Violence Averted in Tense Kosovo Town

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Yugoslavia -- Potentially violent protests expected in this deeply divided Kosovo town were averted yesterday after ethnic Albanian civic and military officials intervened to disperse angry crowds.

But a day of U.N.-sponsored meetings between ethnic Albanian and Serbian representatives failed to produce a breakthrough agreement that international officials still hope will lead to Kosovska Mitrovica's peaceful reintegration.

Albanian television had called Sunday for students and miners to march to a contested bridge over the Ibar River yesterday to protest the lack of freedom of movement for ethnic Albanians into the Serb-controlled sector.

Press Charges May Be Dropped in Diana Case

PARIS -- France's state prosecutor has recommended dismissing charges against nine photographers and a press motorcyclist placed under formal investigation in connection with the car crash that killed Princess Diana, judicial officials said.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the prosecutor decided there was insufficient evidence to pursue the charges of manslaughter and failing to aid people in danger.

Diana, her companion Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul, died when their Mercedes crashed in a traffic tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997.

Pinochet's Health Said to Be Failing

LONDON -- Former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet's health is deteriorating, but he is determined to fight extradition to Spain on charges of human rights abuses, his spokesman said.

Patrick Robertson said that Pinochet was suffering from clinical depression as well as diabetes and heart problems and that he vehemently denied reports he had accepted responsibility for torture during his rule.


U.S., South Korea Hold Military Exercises

SEOUL -- A joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea involving warships, computer simulations and thousands of soldiers got underway amid fears that Communist North Korea may test-fire a new long-range missile.

North Korea denounced the exercise as a rehearsal of a war on the Korean peninsula and warned that it will hurt relations with the South and adversely affect talks underway between Pyongyang and Washington.

Lee Ferguson, spokeswoman for the U.S. military command in Seoul, said the drill, which has been conducted every year since 1974, is "no more than a routine, defensive training exercise."

Pakistani Groups Warn U.S. Over Bin Laden

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan's Islamic militant groups threatened to hit U.S. targets if Washington attacked Afghanistan's dominant Taliban militia or its "guest," Osama bin Laden, one of the FBI's most wanted men.

"This gathering considers Osama bin Laden as a great Muslim hero, and the entire 1 billion Muslims of the world would consider it an attack on themselves" if he were attacked, said Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, a Taliban backer and Jamiat-ul-Ulema party leader. Bin Laden is believed to have been behind the deadly bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa last year.

U.S. Opens New Consulate in Former Saigon

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- The United States opened a consulate in the former Saigon, nearly a quarter-century after a dramatic airlift from its old embassy marked the end of the Vietnam War. The United States and Vietnam normalized relations in 1995, 20 years after the Vietnam War ended.

U.S. Ambassador Pete Peterson, a veteran of the war, said the new consulate would help strengthen U.S. business interests in Vietnam, especially as the two countries approach full trade relations.


Liberia Accuses Guinea of Aiding Rebels

MONROVIA, Liberia -- Liberia accused Guinean forces of using artillery to support rebel attacks on Liberia's border territory and said it would seek troops from allies to defend its territory.

Defense Minister Daniel Chea told BBC radio that artillery fire from Guinea was impeding efforts by Liberian government troops to dislodge rebels who attacked last week and seized scores of hostages.


U.S. Planes Strike Radar Facility in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. warplanes struck the second Iraqi radar site in as many days in response to Iraqi artillery fire in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said. The Iraqi armed forces said U.S. and British warplanes attacked several sites in northern and southern Iraq, killing three people and injuring nine in the south.

Hezbollah Commander Killed in Lebanon

SIDON, Lebanon -- Two roadside bombs exploded in this southern port city, killing a Hezbollah commander in an attack that guerrillas blamed on Israel.

The commander, known by his nom de guerre Abu Hassan, was killed instantly when the two bombs exploded simultaneously next to his BMW sedan in a suburb of Sidon, Lebanese security officials said. Sources close to Hezbollah said Abu Hassan, who was in his forties, was the "coordinator of operations" for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.


Cuba Jails Dissident Who Fasted 40 Days

HAVANA -- A Cuban dissident who recently led a 40-day hunger strike to protest the detention of alleged political prisoners has been arrested, his family said. Oscar Elias Biscet, 38, was arrested Saturday afternoon after presenting a lecture on nonviolent civil disobedience, according to his wife, Elsa Morejon.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) met with Cuban President Fidel Castro for seven hours, Cuban authorities said.


"These things happen in families."

John Nagenda, adviser to Ugandan President

Yoweri Museveni, referring to a skirmish with

Rwanda, an ally -- Page A11