News In Brief
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four top aides were indicted for crimes against humanity in Kosovo since the beginning of the year by the UN War Crimes Tribunal. Speaking in The Hague, chief prosecutor Louise Arbour said arrest warrants have been issued and urged Yugoslav authorities to "stand up for the rule of law," by handing over those charged for trial. She said her office continues to investigate Milosevic's responsibility for atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia during the 1992-95 conflicts there. Analysts said the indictments reduce the likelihood of a brokered Kosovo settlement with Milosevic and increase the possibility of a Western ground offensive. This is the first time an international court has charged an incumbent head of state.
After seven months of legal maneuvering, Spanish extradition proceedings against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet were scheduled to open June 4. He was arrested in London last October on charges that he'd ordered the torture of political opponents during his 17-year rule and remains under house arrest. Prosecutors in Madrid seek to try him for alleged crimes against Spanish nationals while he was in power.
Tensions escalated further over the disputed state of Kashmir as Pakistan announced it had shot down two Indian fighter jets that crossed about four miles into Pakistani territory. The act followed strafing by Indian warplanes Wednesday of suspected "Afghan mercenaries" whom India claimed had set up positions on its soil. Authorities in New Delhi confirmed the loss of two planes, but said one had gone down because of mechnical failure. They also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on areas bordering Pakistan.
Former President Suharto authorized Indonesia's attorney general to search for and seize any funds he may have hidden in foreign bank accounts. Last week, Time magazine's Asian edition claimed Suharto and his family had amassed $15 billion in public funds during his 32-year rule and recently transferred $9 billion from a Swiss account to one in Austria. Suharto said he "never had any money overseas," but the government could keep any money found and "use it for the interests of the Indonesian people."
Eritrea claimed to have killed about 400 Ethiopians in a major escalation of fighting in their Horn of Africa border dispute. Eritrea said Ethiopia had launched attacks on Badme, in the western part of the contest-ed border, last weekend. Ethiopia countered that Eritrea had initiated the aggression, and that it was Ethiopian troops who'd inflicted the casualties.
Following a controversial 22-year restoration, Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" went back on display in Milan, Italy. The restoration of the fresco, painted on the wall of a monastery dining hall between 1494 and 1498, has been heralded by Italians but criticized by US and British art historians. One, James Beck of Columbia University in New York, complained: "They scraped everything away and repainted it themselves." Experts defending the project have lauded the restoration as giving back "life and light" to the masterpiece.