Third Suspect Arrested in Bishop's Death

GUATEMALA CITY--A third suspect has been arrested in the 1998 slaying of a Roman Catholic bishop whose office had issued a human rights report critical of the military. Army guard Jose Obdulio Villanueva was detained in Quezada, about 40 miles east of the capital, police spokesman Gerson Lopez said yesterday.

Bishop Juan Gerardi was bludgeoned to death on April 26, 1998, two days after presenting a report blaming the military and pro-government death squads for most of the deaths during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996.

On Friday, National Civil Police arrested Guatemalan army Capt. Byron Lima Oliva and his father, retired Col. Disrael Lima Estrada, in connection with the slaying and took them under heavy guard to a Guatemala City prison.

The arrests come one week after President Alfonso Portillo took office and promised to resolve the Gerardi slaying.


Clinton to Meet Middle East Leaders

JERUSALEM--President Clinton will meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Switzerland on Jan. 29 to try to boost the Middle East peace process, a Palestinian official said today.

Planning Minister Nabil Shaath told Voice of Palestine Radio that the meeting would take place in Davos, Switzerland, during the annual World Economic Forum. It will be the first meeting involving the three men since they met in November at a memorial ceremony in Norway for slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Israel and the Palestinians have set a Feb. 13 deadline for reaching a framework accord on an overall peace treaty.

Nuclear Inspectors Begin Search in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq--An International Atomic Energy Agency team began searching Iraqi nuclear sites in the first inspection by a world body in more than a year.

The team arrived in Baghdad on Friday for the first visit by monitors from the Vienna-based organization since U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in late 1998 on the eve of U.S.-British airstrikes.


U.S., N. Korea Begin Talks in Berlin

BERLIN--The United States and North Korea began their latest round of talks on improving relations yesterday, a meeting already marked by controversy over an American missile test earlier this week.

One of the aims of the Berlin talks is dealing with Washington's request for North Korea to send a senior envoy to visit the United States. Such a groundbreaking trip would follow President Clinton's sending William Perry, a former U.S. defense secretary, to North Korea in May.

But North Korea said it was reconsidering its moratorium on long-range missile tests after the United States tested an interceptor designed to shoot down enemy missiles. The United States had said that Tuesday's $100 million test was necessary toward building a shield against a potential attack from the isolated Stalinist state.

Japan Cult Members Held in Kidnapping

TOKYO--Two doomsday cult members have been arrested in the abduction of the son of the cult's former guru, accused in the 1995 sarin gassing on Tokyo subways.

Police were still looking for Shoko Asahara's 7-year-old son, who was abducted Friday by several followers of Aleph, the cult formerly known as Aum Shinrikyo. It was unclear why the boy was abducted, but Japanese media said it may be a sign of infighting in the cult.

Masarau Jingu, 30, was arrested yesterday and was suspected of trying to strangle one cult follower and punching another in the struggle over the boy, said a police official who gave only his last name, Osaku. Another suspect, Satoshi Nagayama, 37, was arrested Friday.


Britain Delays Final Pinochet Ruling

LONDON--Britain's final ruling on the fate of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet has been further delayed, said officials.

Home Secretary Jack Straw has written to Pinochet's lawyers and those representing Amnesty International and the Spanish government asking for more information by Monday, a Home Office spokeswoman said.

Straw said last week he was "minded" to release the 84-year-old general, held under house arrest here for the past 15 months, after doctors found he was medically unfit to stand trial in Spain on charges relating to human rights abuses during his 17-year rule.

IRA Must Start Disarming, Unionists Say

BELFAST--Northern Ireland's fledgling Protestant-Catholic government will likely be suspended within weeks if the Irish Republican Army doesn't start to disarm, the province's major Protestant party warned.

Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble said he would expect the British government to resume direct control of Northern Ireland in February if a disarmament commission reports too little progress in its negotiations with the IRA.

Trimble oversees the four-party coalition government formed last month as part of Northern Ireland's peace process. In an agreement that got the 1998 Good Friday peace accord back on track, he agreed to drop his long-held demand for some IRA disarmament in advance in hopes that the IRA would start disarming in return. But the IRA has given no indication it intends to even identify any of its hidden arms dumps.


Ivorians Vote on Constitution in April

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast--Ivorian voters will decide in an April referendum whether to accept a new constitution and a set of election laws designed to pave the way for an elected government, newspapers said.

Gen. Robert Guei, who seized power in a Dec. 24 coup, announced at a Friday cabinet meeting that he had created a 27-member commission to draft the new constitution and election laws, according to the government-owned newspaper Fraternite Matin, quoting from Guei's decree.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We're all walking around in a state of shock. Nobody seems to have an idea how we can get out of this mess. -- Ole von Beust, a rising Christian Democratic star and Hamburg party chief.