EVENTS

CHINA TO DISBAND HONG KONG LEGISLATURE China will disband Hong Kong's legislature, district boards, and other elected bodies immediately upon retaking the former British colony in 1997, a statement said yesterday. The statement, issued by an unidentified official of China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office via the state-run New China News Agency, was intended to clear up any remaining doubt about Beijing's intentions following a breakdown in talks between China and Britain. Meanwhile, China's No. 2 official in Hong Kong said China will examine all existing Hong Kong laws to decide which may stay in force after the handover. To stay in force, Hong Kong's British-designed laws must conform with a Chinese-written constitution for the enclave. China and Britain have been discussing ways of amending Hong Kong's election system, with Britain seeking to expand voter participation. But eight months of talks have failed to produce an agreement. Saudi political reform

Saudi King Fahd is due to convene Saudi Arabia's appointed Shura (consultative) Council this week in the kingdom's first major step toward political reform. Senior members of the Saudi royal family traditionally control the kingdom's administration and its vast oil wealth, as well as huge foreign assets, the military, and internal security forces. Northern Ireland bombing

A bomb exploded in a village west of Belfast early yesterday, 16 minutes after the end of the Irish Republican Army's Christmas cease-fire. A man and a woman suffered minor injuries. The blast dashed hopes that the Christmas truce observed by both the IRA and Protestant paramilitaries would be extended in response to a new British-Irish government peace declaration. Bosnia truce fails

The UN commander for Bosnia beseeched all warring factions yesterday to respect a holiday truce as the new year approaches. Peace talks, which broke up Thursday over territorial disputes, are to resume on Jan. 15. A holiday cease-fire, which began Dec. 23 and was to last until the new talks, has been ignored from the start. Sarajevo saw the worst shelling in two months over the weekend. Tourists attacked in Egypt

Suspected Muslim militants attacked a tourist bus with explosives and gunfire in Old Cairo yesterday, wounding at least eight Austrian tourists and eight passers-by, police and witnesses said. Muslim militants trying to strike at the Egyptian government and the country's tourist industry have staged a series of attacks over the last two years. PLO power struggle

A power struggle has emerged between young leaders of the Palestinian uprising and the PLO's old guard after Yasser Arafat named traditional figures to top posts in the Gaza Strip. Four young leaders have resigned in the last three days and more are expected. The men who resigned represent the younger generation of Palestinians molded in the street battles of the six-year-old uprising against Israel. Many feel that they have paid the price in blood and jail time and should have preference over the older leaders in the mainstream Fatah group. College enrollment drops

Rising tuition and reduced course offerings are contributing to a decline in college and university enrollment, says the American Council of Education, whose new poll finds falling enrollment in a dozen states. ``We feel pretty confident that this does represent a national trend,'' said David Merkowitz, spokesman for the council. Merkowitz said the 16 states responding to the survey represent more than 40 percent of the nation's college enrollment. Morrison papers lost

Nobel and Pulitzer-prize-winning author Toni Morrison said yesterday that all the manuscripts from her earliest writings were lost in a fire that destroyed her country home in upstate New York. Her son told firefighters he thought the Christmas Day blaze could have been sparked by an ember from a fireplace near a sofa.

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