COMMODITY BRIEFS

COMMODITY BRIEFS

BALTICS TO GET US AID

WORTH $15 MILLION

WASHINGTON - The Baltic countries will get a total of $15 million in U.S. aid to buy corn, wheat and soybeans, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Edward Madigan said in a statement Thursday.

The USDA said it will provide $5 million each in food aid to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia under PL480, the U.S. government's long-term low-interest loans program.

The aid will be in addition to 100,000 metric tons in corn recently donated by the USDA to each of the three Baltic states.

The aid will be used for "both food and animal feed," Mr. Madigan said in a statement. However, he did not provide details.

COURT UPHOLDS RULING

STOPPING TIMBER SALES

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling halting all future Bureau of Land Management timber sales in western Oregon that would affect the northern spotted owl, unless the BLM complies with the Endangered Species Act.

The court agreed Wednesday with a lower court that the BLM's land management strategy associated with preserving owl habitat "was itself 'agency action' requiring the BLM to submit the strategy for consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before allowing any timber sales in those forests."

Environmental groups hailed the decision for the Lane County Audubon Society of Eugene, Ore., which sued the BLM in 1990 after it adopted a timber management plan without consulting the Fish and Wildlife Service, which listed the owl as a threatened species.

MINING ACCIDENTS KILLED

600 S. AFRICANS IN '91

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - More than 600 miners died in South African mines last year, said Mineral and Energy Affairs Minister George Bartlett.

Gold mine accidents claimed 461 miners, while 42 died in coal mines and the remaining 101 in other mines, Mr. Bartlett said in response to a question tabled in Parliament Wednesday.