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Greece expels 26 Palestinians tied to blast

Greece said Wednesday it has expelled 26 Palestinian diplomats and students from the country in connection with an attack April 19 on a British consulate in Patras in which seven people were killed and eight wounded. Seven Palestinians already have been charged with murder in connection with the attack and have been jailed pending trial. The Ministry of Public Order said the expulsion included six diplomats at the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Athens.Talks begin on fate of Western hostages

BEIRUT, Lebanon _ Douglas Hogg, a minister in the British Foreign Office, began talks in Damascus on Wednesday with Syrian government leaders about the fate of Western hostages. Hogg said he had been encouraged by the attitude of the Lebanese government after four days of discussions, and that in Damascus, he would explore what more could be done by the Syrian authorities. Twelve Westerners missing in Lebanon are believed held by pro-Iranian Moslem Shiite fundamentalist factions. In Iran, the English-language Tehran Times, said one or two American captives would be released "very soon."

Food aid convoys resume in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia _ Food aid convoys have started moving again from the Ethiopian port of Asab, boosting efforts to re-establish a lifeline to millions of people threatened with starvation, relief officials said Wednesday. Famine aid routes have been disrupted for the last three weeks because of the fighting which brought rebels of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front to power in the capital, Addis Ababa. Aid officials say more than 100 people are dying each day in one of the worst-hit areas, the eastern Ogaden region. Nearly 8-million people face starvation in Ethiopia this year.

Elsewhere ...

BANGKOK, Thailand _ The seventh national congress of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party has been set for June 24-27, Vietnamese state radio said.

ROME _ Cardinal Myroslav Lubachivsky, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church officially banned in the Soviet Union for 40 years, said he would return to live in the Ukraine, ending more than half a century in exile.

TORONTO _ Canada, the United States and Mexico began negotiations to create a North American free trade zone covering 360-million consumers from the Yukon to the Yucatan.

BOGOTA, Colombia _ The surrender of Colombia's cocaine lord, Pablo Escobar, has been delayed. The Rev. Rafael Garcia said he was unable to meet Escobar on Sunday as planned.

MEXICO CITY _ An international conference of gay men and lesbians in the Mexican city of Guadalajara has been canceled because of opposition from municipal authorities, the official news agency Notimex reported.

BERLIN _ The Revolutionary Cells, an extreme leftist group, said it exploded a time bomb in the Reichstag building early Wednesday as a warning against making Berlin the seat of united Germany's government and parliament.

BEIRUT, Lebanon _ The Palestine Liberation Organization has refused to give up its bases in southern Lebanon to allow the Lebanese Army to deploy there, adding another complication to government plans to disarm all factions after 16 years of civil war, security officials and published reports said.

WASHINGTON _ Any move by Congress to impose conditions on normal trade ties with China "inevitably will lead ... to the cutoff of the relationship" with the United States, Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said. Eagleburger and Secretary of State James Baker favored extending most-favored-nation trade status for China as they laid out the administration's most comprehensive policy statement so far in the debate.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden _ The environmental group Greenpeace said the United States had honored an unprecedented direct request from Sweden that U.S. naval vessels calling at its ports be free of nuclear weapons.

DHAKA, Bangladesh _ Hussain Muhammad Ershad, deposed as president in December after eight years of authoritarian rule, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing illegal weapons.

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