Thousands Remember Russian Revolution
MOSCOW--Thousands of protesters paraded through Moscow to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Russian Revolution and vent their anger at President Boris Yeltsin and the social and economic upheaval in Russia.
About 10,000 people--many elderly and poor--marched from the former October Square to Lubyanka Square, site of the former headquarters of the KGB secret police. Their common refrain was that Yeltsin was to blame for the loss of Soviet-era stability and the country's economic collapse. Similar demonstrations were held elsewhere in Russia, and in the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus, the Russian Tass news agency reported. The holiday commemorates the day Bolsheviks seized the czar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in 1917.
Chechen Leader Asks Clinton for Help
GROZNY, Russia--Chechnya's leader appealed to President Clinton to help end the "genocide of the Chechen people" as Russia tightened its grip on the breakaway region.
Russian guns shelled the outskirts of the Chechen capital, Grozny, and warplanes bombed areas to the south and east of the city, forcing more people to flee to neighboring Ingushetia.
Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, a relative moderate who has little control over forces fighting the Russian army, wrote to Clinton for help.
"We are ready for dialogue, ready to consider different ways of regulation which respect the rights of Chechens to live freely and safely," Maskhadov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. "The Chechen people have huge hopes that the United States will use its authority to defend human rights." But Russia's leadership has given no sign that it is ready to talk to Maskhadov.
American Sites Attacked in Athens
ATHENS--A bomb exploded outside a Levi's jeans store here, and shots were fired outside an American cultural center, police said, apparently to protest an upcoming visit by President Clinton. No one was hurt. Police said a previously unheard of group called Anti-Capitalist Action issued a warning before the bombing and they believe the shooting was the work of an obscure group called Red Line, which has attacked American targets before. The attacks were the fifth in four days possibly linked to Clinton's Nov. 13-15 trip, despite tight security measures already involving several thousand police officers.
Many Greeks oppose Clinton's trip because of the U.S. government's leading role in NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. Although Greece, a NATO member, provided logistical support for the campaign, Greeks largely sympathized with fellow-Christian Orthodox Serbs during the Kosovo crisis.
Falun Gong Members Sentenced to Camps
BEIJING--Authorities have sentenced more than 500 people to labor camps in the latest crackdown on the banned Falun Gong sect, a Hong Kong-based human rights group reported.
The Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China, citing unidentified sources, reported that the sentences were handed down to Falun Gong members from Hebei, a province bordering Beijing.
The government has banned Falun Gong, which combines traditional meditation exercises with Buddhism and Taoism. Authorities have decided to use labor camp sentences to punish group members who continue to meet secretly or travel to Beijing to protest the ban, the center said, citing an official it did not identify.
Meanwhile, a Chinese cabinet spokesman said police arrested 111 other Falun Gong members on Monday on charges ranging from obstruction of the law to stealing state secrets.
U.N. Interviewing E. Timor Victims
TIBAR, East Timor--U.N. officials investigating killings, torture and the abuse of women held their first joint interview of victims of the violence that overtook East Timor after the August vote for independence from Indonesia.
While there is still no accurate death toll, human rights workers now believe hundreds of people were killed--not thousands, as originally feared.
U.N. human rights chief Mary Robinson has called for an investigation of rights abuses by militias who rampaged through the territory, but the process has been held up by bureaucratic delays.
Sri Lankan Army Counterattacking Rebels
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka--The Sri Lankan military launched a counterattack on Tamil Tiger guerrillas after losing several key bases to the rebels in fierce fighting last week, and the government announced that war news would be censored.
Military officials said troops had moved from three flanks from north of the government-held frontier town of Vavuniya, about 130 miles northeast of the capital, Colombo. The Defense Ministry said several army commanders in the north were changed after defeats last week that left hundreds of soldiers dead or wounded.
The losses are probably the military's biggest setback in the 16-year ethnic war, in which rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east. More than 55,000 people have been killed in the fighting.
Incumbent Wins Tajikistan Elections
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan--President Imamali Rakhmonov won a landslide victory in Tajikistan's presidential race, the government announced, but his challenger refused to accept the result. Preliminary results showed that Rakhmonov, a hard-line secularist, had captured 96 percent of the vote in balloting Saturday, winning a seven-year term.
But Rakhmonov's devoutly Islamic challenger, Davlat Usmon, called for the election in the former Soviet republic in Central Asia to be invalidated. He said he believed the election was rigged and estimated that only 20 to 30 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, not 96 percent, as officials said.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Tremors Rattle Quake-Damaged Turkey
ISTANBUL--Two moderate tremors shook Turkey's heavily populated northwest, which is still recovering from a devastating August earthquake that killed more than 17,000 people.
The state-run Anatolian news agency said one person died of a heart attack during the aftershocks. It said the epicenter of the tremors, measuring 5.0 and 4.3 on the Richter scale, was in the town of Hendek.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"You build a palace thinking you will stay there a long time, and then suddenly you are gone."
-- Abid Saeed, a guide who shows reporters the estate of overthrown Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif --Page A18