EUROPE

Belgrade Police Stop Protests for 2nd Day

BELGRADE--Yugoslav riot police attacked anti-government demonstrators for the second straight night here in the capital, clubbing protesters as they lay on the ground and cornering them in side streets.

Many people were beaten while fleeing, and independent Radio B2-92 reported at least 10 people were injured. Opposition parties have stepped up demands for democratic changes since President Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown in Kosovo led to a 78-day NATO bombing campaign that ended with the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops from the province. On Sept. 21, the Alliance for Change launched daily protests in several towns demanding Milosevic's ouster.

Meanwhile, police closed the independent Serbian daily Glas Javnosti for printing a leaflet distributed at anti-government rallies and were searching for the leaflet author, press and opposition sources said.

Pinochet Extradition Hearing Ends

LONDON--A hearing to determine whether former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet will be extradited from Britain to Spain to stand trial on torture charges ended yesterday, and a ruling is expected next week.

After hearing four days of testimony, British Deputy Chief Magistrate Ronald Bartle said he would issue his judgment next Friday. If Bartle rules against the 83-year-old general, he can still appeal.

British Leaders Target Crime, RacismBOURNEMOUTH, England--Britain's Labor government declared war on the twin scourges of crime and racism, announcing it would pay for 5,000 more police but warning the force it must tackle prejudice in its ranks. Home Secretary Jack Straw's message to his party's annual conference was highlighted by Neville Lawrence, a black man whose teenage son was killed by white thugs six years ago. The killers have never been brought to justice. Lawrence urged all sections of society to learn the lessons of his son's murder.

ASIA

India Test-Launches New Missile

NEW DELHI--India test-launched its most sophisticated surface-to-air missile, which soared over the Indian Ocean and knocked down a pilotless plane, officials said. The Akash missile can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads, United News of India quoted Defense Ministry officials as saying. It has a range of 15 miles and is one of five missiles being developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization.

Kashmir Gun Battles Leave 16 DeadNEW DELHI--Islamic guerrillas battled with Indian soldiers in a thickly forested mountain stretch in Kashmir near the border with Pakistan, leaving 16 dead in two gun battles, officials said. A string of separatist outfits have fought Indian security forces in the disputed Kashmir region for more than a decade to carve out an independent nation or merge with Pakistan, India's hostile western neighbor.

Japanese Cult Leader Sentenced to Death

TOKYO--A former doomsday cult leader who spread lethal nerve gas in one of Tokyo's busiest subway stations in 1995 was sentenced to hang for his role in the attack, which killed 12 people and made thousands ill. It was the first death sentence meted out in the subway gassing case, blamed on the Aum Shinrikyo cult.

Former cult guru Shoko Asahara is on trial for masterminding the assault. The Tokyo District Court handed down the verdict on Masato Yokoyama, 35, one of a squad of five Aum agents who released the nerve gas sarin in subway trains as they converged on Tokyo's central government district during morning rush hour.

THE MIDDLE EAST

Turkish Troops Hunt for Kurds in Iraq

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey--Thousands of Turkish troops pushed about six miles into the mountains of northern Iraq to engage Kurdish rebels hiding in the remote region, a security official said.

The operation, which the official said had been launched Monday, coincided with hard-line statements from Turkey's influential military vowing to fight until every "terrorist" has surrendered or been "neutralized." Iraq condemned the incursion, saying it was aggression and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

The Iraqi government lost direct control of northern Iraq in the wake of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The developments represent a blow to Kurdish Workers' Party rebels who say they are suing for peace.

PLO Faction Leader Returns to Palestine

JERICHO, West Bank--A leader of a Syrian-backed PLO faction returned to the West Bank after 32 years, signaling that opponents of peace negotiations with Israel want to rebuild their dwindling support among Palestinians.

Mustafa Zibri, second in command of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was greeted by senior Palestinian Authority officials after he crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into the West Bank town of Jericho. Zibri, 61, fled as Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War.

THE AMERICAS

Canadian Man Dies of West Nile Fever

TORONTO--Canadian health authorities said they believe a Canadian man died Saturday from a rare mosquito-borne encephalitic virus responsible for five recent deaths in the New York City area. David McKeown, the acting medical officer of health, said the 75-year-old man had recently visited New York. West Nile fever, never previously diagnosed in the Western Hemisphere, is spread from birds to mosquitoes to humans.

Haiti Delays Legislative ElectionsPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti--Haiti's long-delayed legislative elections have been pushed back a third time to March 19, officials said. The country's nine-member electoral council said the date was fixed after consultations with President Rene Preval, who dissolved the deadlocked parliament in January.

New elections have been delayed by difficulty in registering voters, setting up the elections apparatus and checking the credentials of an estimated 50,000 candidates. Officials first said elections would be in November, then pushed them back to January.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's almost eerie that we've been able to conduct our mission so successfully without having to engage in decisive combat."

--Australian Maj. Gen. Peter Cosgrove, who is leading the peacekeeping mission in East Timor

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