India Claims Gains; U.S. Leans on Pakistan
NEW DELHI -- India said yesterday that its military had consolidated key gains against infiltrators holed up in Kashmir's snowy heights, as New Delhi and Islamabad played down informal diplomacy aimed at defusing tensions.
Washington turned up the heat on Pakistan to pull back from its most serious confrontation with nuclear rival India in almost 30 years, accusing its Cold War ally's army of an "intimate central role" in the incursion into Indian-controlled Kashmir.
A former Pakistani foreign secretary who met Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee over the weekend said yesterday that military officials from both sides may meet soon to prepare a schedule for the infiltrators' withdrawal.
Hong Kong's Lawyers Protest Chinese Moves
HONG KONG -- More than 400 lawyers took to the streets in Hong Kong to protest silently against what they see as Beijing's interference with the local judicial system.
In their first demonstration ever, the lawyers marched from the High Court to the Court of Final Appeal without banners or chants.
The lawyers condemned China's imposition of its own interpretation of immigration provisions in Hong Kong's post-colonial constitution, which has aggravated the most serious legal row in the territory since London ceded the former colony to Beijing in July 1997.
Kosovo Refugees Receiving Useless Drugs
COPENHAGEN -- Refugee camps in Albania are being flooded by useless drugs and medical supplies, the U.N. health agency said yesterday.
The World Health Organization said an audit of medical supplies donated to help Kosovo Albanians found that vast amounts of the drugs will have to be destroyed because they are out of date or improperly labeled.
In May, 65 percent of the pharmaceuticals received by Albanian health authorities were useless because they were out of date or would soon expire, a WHO statement said. The statement also said 32 percent of the donations were brands that Albanian health workers could not use because they were not familiar with the products.
Freed Missionary Tells of Chechnya Captivity
LONDON -- An American missionary freed from captivity in Russia's breakaway Chechnya region said that although his kidnappers had cut off one of his fingers to press ransom demands, he had been treated well much of the time.
Herbert Gregg, who was freed Tuesday following seven months in captivity, said his treatment varied. "A lot of the time [it] was good. There were some good people there," he said upon arrival in London on a flight from Moscow.
Gregg declined to go into any details about how he came to be released, other than to answer "no" when asked if Russian security forces had freed him.
Pope Details Stops on Millennium Trip
VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II said in a letter he hopes to make a major pilgrimage during millennium celebrations to Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Greece and Holy Land cities.
The 79-year-old pope provided details of places where he would like to go to mark the millennium in a 19-page letter. Among the places he listed were Ur, the ancient city in Mesopotamia where Abraham was born, now part of Iraq; Mount Sinai in Egypt, where Moses received the Ten Commandments; Christ's birthplace in Bethlehem; Nazareth, where Christ grew up; and Jerusalem.
Coke Stages 2nd European Recall in a Month
WARSAW -- Coca-Cola recalled all of its drinks in small, returnable glass bottles in Poland after mold was found in some of the bottles.
No one in Poland has reported getting sick by drinking from the 12-ounce glass bottles, and Coca-Cola officials insisted the mold only showed up in a fraction of the products.
It was the company's second recent recall in Europe; earlier in June, it withdrew products in Belgium, Luxembourg and France due to contamination.
As Congo Talks Falter, Fighting Reported
LUSAKA, Zambia -- The main rebel group fighting Congolese President Laurent Kabila boycotted the latest round of peace talks as hopes for a cease-fire faded amid reports of renewed fighting. Rebels said they had attacked the south Congolese city of Kabinda and that fighting was raging at the airport.
Meanwhile, in Johannesburg, South African President Thabo Mbeki announced that he will send troops to Congo as peacekeepers when a peace agreement is reached and a cease-fire is in place.
FOR THE RECORD
BRUSSELS -- The Belgian government said the costs of the recent dioxin-in-food crisis were estimated at $1.54 billion.
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Three Scottish judges rejected a claim by two Libyans accused of blowing up an airliner in 1988 that their right to a fair trial had been prejudiced by a British newspaper article.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Thank God for the Albanians -- they fed us, they helped us."
Svetlana Persic, resident of an asylum in Kosovo that was abandoned by its Serb staff -- Page A21
CAPTION: The mother of a 7-year-old boy killed in a fire at a summer camp hugs her niece, who narrowly escaped. The early morning blaze in a dormitory 60 miles southwest of Seoul killed 23 kindergartners.