Jet Flips During Crash Landing; 2 Killed
HONG KONG -- A China Airlines jet caught fire and flipped over while crash-landing at Hong Kong's airport in a tropical storm, killing two people and injuring at least 188 of the 315 people aboard, witnesses and officials said.
Witnesses said the plane was on fire before it came down at Chek Lap Kok airport, and the right wing hit the runway before the rest of the jet, which flipped over and burst into flames.
Passenger David MacDonell said "at about 100 meters [300 feet] from the runway, people at the back started clapping. And I thought it was the kiss of death, and it was."
Flight CI642 from Bangkok was thrown off balance by a "hard side wind" as the pilot tried to land the MD-11 during Tropical Storm Sam, said Scott Shih, a spokesman for China Airlines at the carrier's headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan.
Son Enlisted to Assist Gandhi's Campaign
VILLUPURAM, India -- Sonia Gandhi called in her only son to help her flagging parliamentary election campaign win votes, drawing on what has long been the Congress party leader's strongest weapon: her legendary family.
Rahul Gandhi, 27, quit his job as a financial consultant in London to work on the campaign. But he is not planning to run for office, the party announced at a rally of tens of thousands of supporters in the southern town of Villupuram. Elections are set for September and October.
Rahul Gandhi is the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family to be involved in Indian politics. His father, grandmother and great-grandfather were prime ministers who together ruled the country for 37 of the 52 years since independence.
Explosion in Philippines Ruled Accidental
MANILA -- A deadly explosion at the Philippines' main crime-fighting agency was caused when explosives held as evidence were set off by accident, an official said.
Officials initially said the blast that killed seven people and demolished the National Bureau of Investigation's special investigation division on Aug. 13 might have been a terrorist attack.
An investigation, however, showed the blast was probably triggered by agents smoking near a bucketful of dynamite powder seized as evidence, the bureau's director said.
Russian Officials Assess Actions in Dagestan
MOSCOW -- Russia's prime minister summoned defense and law enforcement officials to review their campaign against Islamic militants occupying villages in the southern region of Dagestan -- a campaign that has failed to dislodge the rebels despite two weeks of attacks.
The meeting in Moscow came after Russian forces chalked up some victories in Dagestan. They said they had captured parts of a rebel stronghold a day after seizing a key rebel supply route.
Control over the Tando mountaintop and the Kharami mountain pass leading to the neighboring breakaway region of Chechnya is seen as vital for the militants. The strength of the Russian positions was unclear, and the tenacious rebels, who are seeking an independent Muslim state in the Caucasus Mountains, have recaptured ground before.
Milosevic Foes to Follow Separate Agendas
BELGRADE -- The two main factions of Serbia's splintered opposition said they would pursue their own, separate strategies to topple Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Rifts between Vuk Draskovic and Zoran Djindjic have long frustrated efforts to topple Milosevic, whose policies have dragged the country into four wars that have left Yugoslavia in economic ruin.
Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement reiterated its calls for early elections as a means to put an end to Milosevic's decade-long rule and the country's continuing decline.
By contrast, Djindjic's Democratic Party -- the chief group in a broad coalition of anti-Milosevic groups known as Alliance for Change -- again sharply criticized the notion of early elections. The group said Milosevic offered the early ballot as an "attempted deceit."
Ethnic Albanians Threaten to Bar Russians
ORAHOVAC, Yugoslavia -- Ethnic Albanians threatened to block all three main access roads to this southern Kosovo town to prevent the arrival of Russian peacekeepers they accuse of participating in past Serbian atrocities.
Ethnic Albanians resent the Russian peacekeepers, accusing them of favoring their fellow Slavic Serbs. For their part, many Serbs believe that only the Russians can protect them from reprisal attacks by ethnic Albanians.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Israelis Retaliate After Attack in Lebanon
BEIRUT -- Israeli warplanes attacked suspected guerrilla hideouts in southern Lebanon, hours after two Israeli soldiers were wounded in an attack, Lebanese security officials said.
There was no word on casualties from the airstrike, the second in two days by Israeli jets. The region, called Iqlim al-Tuffah, is a stronghold of Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas. The air raid came hours after a Hezbollah attack wounded two Israeli soldiers in the Israeli-occupied zone.
Arafat Meets With Alienated Faction Leader
CAIRO -- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and estranged comrade Nayef Hawatmeh began landmark talks in Cairo aimed at reuniting Palestinian factions ahead of peace talks with Israel.
Arafat, head of the Palestinian Authority, which rules parts of the West Bank and Gaza, and Hawatmeh, leader of the radical Damascus-based Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were meeting for the first time in six years. They fell out over the Israeli-Palestinian interim peace deal signed by Arafat in 1993.
FOR THE RECORD
MOSCOW -- Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov played down his presidential ambitions and pledged to support former Russian prime minister Yevgeny Primakov if he runs for president next summer.
ALGIERS -- Radical Muslim rebels killed seven pro-government militiamen and injured five others in an ambush Saturday in Bouira province, 70 miles east of Algiers, sources said.
SYDNEY -- Despite reports to the contrary, the government said it has no plans to remove the image of Queen Elizabeth II from its coins if Australia votes to become an independent republic in November.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"The population is growing so fast we have to run like Carl Lewis just to stay in place."
V.P. Reddaiah, who directs the Center for
Community Medicine at the All-India
Institute of Medicine -- Page A1