Indonesia Gets Tough

In Fight Against Bird Flu

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The government imposed what one official called "extraordinary" measures Tuesday to contain a bird flu outbreak that has killed four people in Indonesia, including the forced hospitalization of people who exhibit symptoms of the disease.

In addition to the fatalities, six patients suspected of having the H5N1 strain of bird flu have been admitted to Jakarta's infectious diseases hospital, officials said, two of them zoo employees. Blood samples from the patients have been sent to Hong Kong for testing.

Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said the government was "very concerned" about the spread of bird flu and had assigned 44 state-owned hospitals to treat avian influenza patients, who will receive free medication.

Those with symptoms of the disease could be admitted by force, she said, adding that the "extraordinary" status would last 21 days but could be renewed if necessary.


* KIEV, Ukraine -- Parliament rejected President Viktor Yushchenko's choice for prime minister, handing him a stinging defeat less than two weeks after he dismissed his Orange Revolution team amid an escalating corruption scandal.

Lawmakers gave acting Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov 223 votes, three fewer than he needed to be approved. He will remain as a caretaker prime minister while negotiations continue.

Ukraine's chief prosecutor, meanwhile, cleared two of the president's aides of corruption, but said an investigation into abuse of power continued against one of Yushchenko's closest allies, Petro Poroshenko.


* KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Former rebels and Sudan's ruling party agreed on a power-sharing government, with Khartoum keeping the critical energy portfolio in the oil-producing country.

In comments broadcast on Sudanese television, President Omar Hassan Bashir said he was pleased with the agreement. An official with the former rebels said they were disappointed they did not get more key posts. There was also disagreement over whether the position of energy minister would be allocated on a rotating basis.

* LAGOS, Nigeria -- Nigeria's Anglican Church has deleted all references to the mother church in Britain from its constitution, deepening a rift over homosexuality but stopping short of a feared schism.

The Nigerian and Ugandan Anglican churches broke ties with the U.S. Episcopal Church over its 2003 consecration of a gay bishop living with a partner. A new dispute over same-sex unions in England has deepened divisions.


* KATMANDU, Nepal -- Nepalese police detained 200 activists and teachers for protesting against King Gyanendra, while a U.N. official said police used excessive force to break up recent rallies.

Police detained about 100 demonstrators after they defied a ban on protests and began marching toward the city center. Most of those detained were members of the women's wings of seven political parties opposing the king, who fired the government in February and assumed absolute power. Police also detained about 100 university teachers in continued protests against the king.

-- From News Services