EUROPE

Embassy Bombing Suspects Held in Britain

LONDON -- British police arrested two men here on a U.S. warrant charging them with conspiring with Osama bin Laden in last summer's deadly bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Authorities said the men, Ibrahim Hussein Abdel Hadi Eidarous, 42, and Adel Mohanned Abdul Almagid Bary are to appear today in a British court, where U.S. officials will seek their extradition. Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi fugitive, is suspected of masterminding and financing the Aug. 7, 1998, embassy bombings, which killed 224 people and wounded thousands. He is believed to be sequestered in Afghanistan, and the United States has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Two men are awaiting trial in the United States on murder and conspiracy charges in connection with the Nairobi bombing. The United States is also seeking the extradition from Britain of Khaled Al Fawwaz, a Saudi national, in connection with that attack.

N. Ireland Faces Challenges to Peace

BELFAST -- Northern Ireland this week faces two critical challenges to its year-old peace accord that will show whether this divided, embittered society is really leaving its past behind in favor of a new era of compromise and common sense.

The first test comes today when the Protestant Orange Order brotherhood stages annual parades that officially commemorate a victory over Catholics three centuries ago, but also serve to demonstrate which side of the community remains the stronger today.

The second test comes Thursday, when British Prime Minister Tony Blair expects the major Protestant party, the Ulster Unionists, to form a four-party government that includes the Irish Republican Army's political arm, Sinn Fein. That long-unimaginable goal formed the core of the 1998 Good Friday agreement, but Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble -- who would head the government -- insists the IRA must first commit itself to disarm.

THE AMERICAS

Strong Earthquake Hits Central America

GUATEMALA CITY -- A powerful earthquake measuring up to 6.6 on the Richter scale rocked the Caribbean coast of Central America yesterday, injuring 40 people, destroying homes and forcing Guatemala to declare a 72-hour emergency, shutting down the government of the eastern province of Izabal.

The U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., reported the quake's magnitude at 6.6, while Guatemala's Seismological Station estimated the force at 6.1, up from an initial report of 5.9. The quake, which occurred at 8:14 a.m. local time (10:14 a.m. EDT), alarmed people across Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.

The epicenter was on the northern, Caribbean coast of Honduras near the Guatemalan border, said Jim Taggart, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center.

AFRICA

Congo Rebels Vow to Keep Fighting

LUSAKA, Zambia -- Defiant Congolese rebels pledged to keep fighting despite the signing of an accord to end Africa's biggest ongoing war.

The accord was signed late Saturday by Congolese President Laurent Kabila, the target of the 11-month old rebel campaign, along with his foreign military allies and the countries that have backed the rebels, Uganda and Rwanda.

The signers agreed to stop fighting at 5 p.m. EDT, form a joint military commission and start disarming independent militias. Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe have backed Kabila.

The three squabbling rebel groups, which were barred from signing the accord because of a dispute over who would represent the main group, the Congolese Rally for Democracy, said the agreement would not prevent them from fighting.

ASIA

Wartime `Comfort Women' Suing Japan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Lawyers for Taiwanese women forced to serve as sex slaves -- euphemistically termed "comfort women" -- to Japanese soldiers during World War II are going to sue for compensation and an apology in Tokyo, a spokeswoman said.

The group was to bring a complaint today before the Tokyo District Court from nine women demanding an apology and $82,000 each for their suffering, lawyer Wang Ching-feng said. Five of the plaintiffs will travel with the lawyers to Tokyo.

The case gained new attention last week with the disclosure that several prominent Taiwanese families were shareholders in a Japanese company that ran the wartime brothels. Taiwan was a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945 and served as a base for the Imperial army's wartime thrust into Southeast Asia.

Laureate Backs E. Timor Elections Delay

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta supported a delay by the United Nations in deciding whether East Timor was safe enough to go ahead with voter registration for the planned August ballot on independence. He said he also believed it would be better to delay the polling date, currently scheduled for Aug. 21 or 22, than risk voting under conditions of violence and terror.

China Arrests Opposition Party Organizer

BEIJING -- Police have filed subversion charges against an organizer of a banned Chinese opposition party, bringing him a step closer to imprisonment, a human rights group reported.

Police in northern Sichuan province filed the charges against She Wanbao on Saturday, three days after dragging him from his home in the city of Guangyuan, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China reported.

Her arrest comes amid a renewed crackdown on the year-old China Democracy Party. Authorities have detained at least nine leading members of the group since early June, most of them second-tier leaders like She.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It is the aim of our life to struggle for freedom. We will happily continue to sacrifice for it."

Sayed Muskeen Shah, 55, who left Indian Kashmir 10 years ago -- Page A10