NATO Orders Town's Serbs to Disarm

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- NATO ordered Serbs in a southern Kosovo town to hand in their weapons or face arrest in a last-minute crackdown before Dutch troops turn security over to the Russians.

By mid-afternoon, NATO officials said Serbs had turned in 120 weapons -- mostly AK-47 assault rifles -- in Orahovac, 40 miles southwest of Pristina, in the German-controlled sector of Kosovo. Dutch soldiers have been stationed there for weeks but are to hand the town over to Russian peacekeepers starting Monday.

Meanwhile, in Pristina, a council of Serbs and ethnic Albanians formed to advise the U.N. mission held its second meeting -- but without Kosovo Liberation Army leader Hashim Thaqi.

Thaqi's rival, moderate politician Ibrahim Rugova, boycotted the first session July 16, complaining about the allocation of seats. Rugova, elected president of the unrecognized Republic of Kosovo, was present at yesterday's meeting, along with U.N. and NATO representatives.

Thaqi and Rugova claim leadership of Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanian community. Chief U.N. administrator Bernard Kouchner said Thaqi told him earlier that he would be out of the country but would attend the next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.

Russian Muslim Criticizes Dagestan Rebels

MAKHACHKALA, Russia -- A leader of Russia's Muslims condemned Islamic militants who are holding villages in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan.

Guerrillas have held several mountain hamlets they seized Aug. 7 after crossing from the neighboring breakaway region of Chechnya. Russian forces, meanwhile, said that they seized a crucial rebel supply route, and that their attacks had killed 100 rebels in a single day of fighting.

The rebels want to create an independent Islamic state in the mountainous Caucasus region of Dagestan and Chechnya. But unlike Chechnya, where support for separatism was widespread during that region's two-year war with Russia, most of Dagestan opposes the rebels.

French Farmers Keep Heat on McDonald's

PARIS -- Angry farmers dumped peaches and manure in front of McDonald's outlets in southern France to protest U.S. trade sanctions and the increasing domination of multinational agricultural corporations.

The actions were the latest in a two-week campaign by farmers that has resulted in the arrest of five protesters charged with vandalizing a McDonald's restaurant under construction in central France.


Provincial Leader, Target of Probe Resigns

VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Premier Glen Clark of British Columbia resigned amid allegations he used his political influence to help a friend get a lucrative casino license.

The New Democratic Party caucus quickly elected Deputy Premier Dan Miller as interim premier.

Clark said he visited Lt.-Gov. Garde Gardom earlier yesterday and tendered his resignation. But he maintained he has done nothing wrong. A criminal probe of the allegations continues.

"I'm completely confident I will be exonerated and cleared," said Clark, who appeared tanned and relaxed.

Clark has been under fire since March after Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided his house. Authorities had obtained a search warrant based on a belief "that documents relating to the exercise of influence or assistance by Clark" might be found at his residence.

No such documents were found. Officers left with some building plans. There has been no decision yet on whether to file charges, prosecutors said. But when details of the warrant were released, calls increased for the premier's resignation.


Muslim Rebels Kill 14 Algerian Children

ALGIERS -- Muslim rebels stormed an isolated house and slashed the throats of 14 children, most of them under the age of 10, attending a traditional circumcision party on Friday night, local residents said.

The five rebels, dressed in army uniforms, also bombed a nearby building seriously wounding five other people before they fled near the town of Ouzera in Medea province, 75 miles south of the capital, Algiers.

Medea province is a stronghold of the Armed Islamic Group, Algeria's most radical faction, which has fought for more than seven years to topple the largely secular government.


Pakistanis Sentenced in Oil Worker Murders

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Nearly two years after four American oil workers were gunned down in a daring daylight attack, two Pakistani men were sentenced to die for the crime.

A special anti-terrorist court convicted and sentenced Ahmed Saeed, 29, and Mohammed Salim, 39, for the November 1997 slayings in the port city of Karachi. The men also were sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for possession of illegal weapons.

The pair were charged in January 1999 with killing four American employees of Union Texas Petroleum and their Pakistani driver as the five sat in traffic. The Pakistani men are members of the ethnic-based Muttahida Qami Movement, which represents Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India in 1947.

U.S. Soldier Arrested in Shooting

SEOUL -- A drunk U.S. military policeman who allegedly shot and killed his superior at a base near the North Korean border has been arrested in Pusan, the U.S. Military Command said.

Jacob M. Bowley, a private from the 55th Military Police Company at Camp Red Cloud, north of Seoul, shot and killed a sergeant shortly before 4 a.m., the military said. He then fled the post with the weapon, triggering a manhunt by thousands of South Korean police and U.S. investigators. It was not known why he shot the superior.


BEIJING -- A giant panda gave birth to a rare three-cub litter this week in southwest China's Sichuan province, but the smallest of the three cubs has died, the state-run New China News Agency reported.

BEIJING -- Authorities in China's Henan province have arrested eight leaders of underground Christian churches and may sentence them to labor camps, a human rights group said.

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan's opposition said it had repulsed at least three military assaults by the Taliban militia in some of the fiercest fighting so far this year.


"The reason we came here was to save people. That has ended."

Edward Pearson, member of British team that sought survivors of Turkey's earthquake -- Page A1