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De Klerk apologizes for apartheid

President Frederik de Klerk apologized Friday for apartheid, marking the first time a white South African leader has expressed public regret for the ruling party's 42 years of enforced segregation. "For too long we clung to a dream of separated nation states, when it was already clear that it could not succeed sufficiently," de Klerk told an audience in the conservative white town of Winburg. "For that we are sorry." The president, seeking to persuade whites to accept recent concessions to the African National Congress, is in the midst of difficult negotiations with black leaders on forming an interim government and writing a constitution that extends voting rights to the black majority.

Pope begins

Dominican trip

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic _ Pope John Paul II on Friday began his first overseas trip since surgery, hoping to separate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the New World from the controversial legacy of Christopher Columbus. President Joaquin Balaguer and a group of Dominican cardinals welcomed John Paul, 71, at the start of his 56th foreign pilgrimage. The pontiff said he wants to celebrate the Columbus' quincentennial but do so by recognizing that there was good and bad that resulted from the voyage.

Savimbi likely

to join unity talks

WASHINGTON _ Rebel leader Jonas Savimbi has told the United Nations he likely will travel to the Angolan capital, Luanda, for talks on forming a government of national unity, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. Savimbi's UNITA party trails in provisional results to the ruling MPLA. "We just heard the news that Dr. Savimbi is likely to come to Luanda in accepting President (Jose Eduardo) dos Santos's invitation. We feel that there is still time and still grounds for optimism," said Assistant Secretary of State Herman Cohen.

Hurricane hits

Mexico west coast

MEXICO CITY _ Hurricane Winifred swept through the resort of Manzanillo on Mexico's Pacific coast Friday with winds up to 85 mph, then ran into a mountain range and quickly weakened. Reports from the area said that 5,000 people were moved to emergency shelters; there was no immediate word of deaths or injuries.

China leaders say

ex-party chief erred

BEIJING _ China's Communist Party refused Friday to even partially clear the name of former party chief Zhao Ziyang, who was removed for his failure to quash the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy uprising. Zhao did not publicly support the protests, but he is believed to have opposed the use of military force that left hundreds dead. The official Xinhua News Agency said Friday that the party's Central Committee had reaffirmed its decision three years go that Zhao had seriously erred.

Pope begins

Dominican trip

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic _ Pope John Paul II on Friday began his first overseas trip since surgery, hoping to separate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the New World from the controversial legacy of Christopher Columbus. President Joaquin Balaguer and a group of Dominican cardinals welcomed John Paul, 71, at the start of his 56th foreign pilgrimage. The pontiff faces several challenges on the six-day visit, including a demand for an audience from organizers of demonstrations against celebrations of the quincentennial of Columbus' first landing in the New World.

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