News Currents

MIDDLE EAST AND GULF Iraqi refugees arriving in Iran have described mass executions of up to 4,000 Iraqi Shiite civilians by forces loyal to Saddam Hussein over the last 10 days, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA.... Iranian and Turkish frontier camps were overwhelmed Monday by up to 2 million northern Kurds and southern Shiites fleeing Iraqi troops. The revolts of both people have collapsed. US aircraft continued to drop food, blankets, and basic first-aid equipment to the desperate people. US Secretary of State Ja mes Baker III flew early Monday to Diyabakir, Turkey, near the Iraqi border, to visit camps where some of the hundreds of thousands of Kurds and other Iraqis have gathered.... Combining liquid nitrogen with a stream of water, American firefighters have put out their first Kuwaiti oil well blaze.... The UN will send some 1,400 peacekeepers to the Persian Gulf to oversee the UN cease-fire, a spokesman for a UN force stationed in southern Lebanon said Monday. The troops will come from international forces in s outhern Lebanon, the Syrian Golan Heights, and Cyprus.

UNITED STATES

Speaking at a news conference in Houston, President Bush asserted the Iraqi rebels "were not misled" and that he "never in any way implied that the United States was going to use force beyond the mandate of the United Nations" to remove Iraq from Kuwait. Bush suggested the UN can assume an "additional role" in restoring order.... Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of allied forces in the Gulf war, plans to retire this summer and make money on the book-and-lecture circuit, according to Newsweek magazi ne. He reportedly turned down an offer of the job of Army chief of staff by President Bush.... Florida police have told Sen. Edward Kennedy that he was not a suspect in an alleged rape at the Kennedy family's Palm Beach home, a Kennedy spokesman said.

EUROPE

Several thousand protesters Monday forced a Yugoslav military court in Zagreb to postpone the trial of Croatian Defense Minister Martin Spegelj on charges of plotting an armed rebellion. The protesters threw smoke bombs and smashed windows of the court building.... Six West European countries, including Germany, opened their borders at midnight Sunday to allow Polish citizens to travel without visas.

OTHER WORLD NEWS

The main opposition party in Zambia demanded Sunday that the country's first multiparty general elections in 18 years, expected to be scheduled for October, be brought forward and called on President Kenneth Kaunda to resign.... A newspaper editor was sentenced Monday to five years in prison in Jakarta, Indonesia, for blasphemy against Islam because he published a poll of his readers that rated pop singers, politicians and even himself as more popular than the prophet Muhammad.

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