Jamaican Troops Begin Patrols in Kingston
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaican troops opened their first outposts in Kingston and its suburbs yesterday in an effort to control the gang wars that have swept through the capital. The troops searched homes and vehicles, patrolled streets and enforced a dusk-to-dawn curfew from five outposts in the city's poor neighborhoods, police officials said. The bases will also direct night patrols with helicopters using searchlights, they said.
Prime Minister Percival J. Patterson ordered the army to quell gang battles that have killed more than 10 people and prompted hundreds of residents to flee their homes in the past week.
Ecuadorean Leader Reimposes Emergency
QUITO, Ecuador -- Ecuadorean President Jamil Mahuad reimposed a 60-day national state of emergency revoked by Congress on Tuesday to deal with a transportation strike triggered by a jump in fuel prices.
Police fired tear gas at demonstrators and strikers manning roadblocks in several incidents in the poor Andean mountain country of 12.2 million people, which is struggling to implement austerity measures to rebuild its economy.
Argentine Prosecutor Presses Bombing Case
BUENOS AIRES -- An Argentine prosecutor asked a judge to file charges carrying possible life sentences against 19 people, 10 of them former police officers, as accomplices in the 1994 car bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 86 people.
"I believe our case will be ready in two months," prosecutor Eamon Mullen said, adding that he expected the trial to start by the middle of next year.
The 10 ex-police officers are alleged to have supplied the explosive-packed van that was detonated outside the AIMA Jewish community center in downtown Buenos Aires, razing the building.
African Leaders Vow End to Costly Conflicts
ALGIERS -- Winding up their last summit of the century, African heads of state vowed to end the costly conflicts that have sapped the continent's human and material resources.
They claimed progress, if not success, in resolving the 14-month-old border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea and expressed optimism that the conflict in Congo was on the way to resolution. The final Algiers Declaration signed at the summit referred to the conflicts in the Horn of Africa, Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Burundi, Angola and Somalia, among others, as "many time bombs" left over from the colonial era that ended less than half a century ago. But it said the 52 member states of the Organization for African Unity do not intend "to shirk our own responsibility for the problems and difficulties still bedeviling our countries and the continent in general."
NATO Reviews Posting of Russian Troops
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- NATO's top general said the alliance is considering whether to alter its assignment of Russian peacekeeping troops to the south-central Kosovo city of Orahovac, where thousands of ethnic Albanian residents have organized demonstrations against any Russian presence. U.S. Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, the supreme commander of NATO, said that while the review is underway, Dutch peacekeeping troops who have patrolled the city for the past three weeks will remain there. At the same time, he defend NATO's controversial assignment of Russian troops to help keep peace in other cities and towns where the majority of the residents oppose their presence.
Kazakhstan Agrees to Russian Launch
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan agreed to let a Russian rocket blast off with supplies for the Mir space station after Moscow promised to pay a $115 million bill for use of the Baikonur launch pad.
The Progress cargo ship carrying food and equipment for Mir will take off Friday, Kazakh government spokesman Sergei Sivun said. The deal was reached in talks between Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov and Kazakh officials in Astana, the capital of the Central Asian nation.
Rabbi's Assailant Admits Antisemitism
MOSCOW -- A young man arrested in the stabbing of a Jewish leader admitted that the attack was antisemitic, but said he was not acting for any political group. Nikita Krivchun, 20, told NTV television he stabbed Leopold Kaimovsky, the director of the Jewish Cultural Center at Moscow's Choral Synagogue, because he opposes Judaism.
Russian Church Targets `Aggressive' Groups
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- The Russian Orthodox Church asked prosecutors in Russia's Far East to investigate the methods used by three religious groups to recruit converts.
The church accused the Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and a splinter group of Hare Krishnas based in the Far Eastern region of Primorye of recruiting potential converts illegally. The groups are "aggressive churches that harvest souls . . . by using deception and totalitarian methods," the church said.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Turkey Welcomes Israel-Syria Peace Efforts
JERUSALEM -- Turkey said it would welcome renewed peacemaking between regional neighbors Israel and Syria despite its own grievances with Damascus.
Turkish President Suleyman Demirel made the remark after meeting Prime Minister Ehud Barak and President Ezer Weizman on the first day of an official visit to Israel.
FOR THE RECORD
NEW DELHI -- India said infiltrators were retreating from strategic heights in Kashmir according to schedule, but warned that force would be used if they failed to meet Friday's withdrawal deadline.
UNITED NATIONS -- Despite concerns about intimidation and security in East Timor, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced that the United Nations would start registering voters for a ballot on independence.
LONDON -- The European Union ended a three-year ban on British beef that was imposed after an outbreak of mad cow disease. Exports may resume as early as Aug. 1 but will be subject to strict precautions.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We will resolutely and decisively quell any attempt to rebel."
Hassan Rowhani, secretary of the Supreme Council for National Security, Iran's top security body