EUROPE

Germany Probes Al Qaeda Plots

BERLIN -- Germany is investigating a tip that a 50-member al Qaeda cell may be planning attacks on embassies, banks and multinational corporations in Germany and across Europe, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Stern magazine reported that the tip came in warnings sent to British, French and U.S. consulates in Duesseldorf and Frankfurt.

Reuters

Turnout Lacking

In Montenegro

PODGORICA, Yugoslavia -- A popular politician who wants Montenegro to break from Serbia conceded yesterday that his presidential election bid failed because of low voter turnout.

Former prime minister Filip Vujanovic appeared to have won most of the ballots cast, and he said an opposition boycott was to blame for a turnout that was lower than the 50 percent of voters required by law.

A government official said balloting would probably be repeated Jan. 12.

Associated Press

Lithuanian Voters Favor Incumbent

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Lithuanian voters strongly favored incumbent Valdas Adamkus, who was credited for the country's invitations to join the European Union and NATO, in a presidential election.

An exit poll taken by the Baltic News Service predicted a Adamkus lead, with 40.7 percent of the vote.

Reuters

AFRICA

Ivorian Rebels

Moving Back

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- Rebel fighters in Ivory Coast drew back from the scene of a bruising clash with French troops that halted their advance and took the former colonial power a big step deeper into the war.

All three rebel factions in the West African country condemned the French for blasting rebel vehicles on Saturday to stop insurgents from capturing a key junction in the cocoa-growing region.

Reuters

THE MIDDLE EAST

Reporter Killed

In U.S. Exercise

KUWAIT CITY -- A French television reporter who was hit by a tank during U.S. military exercises in the Kuwaiti desert has died, the French Embassy said.

Patrick Bourrat, who was in his forties, worked for the French station TF1.

Associated Press