News In Brief
Once again, nato was in the position of confirming that one of its missiles had gone astray over Yugoslavia and hit an unintended target - this time a private home in neighboring Bulgaria. No injuries were report- ed, but the alliance said its commanders were reviewing how to reduce the possibility of such incidents in the future. NATO bombs or missiles also have hit a passenger train, a refugee convoy, and residential neighborhoods in at least two Serbian towns.
A threat to "cleanse" East Timor's capital of all people who support independence from Indonesia, beginning tomorrow, was being taken seriously by human-rights organizations. Quoting from a manifesto by a group calling itself Red Blood Commando, Amnesty International said the threat called for the evacuation from Dil of those who wish to remain allied with Indonesia and the "extermination" of anyone remaining behind. Pro-independence sources said many of their leaders were in hiding or have sought police protection.
Five newly elected members of the city council in Iran's capital defied a move by conservative clerics to bar them from serving and stood with their colleagues to take the oath of office. The moderate reformists earlier won election despite conservative efforts to keep them from running. The ceremony in Tehran was conducted by President Mohamad Khatami, also a target of the fundamentalist clerics. But as it was taking place, Mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi, a Khatami ally, was ordered to begin serving a prison sentence for graft - following a trial that supporters say was politically motivated.
High school classes were canceled for the rest of the week in a small eastern Alberta town after a shooting incident with parallels to the one in suburban Denver. Police said an unidentified ninth-grader who had dropped out of W.R. Myers High in Taber, 50 miles north of the US border, killed one older student and wounded another before being subdued by a teacher and a security guard. The suspect reportedly was unpopular with his ex-classmates.
Supporters and opponents of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori were assessing the impact of a nationwide, one-day strike, the first since he assumed power nine years ago. Fujimori ordered 20,000 police to patrol the major cities, and his labor minister warned that the pay of anyone who failed to report for work would be withheld. But the strike attracted tens of thousands of marchers and shut down much of the nation's commerce. The strikers were protesting Fujimori's failure to cope with poverty and hunger.
Voters in Panama go to the polls Sunday to choose a new president. The race to succeed Ernesto Perez Balladares is considered too close to call between ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party candidate Martin Torrijos, a son of the late dictator Omar Torrijos Herrera, and Mireya Moscoso of the Arnulfistic Party. The latter is the widow of President Arnulfo Arias, whom the elder Torrijos overthrew in a 1968 coup.