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Early yesterday, Iran said it would open its 750-mile western border with Iraq to foreigners trapped in Iraq and Kuwait.... After a personal appeal to Saddam Hussein, Austrian president Kurt Waldheim returned home Sunday with nearly 100 of his countrymen released from Iraq. Mr. Waldheim, the first Western leader to have contact with Saddam since the Kuwait invasion on Aug. 2, urged the West to open a dialogue with Iraq's president.... Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens said Saturday he expects the United States to help Israel in the event of an Iraqi attack. Meanwhile, an Iranian-backed Palestinian group in Israeli-held Jerusalem has called on Tehran to declare war against the United States and side with Iraq in the Gulf crisis.... Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama yesterday urged his country to send non-military personnel, in addition to money, to back international forces confronting Iraq. Japan is drawing up plans to help Middle Eastern nations affected by the United Nations embargo against Iraq. UNITED STATES AND CANADA

On Saturday, President Bush ordered all federal agencies to prepare for drastic program cutbacks beginning Oct. 15 in case White House and congressional negotiators fail to reach a budget compromise. The two sides are trying to assemble a $50 billion deficit-reduction package that includes spending cuts and new tax revenues.... Eight out of 10 US citizens oppose swift military action against Iraq, but more than half support attacking Iraqi positions if fighting breaks out, a Newsweek poll said Saturday. …