News In Brief

Despite insisting that his forces in Kosovo shouldn't have to withdraw by more than "peacetime levels," Yugoslav President Milosevic offered assurances that he'll abide by the peace deal accepted last week by Serbia's parliament. That word was relayed to foreign ministers meeting in Bonn, Germany, to draft a UN resolution endorsing the agreement. Meanwhile, talks between NATO and Yugoslav generals on details of the withdrawal and the arrival of international peacekeepers resumed after breaking down Sunday night.

Indonesians finished voting in their freest national election in 44 years and awaited word on which political party would win the largest bloc of seats in parliament. Officials said no meaningful picture of the outcome is likely before tonight. Outside monitors said voting was largely fair and had taken place with only one confirmed incident of violence. The election is widely expected to cast out the last vestiges of former President Suharto's discredited regime.

"A legal base" for ending the Islamic insurgency that has killed an estimated 75,000 people in Algeria will be proposed by new President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, aides said. It's expected to consist of an amnesty for fundamentalist militants who have renounced violence. The word followed release of a letter from the military wing of the banned Islamic Salvation Front, which pledged to halt armed activity if its legitimacy was officially recognized. But the rival Armed Islamic Group refused an appeal to lay down its weapons.

The first face-to-face discussions between the militant Basque separatist group, ETA, and the Spanish government were admitted by Prime Minister Jos Maria Aznar. But he wouldn't comment on reports that they failed to bring the two sides closer to a definitive end to the campaign for autonomy in northern Spain that has resulted in more than 800 deaths since 1968. ETA declared a unilateral cease-fire in September.

The trial of two Libyans accused of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 will be delayed until at least February, the Scottish court that's to hear the case announced. The court said it had agreed to grant attorneys for Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima more time to prepare "properly" for the trial, which was to have begun Aug. 1.

Countries around the world blocked imports of poultry and meat products from the European Union - and especially Belgium - as fallout from the latter's contaminated animal-feed scare spread. The cost of the crisis already has reached an estimated $500 million. But Belgian authorities said they now had a "final" list of farms that had used the dioxin-laced feed, making it easier to trace the contaminated products.

All sides braced for lurid testimony as the second trial of former Malaysian Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim opened. He is accused of sodomy, although the prosecution said it had amended the charge since he was sentenced to six years in jail in April in a related corruption case. Anwar accuses Prime Minister Malathir Mohamad of fabricating the charges in a bid to destroy his political career.

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