U.S. and Iraqi admins. air differences over when Bush-Aziz and Baker-Saddam meetings should take place; Iraq suggests Baker come to Baghdad on 1/12, but U.S. says it is too close to UN deadline of 1/15 for Iraqi troops to leave Kuwait [NYT, WP 12/11].
For 2d time, U.S. postpones Sec. Council vote on resolution endorsing Middle East peace conference; hopes to change text so that it can avoid using in Israel's defense veto that could weaken Arab support for U.S.-led coalition in Saudi Arabia [NYT, WP, MEM 12/11; CSM 12/12; JPI 12/22].
Sec. Baker asks F.M. Shevardnadze to commit token Soviet troop contingent to multinational force in Gulf; Shevardnadze says USSR cannot do so [WP 12/11].
Kuwaiti officials says Iraq owes them $64 billion for stolen property, unpaid debts, and damage caused by 8/2 invasion [IRNA 12/11 in FBIS 12/12].
Israeli army steps up 3-month-old policy of deploying hidden snipers along highways in the West Bank with authorization to shoot Palestinians seen throwing stones at Israeli cars. Snipers use live ammunition and are permitted to fire without warning if they be- lieve the stone throwers are endangering lives [HAM 12/11 in FBIS 12/11; MEM 12/12; NYT, WT, CSM 12/13; MET 12/25].
Israeli military prosecutors are ordered to demand harsher sentences for those Palestinians convicted of stonethrowing; D.M. Arens sets maximum sentence at 20 years in prison [JDS 12/11 in FBIS 12/11].
Labor MK Yossi Beilin presents initiative of dovish Mashov Circle group, calling for "negotiations between Israel and a Palestinian delegation with a primary purpose of bringing about Israel's evacuation from the Gaza Strip, to create in the Gaza Strip a Palestinian state. . . ." [MEM 12/11].
28 American Jewish community leaders, celebrities, and law professors send letter to Pres. Bush urging him to raise at his 12/11 meeting with P.M. Shamir the human rights cases of Palestinian journalists Radwan Abu Ayyash and Ziad Abu Zayyad, who were placed in administrative detention on 11/13. Letter urges they be either formally charged with a crime or else released. Copy of letter is sent to P.M. Shamir [MEM 12/11].
EC says it will give $6 million to help 8 hospitals in o.t. keep functioning during Gulf crisis [MEM 12/11].