Milosevic Refuses

To Work With Lawyers

THE HAGUE -- Slobodan Milosevic angrily refused to work with two court-appointed lawyers Tuesday as they called the first witness in his war crimes defense case -- an elderly Serbian nationalist who taught the ex-Yugoslav leader law and advised the wartime Serbian government.

Smilja Avramov, a former professor at Belgrade University, was questioned for several hours by Steven Kay, one of two British lawyers assigned last week against Milosevic's will to contest the 66 counts in his indictment.

Avramov, like Milosevic a vocal opponent of the U.N. tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, praised two Bosnian Serb hard-liners, Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic, both indicted on genocide charges in the 1995 massacre of 7,500 Muslims near Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia.

Milosevic, who insists on representing himself, has rejected any form of cooperation with Kay or his deputy, Gillian Higgins.

Milosevic was told he could question Avramov, but he refused, saying he would not accept "crumbs" from the court.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* GAZA CITY -- Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia condemned in unusually harsh terms an Israeli airstrike that killed 14 Hamas militants, warning that the attack would invite a tough response from the group and saying retaliation would be justified.

The Israeli attack, which struck a Hamas training camp shortly after midnight, came a week after suicide bombers from the group, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, blew up buses in the Israeli city of Beersheba, killing 16 people plus themselves.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the attack was not retaliation but "part of our continuous war against terrorism."

Early Wednesday, Israeli tanks entered northern Gaza in what military sources called a limited operation.

THE AMERICAS

* PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haitian police, backed by U.N. troops, regained control of the city of St. Marc on Tuesday, a day after rebels took over the town 60 miles north of the capital. No casualties were reported, but residents said they heard much gunfire.

Authorities ordered the national police on Monday to retake several towns held by rebel former soldiers who want to reestablish Haiti's army. Police carried out the raid with an Argentine contingent of the U.N. peacekeeping force sent to stabilize Haiti after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced out in February.

Gunfights in Cite Sole killed seven people on Tuesday and six on Saturday, witnesses said.

* GUATEMALA CITY -- Hundreds of angry farmers seized Guatemala's largest hydroelectric dam, threatening to shut off power to large parts of the country unless the government agrees to return nearby lands to them.

The farmers forced their way into the Chixoy dam complex in the northern province of Alta Verapaz, seized the control room and were trying to force employees to close the gates that supply water to the facility's turbines.

EUROPE

* LONDON -- British authorities for the first time charged a soldier with murder in the death of a civilian in Iraq, indicting him in a civilian court after his commanding officer blocked a court-martial.

Trooper Kevin Williams, who served in Iraq with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, was charged in the death of Hassan Said, who was killed near Basra in southern Iraq on Aug. 3, 2003.

Attorney General Peter Goldsmith told Parliament he had been asked by the Defense Ministry to review the case "after charges were dismissed by the soldier's commanding officer."

Williams was freed on bail pending another court appearance Sept. 28.

ASIA

* TOKYO -- A typhoon pounded western Japan, killing 10 people, leaving several others missing and knocking out power to more than a million households. The storm weakened Wednesday as it moved across northern Japan.

* KATMANDU, Nepal -- Three bombs exploded in the heart of the Nepalese capital Tuesday outside a hotel threatened with closure by a Maoist-linked labor group, but no one was injured.

Police said they suspected Maoist rebels were behind the attack.

-- From News Services