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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

02/23/1994

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Questions Hang Over Russia's '94 Budget

On the eve of President Boris Yeltsin's state-of-the-nation speech to the new parliament, major questions still hang over the government's 1994 budget and the future of economic reforms in Russia. Yeltsin's speech and the new budget have been anxiously awaited following months of uncertainty over the course of Russia's financial and economic policies. Yet both remained unfinished Tuesday, while a cabinet meeting to discuss the budget, set for Friday, was likely to be postponed until next week, apparently because Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin is suffering from a cold. The president, who will deliver his speech Thursday, was still putting the finishing touches on the text, a spokesman said, leaving both Russian and Western officials to speculate on its contents. The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, has submitted an austere 1994 budget plan to Chernomyrdin.

Yeltsin Urges 5-Nation Bosnia Talks

The proposal was made public by First Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Adamishin, who told Interfax that Yeltsin had a series of proposals to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia. No details of Yeltsin's proposals were available. His spokesman Anatoly Krasikov would say only that a meeting between the five nations ""would be a landmark step in the process of peaceful settlement in Bosnia."" But Adamishin said the program would build on a Russian initiative made last week that persuaded Bosnian Serbs to withdraw heavy weapons from Sarajevo. The Russian initiative averted threatened NATO air strikes against the Serbs and brought Russian peacekeepers to the city. Adamishin said NATO unwisely ignored Russia when it issued its air strike ultimatum, and he urged the West to pay attention to Moscow now.

Leak Shuts Down Nuclear Reactor

Quoting the press service of the Russian emergencies ministry, it said the first unit closed at 12.22 P.M. after a routine check revealed a hole in a welded section of pipe in the reactor's emergency cooling system. No one was injured. An extra generator was put to work at the plant's fourth unit. It said radiation levels rose slightly but dropped by 4 P.M. Measurements were taken one kilometer south. A major leak at Sosnovy Bor in March 1992 triggered international concern, with radioactive iodine and inert gases escaping after a loss of pressure in a reactor channel.

CIA Officer Charged With Spying for Russia

Aldrich Hazen Ames, 52, and his Colombian-born wife, Maria del Rosario Casas Ames, 41, were arrested Monday by the FBI and taken for a hearing before a federal magistrate in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, federal authorities said. Ames, who was chief of the Soviet branch of the CIA's counterintelligence group, was accused of spying for the Soviet Union, and then Russia, until the time of his arrest, the Justice Department said. He and his wife were accused of placing government secrets in ""dead drops"" in the Washington area for pickup by the KGB, the Justice Department said. Ames was accused of meeting with KGB agents and agreeing to give them information about CIA operations. According to the Justice Department, they received cash payments from the Soviets in Swiss bank accounts and used some of the money to buy a Jaguar automobile, a $540,000 house, $165,000 in stocks and credit card purchases averaging $50,000 a year. Mrs. Ames had acted as a paid CIA source in Mexico City.

Gays Protest British Vote on Age of Consent

Protesters vented their anger at Monday's decision by trying to storm parliament after it had rejected a move to reduce the age of consent to 16, which would have put gays legally on a par with heterosexuals and lesbians. ""Democracy is not a license to persecute minorities,"" gay activist Peter Tatchell said, as activists pledged to keep up the fight for equality with heterosexuals and lesbians and promised to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights. The vote, backed by Prime Minister John Major and his cabinet, was a bitter blow to the former junior health minister, Edwina Currie, who had campaigned vociferously in favor of 16. In a rumbustious debate marked by sharp and angry exchanges, she told her fellow parliamentarians: ""I am not for gay rights. I am for equal rights for all."" ""It is time to take the dark shadow and turn it into a human being, to seize our homophobic instincts and chuck them on the scrap heap of history where they belong,"" she said.

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