THE MIDDLE EAST
Turkish Leader Approves New Government
ANKARA -- Turkey's president approved yesterday a new coalition government of veteran leftist Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and far-right nationalists.
The approval gives Turkey a strong executive in time for Monday's opening of the trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, which many fear will spark violent protests from Kurds throughout Europe.
It is the first time the Nationalist Action Party, which staunchly opposes Kurdish minority rights, has returned to power since Turkey's 1980 military coup. Nationalist leader Devlet Bahceli was named deputy prime minister.
Missing Israeli Submarine Apparently Found
JERUSALEM -- The Israeli submarine Dakar, which disappeared on its maiden voyage in 1968 with a crew of 69, has apparently been found on the Mediterranean seabed about 300 miles from Israel, the Israeli military said.
A chunk of a submarine was discovered near the Dakar's original route by a U.S. company hired by Israel to find the craft, the military said. Experts have been sent to the site to make a definitive identification.
Hijacker of Greek Bus, Captive Slain
ELBASAN, Albania -- Albanian police stormed a hijacked Greek bus today, shooting dead the hijacker, witnesses said.
One hostage also died during the operation near the central Albanian town of Elbasan, 40 miles south of the capital, Tirana, but eight others were freed unharmed.
Police said the incident began yesterday in Scholari, Greece, when 25-year-old Anton Flamour, armed with a gun and several grenades, took over a bus, which originally carried 17 passengers, some of whom were eventually freed. Late yesterday, the Greek public order ministry decided to pay Flamour the $160,000 he had demanded as ransom, but he then failed to free the other passengers as promised. Flamour forced the driver to cross into Albania after a 12-hour chase by hundreds of police officers throughout northern Greece, police said.
Greek authorities said Flamour had served time in prison in Greece on charges of illegal arms possession.
IRA Revealing Secretly Buried Victims
BELFAST -- The Irish Republican Army yesterday began revealing the whereabouts of nine secretly buried victims, a gesture designed to quell the protests of long-suffering relatives and build goodwill at a critical moment in peacemaking.
At dawn in a medieval graveyard on the Irish Republic's border with Northern Ireland, police found what they thought were the remains of Eamon Molloy -- a Belfast IRA member who disappeared in 1975 after being branded an informer.
The remains, evidently dug up from their original resting place, were left in a new casket lying behind shrubs amid the lichen-covered headstones.
Troops Remove Crosses From Auschwitz Lot
WARSAW -- Troops backed by police and priests removed 300 crosses from a lot bordering the former Auschwitz death camp, a move intended to end the long-running controversy between Jewish groups and Poland's Roman Catholic Church.
The move came eight days before Pope John Paul II begins his eighth pilgrimage to his homeland to stress, among other things, religious tolerance in Poland.
Belgium Bans Sale of Chicken and Eggs
BRUSSELS -- Belgium's health ministry banned the sale of chicken and eggs after stocks from some farms were found to contain high levels of dioxin, possibly from contaminated animal feed.
"As a precautionary measure the ministry requests that retailers remove chickens and eggs from their shelves," it said in a statement, adding that additional test results would be released next week. "The risk is small, but there is a certain risk," Public Health Minister Marcel Colla said.
Havel Discharged From Prague Hospital
PRAGUE -- President Vaclav Havel left a hospital after doctors said he had recovered from the worst of his bronchitis and could resume his duties in a week.
Heathrow Power Failure Causes Delays
LONDON -- A massive power failure caused major delays to holiday flights at London's Heathrow Airport, officials said. The power cut blacked out two of the airport's four terminals on a day 170,000 people were due to travel through before Monday's spring bank holiday.
Whaling Ban Remains, Amid Disputes
ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada -- The United States and its allies succeeded in maintaining a 13-year ban on commercial whaling at a conference here, but several pro-whaling nations threatened to ignore the restrictions.
The annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission failed to resolve the long-standing deadlock between nations such as Japan that consume whale meat and a majority that are opposed to unbridled whaling.
Rwanda Declares Unilateral Congo Truce
KIGALI, Rwanda -- Rwanda declared a unilateral cease-fire in Congo, where it has been backing rebels fighting to oust President Laurent Kabila. Foreign Minister Amri Sued Ismael said the aim of the truce was to enhance chances of a settlement of the nine-month Congolese civil war.
3 Chinese Rights Campaigners Go on Trial
BEIJING -- Three Chinese labor-rights campaigners have gone on trial for subversion for trying to organize workers laid off from a state-run firm, a human rights group and officials said. The trial of Yue Tianxiang, Guo Xinmin and Wang Fengshan opened Thursday in the central city of Tianshui, 700 miles west of Beijing, the Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We are not talking to [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic except in one language, and that is bombing."
Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, speaking in Brussels.