News In Brief
Meat prices rose and supplies were running low across England as the spread of foot-and-mouth disease reached Scotland and Northern Ireland. Elsewhere in Europe, governments were ordering precautionary measures. In France, 30,000 imported British sheep were to be destroyed. France, the Republic of Ireland, and Portugal obliged travelers from Britain or their vehicles to be treated with disinfectant. All Dutch and German livestock markets were closed, and Spain halted the transport of sheep as well as fairs and other events that feature farm animals.
Emergency loans somewhere in the billions of dollars were pledged by the International Monetary Fund to help Turkey out of its latest financial crisis, reports said. An Ankara newspaper said the exact size of the loan would be announced when it had been determined how much is needed to cope with losses to the economy from the devalued lira and rising prices.
The plight of terrified refugees on the island of Borneo moved visiting Indonesian Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri to tears, but she said a state of emergency was not warranted because violence had significantly decreased. Local authorities put the number of deaths from a campaign of ethnic cleansing by Dayak tribesmen at 469, virtually all of them rival Madurese migrants.
A motion of no confidence in unpopular Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori may be filed as early as today in Japan's lower house of parliament, four opposition parties announced. The measure gained new impetus when a powerful senior legislator from Mori's Liberal Democratic Party was arrested on suspicion of bribe-taking. Masa- kuni Murakami's vote last April was one of five that put Mori in office after the death of his predecessor.
Unrest will not be tolerated, the Army of Fiji warned following an appeals court ruling that the current government must surrender power to parliament. The court found the military-backed administration of President Ratu Josefa Iloilo and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase failed to prove its right to rule and gave Iloilo until March 15 to resign. The government has been in place since a coup by hard-line nationalists last May.
An overwhelming "no" vote is expected Sunday when 4.5 million Swiss go to the polls for a referendum urging the government to open negotiations to join the European Union. The measure, cosponsored by the Socialist Party and some youth groups, has formidable opposition. The government itself is among forces urging defeat.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society