ANC One Seat Short of Two-Thirds Majority
PRETORIA, South Africa -- South Africa's ruling African National Congress fell one seat short of the two-thirds majority needed to unilaterally change the constitution, according to final results from last week's parliamentary elections.
The Independent Electoral Commission gave the ANC 266 of 400 seats in the country's National Assembly, representing 66.5 percent of the roughly 16 million votes cast in Wednesday's poll.
Algerian Leader Orders Militia Legalized
ALGIERS -- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ordered the government to legalize the status of the military arm of a key Islamic party, the first concrete step in a plan to end a seven-year-old insurgency.
His move came after the Islamic Salvation Army offered to stop fighting. Many saw the developments as a first step toward bringing the banned Islamic Salvation Front back into the political mainstream.
Lurid Testimony About Mandela's Ex-Wife
PRETORIA, South Africa -- An apartheid-era government agent making a bid for amnesty cited President Nelson Mandela's controversial ex-wife when he told of the grisly murder of her alleged former lover.
Describing his 1989 killing of Johannes Mabotha, Eugene de Kock told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Mabotha claimed he was the sex slave of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela while her husband was imprisoned for opposing apartheid.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Barak Pledges Curbs on Jewish Settlements
JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak sought to reassure Palestinians, pledging to curtail Jewish settlement building and saying he could "race forward" with the peace process.
Speaking on Israeli television, Barak said he would establish a cabinet committee to review settlement projects approved by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's outgoing government and hinted he might cancel some of them.
Hussein's Brother Voices Disappointment
AMMAN, Jordan -- Prince Hassan has publicly acknowledged for the first time that he was upset by the way his late brother, King Hussein, abruptly dismissed him as heir to the Jordanian throne.
Twelve days before he died Feb. 7 from cancer, Hussein wrote a letter accusing Hassan of power-grabbing by trying to dismiss the king's loyalists in the army. Hussein then appointed his eldest son, Abdullah, 37, as his successor.
"What hurt me was not the change in the line of succession, but rather the way it was carried out -- which was totally unjustified and simply confined to an insult letter full of calumny," Hassan was quoted as telling the Saudi-owned al-Majalla magazine.
Hundreds Break Out of Brazilian Prison
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Police said they had recaptured about 80 of the 345 inmates who fled Sao Paulo state's Putim Public Prison late Sunday in Brazil's biggest jail break, local media reported.
Television and news agency reports said there were strong indications that police aided the prisoners' escape, which happened after eight heavily armed men took prison guards hostage and forced them to open the jail cells.
Colombian Rebels Kill 8 Policemen
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Marxist rebels killed eight policemen and kidnapped 10 civilians in their latest wave of attacks across Colombia, authorities said.
Police and military spokesmen said the policemen were fatally shot by the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia on Sunday in northern Cesar province. The police had been sent to remove a highway roadblock near the town of La Paz.
Meanwhile, 10 people were kidnapped by National Liberation Army rebels while fishing on the Magdalena River.
Gunmen Slay Mexican TV Personality
MEXICO CITY -- Gunmen ambushed a prominent television personality in Mexico City, killing him in a hail of bullets as he sat in his car, television stations reported. Francisco "Paco" Stanley, 56, who hosted successful game shows and comedies, was the latest in a series of high-profile crime victims in the capital.
Copernicus Gets Papal Praise -- Finally
TORUN, Poland -- Nearly four centuries after the Vatican condemned Nicolaus Copernicus's discovery that the Earth revolved around the sun, another Pole -- Pope John Paul II -- visited the astronomer's birthplace and praised his scientific achievements. But the pope noted that science and religion are still grappling to find common ground in the "service of truth."
John Paul took up one of the major themes of his papacy on a whirlwind day that saw him consecrate Poland's largest church and honor Polish martyrs.
NATO Captures Bosnian War Crimes Suspect
PARIS -- British-led NATO troops arrested a Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect without incident.
Dragan Kulundzija, 32, was taken to the tribunal's detention facility in the Netherlands. He will be tried for his role as a commander at a Bosnian Serb detention camp near Prijedor during summer 1992, at the outset of Bosnia's three-year war. With 11 others, he was charged in a 1995 indictment with beating, raping, torturing and killing Muslim and Croat civilians in the Keraterm prison camp.
FOR THE RECORD
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Lawyers defending ousted deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim on a sodomy charge demanded a mistrial after prosecutors changed the year they allege the offense occurred.
BEIJING -- China is moving 2 million people out of lowland areas to protect them from flooding along the Yangtze River, the official New China News Agency reported.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Barak is now in the position of the man who promised to jump from the heights of the circus tent, and when he got to the top he understood that jumping was out of the question."
Israeli political columnist Nahum Barnea, on Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak's attempt to fashion the broad governing coalition that he promised. -- Page A12