ANGOLAN PEACE SIGNING NEARS Zambian officials pressed ahead yesterday with plans to host an Angolan peace-treaty ceremony after receiving assurances from rebel leader Jonas Savimbi that he would come. Mr. Savimbi's participation had been in doubt after government troops overran his stronghold last week. The government attack on rebel headquarters at Huambo had threatened UN-mediated efforts to end 19 years of civil war. Savimbi's UNITA rebels seemed to have conceded that with their defeat, their best chance of salvaging any power was through the peace treaty, scheduled to be signed tomorrow. Both Savimbi and Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos were expected in Lusaka today. A nationwide cease-fire is to take effect two days after Savimbi and dos Santos sign the treaty. Labor protest in RomeSkip to next paragraph
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More than 1 million protesters converged on Rome Saturday in the latest, and biggest, union-led march this tense fall against pension cuts.
Premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government replied by saying it would press ahead with the budget slashing. Italy's three big labor confederations chartered thousands of buses, hundreds of train cars, and even four ferries to mobilize students, workers, unemployed, and retirees from north to south.
Atlantis wraps up research
Atmospheric monitors peered down on Earth from Atlantis yesterday for a final round of experiments before the shuttle's scheduled landing. Atlantis is set to return to Florida, weather permitting, today after 11 days of science experiments focused on the shrinking ozone layer.
A $35 million German satellite carrying two ozone monitors finished its work Saturday, when astronauts recaptured it for the ride home. Strikes in Bangladesh
At least 35 people were injured in clashes between opposition activists and government supporters, and a general strike, the third in four days, shut down Bangladesh's major cities yesterday. Dhaka and other major cities were shut down by the dawn-to-dusk strike called by the opposition to demand that Prime Minister Khaleda Zia resign and appoint a caretaker government to conduct fresh elections.
Gates buys Da Vinci notes
Bill Gates has bought a Leonardo da Vinci manuscript for a record $30.8 million. Since the late 1980s the founder and chairman of Microsoft Corporation has been buying and licensing the rights to collections of art images, and experimenting with ways to display them electronically. Mr. Gates, however, bought the Da Vinci manuscript because of his fascination with the Renaissance artist and does not plan to market its images, a Microsoft spokeswoman said Saturday.