The director of the Salpress news agency said Friday that a fire at his office appeared to have been set.

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ The Thursday night fire at the agency, which has close ties with the country's former rebel movement, came a month after fire destroyed the offices of two other news organizations in the Salvadoran capital.

Salpress Director Ricardo Gomez told a news conference that initial investigations by police, firefighters and U.N. observers had found evidence of arson.

Gomez said investigators discovered a hole made recently in the roof of the four-story building, whose top floor was occupied by Salpress. He said the fire started at that point.

Salpress was founded in 1980 by people linked to the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, which last December signed a peace agreement with President Alfredo Cristiani's rightist government to end a 12-year civil war. ---

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - President Fernando Collor de Mello said Friday that ''coup supporters'' were behind the charges of corruption that threaten to engulf his administration.

In a handwritten note, distributed by the presidential press office, Collor said the charges were the work of people ''wanting to undermine the economy and destabilize the country.''

''They want a coup to replace the government which the people elected,'' it said.

Politicians and leading newspapers have called on Collor to resign or temporarily step down until a congressional commission concludes its investigation into charges of graft and influence peddling.

The commission is looking into charges that a treasurer of Collor's 1989 presidential campaign received millions of dollars in illegal political contributions and kickbacks from companies that received lucrative contracts.


BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - The government on Friday proposed tax, retirement and employment reforms aimed at increasing its annual revenue by $21 billion.

The reforms bill, which is to be sent to Congress this month, calls for eliminating several tax incentives, reducing the volume of federal funds transferred to state and municipal governments and doing away with job guarantees for civil servants.

It also stipulates that workers must be at least 65-years-old and worked 35 years before receiving retirement benefits. Currently, there are no retirement age limits and anyone who proves he or she has worked for 35 years is entitled to government-funded retirement benefits.


MEXICO CITY (AP) - The government on Friday published new rules restricting foreign drug agents, a move prompted by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling authorizing kidnapping on foreign soil.

The rules published in the federal register apply mainly to about three dozen U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who operate in Mexico under an agreement with the United States.

The rules specifically forbid carrying out or soliciting kidnapping and or involvement in armed encounters or pursuit of suspects.

It was not immediately clear if that would affect the frequent practice of having U.S. drug agents track suspected drug planes or use aircraft or electronics to monitor clashes.

The rules were prompted by last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the 1990 kidnap of Humberto Alvarez Machain, a Guadalajara doctor accused of taking part in the 1985 murder of a U.S. drug agent.


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - A 32-year-old mother gave part of her liver to her 2-year-old daughter in an operation that was a first of its kind in Argentina, newspapers reported Friday.

The operation took place last Tuesday. Monica Bravo de Garegnani has recovered enough to get out of bed and walk to the room where her daughter Agostina was recuperating.

Mrs. Garegnani was scheduled to be released from the Italian Hospital in a few days, and her daughter in about a month and a half.

The child was born with a liver deficiency. Doctors removed about 20 percent of Mrs. Garegnani's liver and transplanted it in her daughter.

It was the first time in Argentina that part of a liver was removed from a living donor, and transplanted into someone else.