THE AMERICAS

War Crimes Prosecutor Joins Canadian Court

TORONTO -- Louise Arbour, the chief prosecutor of the U.N. war crimes tribunal, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday, just as her investigators prepared to move into Kosovo to seek evidence of war crimes there.

Arbour, 52, has become internationally known for her handling of the Balkans war crimes investigation. Two weeks ago, she won a controversial indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in connection with crimes against humanity.

Her appointment to fill a vacancy on Canada's Supreme Court takes effect Sept. 15. A criminal law specialist and veteran judge from Ontario, Arbour has been considered a prime Supreme Court candidate for several years.

Colombian Rebels Kill 8 Police Officers

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Rebels killed at least eight police officers and one civilian in an overnight attack in northern Colombia, authorities said.

The raid, in which a block of buildings was reduced to rubble in the mountain town of El Espino in Boyaca province, brought the number of police officers killed by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels to at least 16 this week.

And it came less than 24 hours after security sources said they had intercepted a clandestine radio broadcast in which Jorge Briceno, the rebel group's chief military strategist, ordered a surge in attacks as part of a new anti-government offensive.

Couple Who Killed Girl's Corrupter Acquitted

BUENOS AIRES -- An Argentine court has ruled that a couple acted within their rights when they shot to death a man who had forced their daughter into drug addiction and prostitution, local media reported.

The court in the southern province of Neuquen ruled Wednesday that the couple could go free after killing a 38-year-old man with 11 shots from several guns in 1997 because they acted in "legitimate defense" of their child.

The state prosecutor had previously withdrawn charges of excessive use of force against Faustino Llanos and his wife, Olga Idiarte, and had asked that they be acquitted of murder.

ASIA

India: Troops Slain in Pakistan Were Mutilated

KARGIL, India -- India accused Pakistan of torturing captured soldiers, allegations that could undermine talks aimed at ending a month of fighting in the disputed Kashmir territory.

Pakistan handed over the bodies of six Indian soldiers to the army near the Kashmiri town of Kargil. Indian officers said the bodies showed signs of torture and mutilation.

"This is an outrageous act and violative of international conventions," said an army spokesman, Col. Bikram Singh.

Koreas' Dispute Over Fishing Area Continues

SEOUL -- A third face-off between North and South Korean ships in a rich crab fishing area ended peacefully when the North Korean ships withdrew from the disputed Yellow Sea waters.

Four North Korean patrol boats and about 20 fishing boats had sailed into the contested area early yesterday, 4 1/2 hours after six northern patrol boats escorting a larger fishing fleet withdrew. The four patrol boats withdrew late in the day.

The disputed waters lie just south of a U.N.-imposed sea border between the North Korean mainland and five South Korean islands, about 60 miles northwest of Seoul.

Renewed Fighting in Sri Lanka Kills 60

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- More than 60 guerrillas and soldiers were killed in Sri Lanka after a long lull in fighting between government troops and ethnic Tamil rebels, the Defense Ministry said.

Soldiers had broken out of the northern town of Paranthan, just below the Jaffna peninsula, and confronted the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam beyond the army's forward lines, the ministry said.

EUROPE

5 Killed in Collapse at Russian Subway Stop

ST. PETERSBURG -- A concrete overhang collapsed over a crowded subway entrance in central St. Petersburg, killing at least five people and injuring several, officials said.

Russian rescue workers used jackhammers and cranes to search for bodies in the debris of the 10- to 15-ton chunk of concrete.

Fire department spokesman Grigory Gribunov declined to speculate why the concrete, about 100 yards square, fell on the entrance to the Sennaya Square subway station, in the center of Russia's second largest city.

Pope Urges Poles Not to Abandon Religion

SIEDLCE, Poland -- Pope John Paul II urged Poles to keep religion in their lives even though they no longer needed the Roman Catholic Church to defend them against communism.

The 79-year-old pope, midway through a 13-day trip to his native land, made the appeal at a Mass for some 350,000 people on the outskirts of Sieldce, a town in Poland's agricultural east. But the plea not to abandon the faith was clearly addressed to all Poles in this overwhelmingly Catholic nation of 39 million people.

Soros Says He'll Cut Contributions to Russia

MOSCOW -- American financier-philanthropist George Soros said he was scaling back his assistance to Russia because of the disappointing way its economy has unraveled over the past year.

Soros said he was cutting back his aid to Russian scientific and educational projects. Soros is by far Russia's largest private donor, having spent more than $350 million on charitable projects in the past decade.

AFRICA

Sudan Seeking Cooperation with U.S.

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Sudan is ready to cooperate with the United States to ensure it refrains from activity that could be construed as supporting terrorism, the president was quoted as saying.

President Omar Bashir's remarks appeared in this week's Lebanese magazine Al-Hawadith, which was carried by the official Sudanese daily Al-Anbaa.

In August, the United States bombed a Khartoum pharmaceutical factory, claiming it was linked to suspected Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden. The missile strike, retaliation for two deadly attacks on U.S. embassies in East Africa, pushed U.S.-Sudanese relations to new lows.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The police look unhappy, and when they are unhappy, we pay."

A 16-year-old ethnic Albanian resident of the Kosovo town of Podujevo -- Page A1