News In Brief
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Serbian opposition leaders said they would again appeal a ruling that overturned their election victory in Belgrade city government. A district court struck down the election outcome for the second time after it was endorsed by the city elections commission. The court is believed to be controlled by ruling Socialist Party President Milosevic.Skip to next paragraph
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Bulgaria's ruling Socialist Party ignored an appeal by President Stoyanov and said it would form a new government. Stoyanov had urged the Socialists to bow to opposition demands for an early election in hopes of ending the country's severe economic crisis. It has led to 21 straight days of street protests in Sofia, the capital.
Albania's ruling Democratic Party staged a counter-rally to denounce the protests and violence sweeping the country over failed pyramid investment schemes. Thousands of people chanting pro-government slogans gathered in the capital, Tirana, to hear a speech by President Berisha. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund offered to help end the crisis, which has plunged many Albanians into financial ruin.
Hard-line Tutsi and Hutu political leaders boycotted a so-called "national debate" on peace in Burundi. The military-backed government of Maj. Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, called the process a first step to peace but said it was not the start of negotiations with Hutu rebels. He also called for an end to the economic boycott of Burundi by neighboring nations.
For the second time in a month, the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia warned Americans living there to exercise "extreme caution" because of possible new terrorist attacks. Two bomb explosions in the past 14 months took the lives of 24 Americans in the kingdom.
Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi denounced the sentencing of 14 more Burmese for political agitation. She said they were tried secretly, without benefit of defense counsel. The military junta said five of them belonged to Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy and were involved in antigovernment demonstrations last month. The junta announced 20 similar convictions Jan. 18.
Public opinion in Britain is heavily against spending tax money for a new royal yacht, a poll conducted for The Guardian newspaper found. More than 70 percent of respondents said they opposed using public funds for a new vessel. It was proposed as a symbol of national pride but has become a controversial political issue. The yacht would cost an estimated $100 million.
Taiwan's Cabinet canceled five trade exchanges with arch-rival China, but denied published reports that the move had political implications. A newspaper in the capital, Taipei, had said the budgets for the exchange programs were cut to protest China's latest attempts to isolate Taiwan diplomatically.
This election is about our freedom. The Chechen people have waited hundreds of years for this."
- Former Chechen rebel Hassan Khalidov, on the vote for president and parliament in the breakaway region, a concession from Russia as part of a peace deal.
Looking for some charming waterfront property at a bargain price? The US government has just the thing, and there are almost 200 options to choose from. One catch: Your new investment will come with a powerful automated beacon above the living quarters. The properties are available because the Coast Guard is giving up all but one of its lighthouses on the Great Lakes. If state or local governments don't want them, they'll be auctioned.
State revenue officials in New Jersey think there's more dough in the pizza business than local shop operators admit. To reverse the estimated $50 million a year in unpaid taxes, officials now will compare the size of orders placed with suppliers of sauce, cheese, and other ingredients to the volume of sales that pizzerias report.
The Church of England says a London newspaper caught some of its priests "on the hop" when they failed a test on the Ten Commandments. Only 34 percent of the priests surveyed by the Sunday Times could recite all of the commandments without prompting. "Given time, they would," a spokesman said, adding that it's substance, not words, that counts.
THE DAY'S LIST
How Super Bowl XXXI Rated Among US Viewers
The Packers-Patriots game, televised by the Fox Network, reached an estimated 128.9 million viewers in the US, earning a 43.3 rating, as measured by Nielsen Media Research. (The overseas audience added millions more to that estimate.) It was Fox's best rating yet.
The top five Super Bowl ratings.
1. 1982 (San Francisco '49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals), CBS 49.1
2. 1983 (Washington Redskins vs. Miami Dolphins), NBC 48.6
3. 1986 (Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots), NBC 48.3
4. 1978 (Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos), CBS 47.2
5. 1979 (Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys), NBC 47.1
- Associated Press