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News In Brief

Strike aimed at premier shuts Italian newspapers

Millions of Italians were unable to read their favorite newspapers Thursday because of a spate of Communist-inspired strikes designed to topple Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi's seven-month government.

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Industrial action erupted in several cities Wednesday, following Tuesday's Communist-led strike by state railroad workers in the Milan area. The labor trouble was the start of a campaign pushed by the Italian Communist Party against a Feb. 15 decree in which Mr. Craxi's five-party coalition partly froze the ''sliding scale'' wage system under which most Italian workers' wages are linked to the cost of living.