Finances: Dunning the U.S.

Kofi Annan's next peacekeeping operation comes later this month--not in the jungles of a Third World nation but in Washington, where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. After almost three years of legislative foot dragging, Congress has agreed to pay $926 million of the $1.8 billion the U.N. says the U.S. owes in back dues. But the cash comes with about two dozen conditions that were crafted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms and the panel's senior Democrat, Joseph Biden. To get the first $100 million last year, the U.N. had to meet fairly innocuous requirements. President...

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