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News briefs

Bosnian Talks Suspended

The Washington Post

UNITED NATIONS

Talks to bring an end to 11 months of bloody ethnic warfare in Bosnia-Herzegovina ground to a virtual halt Thursday evening as Bosnia's Muslims and Serbs failed to agree on a map to create new provinces in their war-shattered nation.

In spite of a vise of pressure mounted around the negotiations by the United States, Russia, the European Community and the United Nations, mediators Cyrus R. Vance and David Owen determined late Thursday that they could expect no further concessions in this round from the Serb nationalist faction, led by Radovan Karadzic, and they ended discussions with the Serbs.

Talks with Bosnia's Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, were still in progress, but the mediators also held out little hope that he would agree to the map.

The mediators did not say that the negotiations were over, but no date was set for another round. Vance and Owen had made it clear they believe it was crucial to reach a comprehensive settlement this week, when all three top factional leaders were in New York and the mediators had concentrated a maximum of world political concern on their deliberations.

Korean Leaders Take Personal Step To Quiet College Scandal

Los Angeles Times

SEOUL, South Korea

Influential South Koreans whose children were born in the United States and thus hold American citizenship long have taken advantage of an admissions system here that gives foreigners preference in getting their sons and daughters into universities without taking an arduous entrance examination.

But when it was discovered that President Kim Young Sam's new justice minister used this loophole for his daughter, the first of two "mini-scandals" for the new Kim administration erupted.

The controversy came to a head Thursday as Kim instructed Justice Minister Park Hee Tae to have his daughter, Park Kye Ju, 22, quit Ewha Women's University here, give up the American nationality she obtained at birth and resume her South Korean citizenship, said Lee Kyung Jae, the president's spokesman.

Critics had called for Park to resign from the Cabinet appointed by Kim only six days ago. The revelations about his daughter came amid an expanding scandal over illicit college admissions in which 58 people have been arrested so far.

U.S. Weighs Safety Net for Russia

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON

The Clinton administration, facing its first summit meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, is considering creating a multibillion-dollar program that would serve as a kind of social safety net for Russians facing hardships due to hyperinflation and economic restructuring.

Administration sources said the plan, one of several proposals backed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Fyodorov in letters to officials of the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized democracies, is among the initiatives under consideration in preparation for the April 4 summit of President Clinton and Yeltsin in a European country.

Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs, an adviser to the Russian government, said Fyodorov and his associates in Moscow had discussed a variety of Western aid possibilities before writing to the G-7 governments.

New York investor George Soros said he endorsed a $10 billion version of the safety net program in his own letter last week to officials of the United States and the six other G-7 countries -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan -- all of which would be called upon to contribute to this fund.

Key elements of the proposal, Soros said, include: cash payments to Russians thrown out of work by the shutdown of inefficient or unneeded industries; help for pensioners hurt by inflation; and supplemental pay for army, police, teachers and customs officials.

Providing large-scale new aid to Russia poses a major political and budgetary problem for the Clinton administration at a time of austerity and calls for sacrifice at home.