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NEWS CAPSULES

Around the world

ABORTION LAW: Poland's Parliament eased the nation's strict abortion law Friday to allow women to terminate pregnancies when they are in a difficult personal situation. But President Lech Walesa has vowed to veto it. It remains uncertain whether pro-choice deputies can put together the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. In a 241-107 vote, the Sejm amended a 14-month-old law that allowed abortions only when the pregnancy endangered the mother's health; resulted from rape or incest; or when the fetus was irreparably damaged.

PROTEST: More than 100 Cubans who have taken over the Belgium ambassador's residence in Havana held a sign-waving protest to appeal for political asylum, witnesses and news reports said Friday. But the Cubans have occupied the compound nearly two weeks, and authorities gave no indication when they would resolve the biggest embassy takeover in the Cuban capital in years.

Across the nation

DIED: Mary Gates, a director of major banking and communications corporations and mother of Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, died in Seattle early Friday after a long battle with cancer. She was 64. Gates had been scheduled to receive the Municipal League of King County's Citizen of the Year award Friday for her efforts as "a judicious, exceptionally talented civic-minded citizen."

HOUSE ARREST: John Gotti's lawyer was sentenced Friday in Uniondale, N.Y., to 90 days under house arrest for talking to reporters during the mob boss' 1991 trial. U.S. District Judge Thomas Platt also fined Bruce Cutler $5,000, barred him from New York's Eastern District courts for six months, ordered him to perform 600 hours of community service and placed him on probation for three years.

In Washington

PRIVACY: By a margin of 2-to-1, Americans consider the selling of personal information by credit agencies to be an invasion of their privacy, a poll shows. But they believe by an even larger margin that computer records about them generally are accurate. A new poll also finds that seven in 10 Americans believe computer privacy safeguards are inadequate and fully 85 percent worry about threats to their personal privacy.