Quake Hits Chile,

Killing at Least 8

SANTIAGO, Chile -- A powerful earthquake rattled Chile's remote northern Andes near the Bolivian border Monday, killing at least eight people and causing widespread damage in several mountain villages.

Deputy Interior Minister Jorge Correa said there could be more victims in some isolated communities, but added no details were immediately available because of poor communications.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.9, according to both the U.S. Geological Survey and Chilean officials.

Correa said a boulder fell on an automobile killing all five passengers -- three adults and two children -- near Iquique, a port city 1,200 miles north of Santiago, the capital.

The quake struck at 6:44 p.m. and was centered in an unpopulated Andean area, about 940 miles north of Santiago, the capital

aFRICA

* RABAT, Morocco -- At least 12 people -- six of them children -- drowned when a rubber dinghy carrying migrants to Europe capsized off Africa's northern coast, Moroccan officials said.

* ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Police shot and killed an opposition politician, prompting the arrest of six officers, an official spokesman said, as the government rejected an opposition offer to renew a peace deal. The government said the peace deal would not work unless the opposition took further steps to end political violence that has left 37 dead.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* TEHRAN -- Iranian women campaigning for a constitutional amendment to give them the right to run in presidential elections said the change was essential if women were to enjoy equal opportunity.

"The law needs an update after a quarter-century of legislation. Without the amendment women will not have equal opportunity in other fields," said women's rights activist Fariba Davoodi.

Women in Iran can drive, vote and stand for parliamentary elections and public posts, but not for president.

* BEIRUT -- The firebrand former general Michel Aoun emerged as Lebanon's main Christian political force after scoring a stunning win in parliamentary elections only weeks after returning from exile.

The elections, being held over four weekends ending on June 19, are the first for three decades without the presence of Syrian troops and are set to choose an assembly with an anti-Syrian majority for the first time since the 1975-1990 civil war.

EUROPE

* KIEV, Ukraine -- Authorities arrested the former head of Ukraine's peacekeeping troops in Iraq on charges of smuggling, prosecutors said.

The allegations against Maj. Gen. Serhiy Savchenko stemmed from his time as head of the forces, the prosecutor general's office said in a statement.

In February, Ukrainian authorities said they had detained several soldiers on leave from Iraq on charges of smuggling $300,000 in cash.

* LUXEMBOURG -- European Union foreign ministers threatened to scale back ties with Uzbekistan unless the Central Asian state allows an independent probe into recent bloodshed by the end of June.

The ministers also urged Uzbekistan to allow the human rights official for the 25-nation bloc to visit eastern regions of the former Soviet republic, where some 500 people are reported to have been killed when troops put down a revolt on May 13.

* NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair won Russia's support for his initiatives to write off all debt to African countries and reduce global warming, proposals to be presented at the upcoming Group of Eight summit.

* ZAGREB, Croatia -- Croatian police have detained an ethnic Serb suspected of taking part in the killings of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995, officials said.

The 52-year-old Croatian citizen, identified only as Slobodan D., was arrested Sunday in eastern Croatia after he was recognized as one of the killers of six Srebrenican Muslims on a graphic video released by the U.N. war crimes court.

ASIA

* SRINAGAR, India -- Twelve people were killed and at least 70 wounded when a powerful car bomb exploded near a school in a busy town in Indian Kashmir, security officials said.

* DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- A powerful bomb rocked Tajikistan's Emergencies Ministry, leaving several people with light injuries, senior officials in the ex-Soviet state said.

* COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Furious Buddhist monks, their eyes streaming from teargas, denounced Sri Lanka's plans to share tsunami aid with Tamil Tiger rebels as riot police broke up the second protest by clergy in a week.

-- From News Services