News In Brief
Self-rule powers were transferred to the joint Protestant-Catholic administration of Northern Ireland by the British government, and all claims to the province were formally renounced by its southern neighbor. In Dublin, the Republic of Ireland Cabinet approved new constitutional language abandoning the territorial claim, a gesture aimed at calming the fears of Protestants that they'd be forced into a united Ireland. A third development, discussions on surrender of weapons by the Irish Republican Army, were expected to open with Northern Ireland's disarmament commission.
The OK to use force in suppressing the independence movement in Aceh province was given to Indonesia's military by new President Abdurrahman Wahid, official news reports said. And tomorrow, the 23rd anniversary of the movement, anyone caught lowering the Indonesian flag will be shot on sight, the commander of government troops there said. But Col. Syarifuddin Tippe also predicted that the anniversary would pass peacefully.
The political wing of the Basque separatist movement in Spain joined silent vigils against the possibility of renewed violence as soon as tomorrow. But Herri Batasuna leaders stood apart from other demonstrators and said they weren't protesting against the ETA guerrillas who announced an end to their unilateral truce, effective today. Instead, they said, they were sending a message to the Spanish government that lasting peace could come only when Basques were granted self-determination. Since halting the 14-month cease-fire, ETA has issued no other communiques.