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Here's what newspapers around the nation are saying: THE SUN

INTEREST RATES: While Washington and Wall Street are watching Alan Green-span's every move in the here and now, the Federal Reserve chairman professes to have his eyes glued on what happens next year. "We have no alternative but to be forward-looking and to recognize that the policies we are making today are really relevant to 1995," he told Congress. . . .

Ponder those Delphic words. They won't tell you whether the Fed will raise short-term interests for the fifth time this year when its top governors assemble. . . . But they demonstrate once again that Greenspan is determined not to let inflation happen on his watch, even if that requires unpopular moves toward austerity. . . .

Inflation continues to hover at an annual rate of 2.7 percent, a satisfactory level even in Greenspan's world.

But as the Fed chairman reminded Congress, he worries what the inflation rate will be a year hence. And many economists anticipate the inflation rate will climb to 3.2 percent in 1995. That's close to a 3.4 rate that is considered an an unacceptable upper limit. . . .

ST LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

FREE SPEECH: Taslima Nasrin, a Bangladeshi novelist, has committed the unpardonable sin of being a brash, secular, outspoken feminist. She has had the temerity to suggest that "the Koran should be revised thoroughly." She has argued that Muslim women should have the same rights as Muslim men. . . . The government slapped her with these charges as a way to pander to Muslim fundamentalists. The fundamentalist idea of punishment, though, is even less forgiving . . . demanding "death, death and only death for the apostate Nasrin." . . . Bangladesh's constitution supposedly guarantees its citizens the right of free speech. . . . It shouldn't matter that Nasrin may have expressed her ideas flamboyantly or provocatively; it shouldn't matter that she could have been more diplomatic. Death, or even prison, can never be considered an appropriate penalty for speech. . . .

THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL

WHITEWATER SMOKE: Clear away the smoke over Congress' Whitewater hearings and you find...more smoke. Is it any wonder that Americans are so fed up with politicians?

Yes, Republicans have managed to embarrass the Clinton administration; it was inept at best in its handling of a federal investigation into a failed savings and loan with ties to Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton....

For all the Republicans' huffing and puffing, they have failed to turn this affair into Watergate II, or Iran-Contra. So far, it looks to be pretty small potatoes....

Posturing aside, a few lessons do emerge from these hearings. For the president: Peopling agencies with cronies is an invitation to divided loyalties. For regulators: Even the appearance of conflict can be a career-killer....

DETROIT FREE PRESS

NO ID CARD: The last thing this country needs is a national identity card. More effort needs to be invested in returning some measure of privacy to Americans, not exposing them to even more potential violations. A federal commission has proposed establishing a computerized registry of the names and Social Security numbers of all citizens and immigrants authorized to work in the United States. . . . People supposedly would not have to carry an ID card, although that seems a logical extension of the proposal. . . . The proposed registry probably would not affect (illegal) immigration to this country in the slightest. . . .