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NEWS CAPSULES

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ELECTION: No matter that Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is expected to win re-election on Sunday - a group of eager supporters has already marked hundreds of ballots in his favor. Police reported finding 3,000 ballots in a house in Huanuco, 155 miles northeast of Lima, and the local prosecutor said 11 people were caught in the act of filling them out for Fujimori. The prosecutor, Victor Aguirre, said 500 had been filled out and packaged in official envelopes belonging to the national elections board. The 11 were detained for investigation but no charges have been filed.CONVICTED: Four men were convicted Friday of attempting to assassinate Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi nearly nine years ago, a news agency in New Delhi said. Gandhi, who was not injured in the shooting in New Delhi, was assassinated six years later by a suicide bomber as he campaigned for re-election in southern India. In the Oct. 2, 1986, assassination attempt, Gandhi was leaving a memorial service for pacifist Mohandas K. Gandhi when shots rang out. Security guards were protecting him because of threats by Sikh insurgents fighting for independence in Punjab state.

BAD APPLES: Nearly 300 people have fallen ill in the past 10 days after eating cucumbers, apples and other food apparently contaminated by mice, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Friday. Most of the 284 people were children, and overall, 172 people were hospitalized in the Far Eastern region of Komsomolsk-On-Amur, it said. Health authorities in the Khabarovsk territory blamed the intestinal infection on rodents that had contaminated food storage facilities.

Across the nation

ORDERS: The biological father of the 4-year-old Illinois boy known as Richard is demanding the child's adoptive parents to give him up, a published report said Friday. A sheriff's deputy served legal papers at John and Jane Doe's suburban Chicago home Thursday night demanding they surrender custody of the child to Otakar Kirchner, the boy's natural father. "We had no order to take the child at this time," a sheriff's spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Our only role in this case is to serve court orders."

CANCER-FREE: The 16-year-old boy suffering from Hogkin's disease who gained national attention last year when he ran away from home to avoid chemotherapy treatment has been declared Thursday to be cancer-free. Doctors at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston say recent tests on Billy Best of Norwell, Mass., show no evidence of cancer despite his having discontinued treatment.

CLEARED: A Texas district attorney said Thursday an investigation found no criminal intent in an employee's use of cattle prods on patients at a mental institution in Richmond, 30 miles west of Houston. The Fort Bend County district attorney says use of the device is accepted in the mental-health field for patients with aggressive and self-injurious behavior.

In Washington

DOCUMENTS SOUGHT: Twelve senators urged President Clinton on Friday to declassify government information on the deaths or torture of eight Americans in Guatemala. They also sought documents on two dozen human high-profile rights cases in the Central American country. The Senate Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, is compiling a list of answers the CIA has provided it in on Guatemala to determine if the agency has been misleading Congress about clandestine activities there, said Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb.

AARP PROBE: Republican Sen. Alan Simpson is investigating the nation's largest and most powerful seniors organization, the American Association of Retired Persons, and its web of business interests. Simpson, speaking Friday at a hearing of a Senate Finance subcommittee on Social Security, said he and his staff are examining the AARP's books, financial interests including a mail-order pharmacy, and hiring practices. Later, in an interview, the Wyoming lawmaker said he was also looking into the group's receipt of federal grants, which he said total about $100 million a year.

Other news

A PAINTING by the 17th-century artist Lorenzo Lippi, which had been stored in a shed and forgotten, sold Friday for $144,000, Christie's auctioneers said from London. . . . SIX PEOPLE, including four children, were killed Friday in an inferno that engulfed a wood-framed house crowded with two Russian immigrant families in Bellingham, Wash. . . . A SOUTH AFRICAN television journalist covering ethnic violence in Burundi was killed and another was in stable condition Friday after a highway ambush outside the capital . . . A BLACK COUPLE from suburban Pittsburgh have filed a federal civil rights suit against Denny's, alleging they had to wait too long to be served breakfast and that the food was burned when it came.