AFRICA Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam, under severe pressure from northern rebel groups, has fled the country, Ethiopian state radio said May 21 (Story, Page 1). A Western diplomat confirmed the news. Vice President Tesfaye Gabre Kidan had taken over as acting head of state. One possible refuge for Mengistu was Zimbabwe, where he is reported to own a ranch.... A new accord on the carrying of tribal weapons has brought a glimmer of hope in South Africa where church leaders held an emergency meeting M a
y 21 to discuss stalled peace talks. The accord, announced by South African President F. W. de Klerk and Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, raised the possibility that power-sharing talks could soon resume.
Kuwait put 24 people on trial May 21 for working on a pro-Baghdad newspaper during the Iraqi occupation, but the hearing was adjourned to enable defense lawyers to look at the evidence. A Kuwaiti defense lawyer said he would withdraw from the trials unless evidence was reinvestigated. In Washington, the Bush administration reversed itself and said recent trials of alleged Iraqi collaborators may have been unfair.... President Bush also made it clear May 20 the US will use economic sanctions to continue i
ts efforts to have Saddam Hussein driven from power.... Polish President Lech Walesa stood before the Israeli Parliament May 20 with his head bowed and asked for "forgiveness" from survivors of the Holocaust for acts of anti-Semitism committed by his countrymen. Walesa, the first president of Poland to visit Israel, carried the emotional baggage not only of World War II, but also of insensitive statements he made during his election campaign.
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Bush said May 20 after 90 minutes of talks in Washington that they still support Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, but they remained noncomittal on whether he should be invited to the yearly meeting of the world's seven largest industrialized nations.... The US and Japan are discussing dispatching teams of experts to the Soviet Union to help the country convert its weapons plants to civilian use. Japan had to convert quickly from a war economy after World War I I
.... The American Red Cross will close its regional blood centers temporarily on a rotating basis nationwide to improve measures aimed at protecting the blood supply from AIDS and other diseases, Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole said.... Farmers could use markedly smaller amounts of pesticides if the federal government removed barriers to adoption of so-called alternative agriculture, a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council says.... In the government's first foray into market-driven environment a
l regulation, the EPA proposed acid-rain control rules allowing utilities - and private speculators - to buy and sell "emission permits" created under the new clean air law.