich headed into a White House meeting yesterday in basic agreement on extending the US debt limit and thus avoiding a national loan default. They had only to decide the extension's length: Clinton wanted three months but indicated he would settle for two weeks. A thornier issue was to be the budget: Gingrich and Dole wanted it on the agenda. Clinton was saying he wouldn't bargain until the GOP restores some Medicare, education, and environment spending.

Do limits on liquor ads violate free-speech rights? The Supreme Court took up the question yesterday as it heard arguments defending Rhode Island's push to promote sobriety by banning ads with liquor prices. The case is seen as having wide implications for government's power to rein in liquor, cigarette, and gambling ads. The Court also ruled Tuesday that a bank could temporarily freeze customers' checking accounts when they filed for bankruptcy.

The CIA knew it was giving information tainted by Russian double agents to US officials, including Presidents Reagan and Bush, CIA director John Deutch said Tuesday. ''It's an inexcusable lapse in elementary intelligence practice,'' Deutch said, promising to now let congressional aides into agency files to verify the integrity of information.

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Calvin Klein has a new risque underwear ad campaign featuring a young man clad only in briefs. In August, public pressure forced Klein to cancel a jeans ad series featuring teenagers in provocative poses. Citing both ad campaigns, the conservative American Family Association is urging a boycott of Klein.

Shuttle astronauts continued their orbital experiments aboard Columbia, mostly involving crystals and liquids. The 16-day trip is due to end with a Kennedy Space Center landing Sunday.

Intel Corp.'s new Pentium Pro chip has 5.5 million transistors compared with the Pentium's 3.1 million. Intel, which began selling the Pentium Pro yesterday, will first include the chip in powerful computers for business use. Personal computer users should expect to see the chip in common use by 1997, the firm said.

The FBI is expanding its hostage-rescue team and has already tightened its rules of engagement, William Esposito, a top bureau official, was set to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday on the second and final day of Senate hearings on the 1993 incident at Waco, Texas.

American high schoolers have a ''strikingly poor'' knowledge of history, an Education Department poll out yesterday shows. But officials admitted the test given to 22,500 students was difficult. Questions covered the intent of the Monroe Doctrine and the history of US-native American relations.

Patsy Paschall is selling a film of President Kennedy's assassination that she's kept mostly to herself for 32 years. It was shot from the old Dallas County Court House and shows the famous ''grassy knoll.''

The World

US Secretary of Defense Perry expressed ''deep sorrow and anger'' yesterday at the recent rape of an Okinawa schoolgirl, allegedly by three US marines. Responding to the protests that followed the incident, the US and Japan have agreed to set up a ''special action committee'' and find ways to reduce the large US military presence in Okinawa, Perry said. (Story, Page 1.)

Quebec's separatist government began a search for a new leader yesterday after Premier Jacques Parizeau (left) announced his resignation Tuesday. He will remain in office till the end of the fall parliamentary session. Parizeau came under heavy criticism after he blamed immigrants for the close loss in the independence referendum Monday. Separatist leader Lucien Bouchard refused to say if he wanted Parizeau's job. (Story, Page 7.)

A Jewish rabbi was seriously wounded yesterday in a shooting ambush in the West Bank. No one claimed responsibility. Israel has been bracing for attacks after the Islamic Jihad vowed to avenge the assassination of its leader. And Israeli planes attacked guerrilla targets in south Lebanon in retaliation for attacks by pro-Iranian Hizbullah guerrillas who killed two pro-Israeli militiamen and wounded three Israeli soldiers yesterday, sources said. Separately, 33 people were killed in a bomb attack on the offices of the main anti-government group in northern Iraq. Saddam Hussein's government is suspected of carrying out the attack.

In spite of long lines, improper ballots, late officials, angry confrontations, and even an elephant that blocked some voters' path, South Africa's first all-race local elections, went more smoothly than the problem-plagued 1994 vote, officials said yesterday. Results are expected today.

South Korea expanded its probe of $650 million in slush funds allegedly collected by former president Roh Tae-woo. Prosecutors said yesterday they suspected he might have hidden the money abroad.

Afghan rebels pounded Kabul with artillery fire yesterday, killing four people and wounding eight in the Afghan capital, government officials said. They blamed the attack on the Taliban Islamic militia.

Mexico's stock and currency markets tumbled Tuesday despite government measures to bolster the nation's sagging economy. After recovering Monday, both stocks and the peso were sharply lower.

''Jaffna looks almost empty,'' a Western relief worker said yesterday as 500,000 of 800,000 residents fled, anticipating a final assault by the Sri Lankan Army. The military appeared poised to seize Jaffna, the rebel headquarters during their 12-year fight for an independent homeland. Meanwhile, police in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu have been placed on alert for a possible infiltration of fleeing Tamil rebels.

Russian President Yeltsin got some work done yesterday. He signed laws raising minimum pensions and wages, a Kremlin spokesman said.


Queen Elizabeth II formally approves the settlement of a historic Maori land grievance tomorrow during a New Zealand visit. A spokesman said she would not personally apologize for the 1863 invasion of the indigenous Maori's land. But Maori officials said the queen's signature has symbolic importance.

Chinese scientists have achieved an 84 percent success rate in artificial breeding of the endangered giant panda, an official report said yesterday. Some 44 have been born in captivity in the past decade. The panda is native to China, and only about 1,000 survive in the wild.

A McDonald's in Jerusalem will tear down its golden arches, which sat beside a war memorial. The government sought the removal. Earlier this year, Israeli President Ezer Weizman warned his countrymen to beware of American culture in the form of McDonald's, Michael Jackson, and Madonna.

You soon can ride like the Valkyries. Three of their ''horses'' could be yours for $3,500 apiece. The Seattle Opera is selling props used in Wagner's four-part opera ''Der Ring des Niebelungen'' in what is being called Brunnhilda's Fire Sale, though there was no fire.

Top 10 Movies, Oct. 27-29

1. ''Get Shorty,'' MGM, $10.2 million

2. ''Powder,'' Disney, $7.1 million

3. ''Vampire in Brooklyn,'' Paramount, $7 million

4. ''Copycat,'' Warner Bros., $5.2 million

5. ''Now and Then,'' New Line Cinema, $4.5 million

6. ''Seven,'' New Line Cinema, $4 million

7. ''Three Wishes,'' Savoy, $2.6 million

8. ''How to Make an American Quilt,'' Universal, $1.6 million

9. ''Assassins,'' Warner Bros., $1.5 million

10. ''To Die For,'' Columbia, $1.24 million

- Associated Press

'' We have declared a state of emergency in Jaffna, asked for the total mobilization

of the people, and the enlistment of youth to resist the Army.''

- A Tamil rebel spokesman as 500,000 residents fled Jaffna during a Sri Lankan Army offensive on the city yesterday.

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