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3 candidates leave race in Nicaragua

GUATEMALA CITY - Three legislative candidates of the opposition Social Christian Party in Nicaragua withdrew from the race for the Feb. 25 elections Wednesday. "The leaders of our party practically receive orders from the Sandinista Front," said Francisco Rodriguez, who had sought a deputy's seat in Granada province. Sergio O'Connor withdrew in Chinandega province and Norman Lopez in Managua. The Social Christian Party is the third electoral force after the Sandinistas and the 14-party coalition, the National Opposition Union. Palestinians protest new Soviet settlers

JERUSALEM - Palestinian organizers of a 26-month-old uprising in Israeli-occupied Arab territories ordered attacks Wednesday on settlers to protest the settlement of Soviet Jewish immigrants. In separate leaflets distributed secretly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, both the pro-PLO Unified Leadership of the Uprising and its main rival, the Moslem fundamentalist Hamas movement, said the influx of Soviet Jews endangered the survival of the Palestinians.

Rushdie will be killed, Iranians say

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Iranian radical leaders said Wednesday that no matter how closely he is guarded, British author Salman Rushdie will be killed in accordance with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's edict issued one year ago. Parliament Speaker Mahdi Karrubi and Parliament member Ali Akbar Mohtashemi spoke to Iran's Parliament on the one-year anniversary of Khomeini's death sentence against Rushdie, who is accused of blaspheming Islam in his novel, The Satanic Verses. Rushdie has been in hiding under guard since Feb. 14, 1989.

Vietnam troops said in Cambodia

WASHINGTON - Bush administration officials said Wednesday they have received reports that Vietnamese forces may be operating again in Cambodia, despite Hanoi's assurances that all of its troops were withdrawn in September. The alleged Vietnamese involvement was discussed this week by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, who met in New York to discuss ways to end Cambodia's decade-old civil war. U.S. officials who briefed reporters Wednesday said they considered the reports to be accurate.

Rights groups assail torture in Morocco

RABAT, Morocco - Human rights groups and lawyers handed reporters a draft human rights charter alleging that the Moroccan government was violating human rights guaranteed in the constitution. The charter was released by the Bar Association, the Jurists Association and three human rights groups. Arbitrary arrests, torture, abuse of power, disappearances of people and restrictions on the freedom of the press, opinion, association and travel were among allegations in the draft.

Polls: Japan's ruling party should win

TOKYO - Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) appears set to keep control of the lower house in Sunday's general election even though one in three voters is still undecided, according to polls published today. A Yomiuri Shimbun survey of 100,000 voters projected the LDP would achieve at least a simple majority of 257 seats in the 512-member lower house. More than 30 percent of respondents said they had not yet made up their minds. Another poll, in the influential Asahi Shimbun, said the longtime ruling party was gathering strength in the closing days of the campaign. It said the LDP could gain a stable majority of 271, the figure needed to ensure control of all lower-house standing committees.