EVENTS

EUROPEAN FARMERS MARCH

In a show of anger at a US-European trade accord they say threatens their livelihoods, at least 40,000 farmers from across Europe and from as far as Japan and South Korea marched Dec. 1 in Strasbourg, France. It was the largest protest yet against the subsidies agreement announced Nov. 20. The cuts are part of a global trade pact still being negotiated. Somalian force endorsed

Relief workers in Somalia on Dec. 1 welcomed the UN secretary-general's endorsement of increased military muscle to get food to the country's hungry people. Months of negotiations to achieve this largely have failed. Banditry, looting, and clan warfare have severely crippled international relief efforts with as much as half the approximately 200,000 metric tons of food delivered to the Horn of African nation this year having been stolen. By UN estimates, at least 300,000 people already have died from the

combined effects of drought and warfare. See story at right. Bomb shakes Belfast

The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for a bomb that exploded in Belfast Dec. 1, injuring 27 people in the city center, three seriously. Security around Belfast had been tight in recent weeks amid police warnings that the IRA, which is fighting British rule in Northern Ireland, planned a pre-Christmas bombing campaign. Relief flights suspended

Parts of Sarajevo came under heavy shelling Dec. 1 and relief flights into the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina were temporarily suspended after a US plane taking part in a UN airlift was struck by small arms fire. UN officials said the plane was not badly damaged, and there were no injuries. Health-care reform passes

Facing a court-imposed deadline, the New Jersey legislature voted Nov. 30 for a sweeping reorganization of the way the state subsidizes medical care for the poor. Legislative leaders said the legislation may create a model for the nation. It provides for the first state payroll tax dedicated to health care for the poor and uninsured. Iraq honors war dead

Iraq mourned its war dead Dec. 1 with five minutes of silence and state newspapers publishing a defiant speech from President Saddam Hussein pledging to fight again if attacked. Iraqis marked their annual "Day of the Martyr" in remembrance of hundreds of thousands of people killed in their 1980-1988 war with Iran and the 1991 Gulf War. Thailand bars UN flights

Thailand on Dec. 1 barred scheduled UN flights from neighboring Cambodia, just hours after the UN Security Council imposed bans on oil and timber trade with Khmer Rouge guerrillas. A political analyst with the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia said he suspected Thailand was responding to the sanctions decision. Extremists confess

Two right-wing extremists have confessed to carrying out the fire bombing that killed three Turks and raised an outcry over neo-Nazi violence in Germany, the country's chief prosecutor said Dec. 1 in Berlin. German authorities are facing pressure at home and abroad to curb the more than 3-month spree of terrorism by neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists. Hong Kong stays course

In a firm rebuke to Beijing, Hong Kong Gov. Chris Patten on Dec. 1 ruled out scrapping his democratic reform proposals for the territory and accused Chinese leaders of undermining local investor confidence. Patten was replying to Chinese pressure in an escalating war of words between Britain and China over how Hong Kong should operate. Supreme Court ruling

The US Supreme Court, in a Dec. 1 decision, made it easier for prosecutors to use evidence of a defendant's past convictions in seeking a longer prison sentence. The court ruled unanimously that prosecutors need not prove that a defendant's earlier convictions were valid before citing them to justify a longer term.

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