Serbs Quit Council Over KLA Deal
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia--Serbian members of the multiethnic council that works with the United Nations and NATO to administer Kosovo resigned yesterday, claiming the new Kosovo Protection Corps is nothing more than an ethnic Albanian army in disguise.
The move was a blow to international efforts to promote reconciliation between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, and it may herald a new period of tension between the U.N. and NATO missions and leaders of the minority Serbian community. It came two days after NATO and the United Nations signed an agreement with Kosovo Liberation Army leaders to disband the guerrilla group and transform it into a lightly armed, 5,000-member civil defense force.
Russians Mourn Raisa Gorbachev
MOSCOW--Several thousand Russians paid their last respects to Raisa Gorbachev, wife of former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, with some asking forgiveness for a nation that reviled her while she lived for being the antithesis of the typical Soviet leader's wife.
Raisa Gorbachev, who died Monday in Germany from acute leukemia, appeared with her husband in public at home and abroad, served as his eyes and ears on her travels and was one of his closest advisers. Her activities were readily accepted in the West, but they were the subject of much criticism in the Soviet Union.
A solemn procession of mourners lined up outside the Russian Culture Fund, which she founded. Many people waited more than an hour to lay flowers at the foot of her coffin, which was heaped with blossoms.
Exiled Paraguayan Stirs Controversy
BUENOS AIRES--A Paraguayan coup plotter whose asylum in Argentina is already causing friction courted further controversy by apparently telling a newspaper he wants to go home, face the courts and seek the presidency. Former army chief Lino Oviedo was the power behind President Raul Cubas until they both fled in March after Cubas's vice president, Luis Maria Argana, was gunned down. The new government wants Oviedo extradited on murder charges, but Argentina has refused.
The front-page interview in the respected Argentine daily La Nacion would violate the terms of asylum which prohibit any political activity or statements. Oviedo has already been given a "final warning" for meeting 30 of his political associates.
Oviedo and Cubas, who is in exile in Brazil, are suspected of plotting the vice president's murder.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Iranian Troops Parade Their Weapons
TEHRAN--Iran's Revolutionary Guards showed off their own surface-to-surface missile for the first time as President Mohammed Khatemi pledged that Iranian forces would help maintain regional security. In a military parade marking the anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, the elite Guards and regular army units rolled out a wide range of Iranian-made military hardware, prompting Khatemi to tout the export potential of the local arms industry.
Khatemi took the salute as thousands of ground, navy and air force troops and Revolutionary Guards snapped into a goose-step when they passed the reviewing stand in Tehran's Freedom Square.
Lebanese Soldier Killed in Air Raid
NABATIYAH, Lebanon--Israeli warplanes staging bombing runs against suspected guerrilla hideouts in southern Lebanon killed a Lebanese soldier, Lebanese security officials said.
The attack against the Lebanese army--which has largely stayed out of the long conflict between Israeli forces and Islamic guerrillas--came during one of four airstrikes Israeli warplanes launched in the south within six hours.
Iranians Propose Press CurbsTEHRAN--A conservative parliamentary committee has proposed new restrictions on Iran's press, a main battleground between reformers around President Mohammed Khatemi and hard-line rivals, newspapers reported.
The daily Arya said the commission had amended the draft of an already restrictive bill to strengthen the powers of the Press Court judge that would allow him, among other things, the right to close newspapers and imprison editors without a prior hearing, and to overrule a jury on matters of censorship. The amendments are yet to be approved by the conservative parliament.
U.N.: Somali Food Supply Endangered
NAIROBI--Increased inter-clan fighting in southern Somalia could imperil hundreds of thousands of people already facing crop shortfalls and hunger, the U.N. World Food Program said.
On Monday, U.N. agencies suspended all operations, including food deliveries, in southern Somalia at least until Friday because three doctors working for aid agencies have been shot dead there in the last month. The suspension was imposed amid almost daily reports of inter-clan fighting in southern Somalia, and at a time when up to a million Somalis face serious food shortages as a result of consecutive droughts and poor harvests.
U.S. Awaits N. Korea Missile Moratorium
SEOUL--The United States expects North Korea to announce a moratorium on missile tests in return for the partial lifting of sanctions against the communist state, a U.S. policy coordinator said. William Perry, Washington's point man on North Korea, said months of negotiations between U.S. and North Korean officials have led to an understanding that Pyongyang should make a formal announcement "in the weeks ahead."
If Pyongyang's Stalinist regime breaks that promise and goes ahead with long-range missile tests, the United States will restore sanctions and contain the North's military threat, he said.
Protests Spawn Crackdown in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysian police widened a crackdown on opposition politicians following mass protests in support of jailed former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim. Police chief Norian Mai said authorities were looking to arrest five more politicians after detaining at least 13 earlier this week. The arrests followed a protest on Sunday, spurred by Anwar's allegations he had been poisoned by opponents.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I had never experienced real fear until the last two weeks."
-- Sister Marlene Bautista, who helped hide East Timor independence leaders from militiamen for 18 days at a convent in Dili. Page A1