News In Brief

China announced it had test-fired a new long-range missile Monday. The weapon, which experts believe to be of the Dong Feng-31 variety, has a 5,000-mile range - capable of reaching the US. Taiwan, viewed by China as a renegade province, responded by saying it was not threatened by Chinese tests.

Meanwhile, pressure was building in China as the government rallied to maintain its supreme control. Officials said police would start giving cash rewards of more than $6,000 for tips leading to the arrest of outlaws - with Li Honghzi, the Falun Gong sect's leader, at the top of a list of enemies of the state. Interpol said it had rejected a bid for assistance in tracking down Li, who resides in New York.

Two human-rights groups officially accused the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) of killing and beating scores of Serbs and Gypsies (Roma). Speaking of "a rash of killings" against the two ethnic groups, the Human Rights Watch foundation published a report claiming that "well over 164,000 Serbs have fled Kosovo" since mid-June. The Budapest-based European Roma Rights Center reports numerous testimonies of Gypsies being beaten by soldiers in KLA uniforms.

A Bosnian Serb will be arraigned for war crimes today, following his arrest Monday. Radomir Kovac is accused of raping Bosnian Muslim women during the 1992-95 Bosnian conflict. Kovac could face life-imprisonment if convicted in The Hague.

About 400 Indonesian students protested in the streets of Jakarta, demanding that troops

withdraw from the unruly Aceh province. Indonesian security forces had announced Monday plans to launch a renewed offensive against the pro-independence separatists of the Free Aceh Movement. Hundreds of civilians and soldiers have died in the conflict during recent months. Above, a student, hoping to draw public attention to human-rights abuses in the province, weeps during a protest.

Days after his open criticism of the Kremlin administration, Deputy Chief of Staff Sergei

Zverev was fired by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. After the dismissal, Zverev suggested that the Kremlin was considering an emergency ruling that would ban elections. A spokesman for Yeltsin denied the allegation, saying there will be no "extension of [presidential] powers." Parliamentary elections are scheduled for December; the presidential vote, next summer.

Fresh bouts of fighting have erupted between Russian soldiers and breakaway Chechens in southern Russia. Shooting resumed early Tuesday, after some 40 Chechen gunmen opened fire on a police base Monday, then fled after three hours of artillery combat. Fourteen people were reportedly killed in the fighting. The attackers are believed to belong to the Wahhabi Islamic movement. Chechnya has enjoyed de facto independence from Russia for three years, but there is almost daily conflict between Russian forces and rebels.

Separatist fighters in Namibia assaulted the northeastern town of Katima Mulilo, killing 16 people and prompting President Sam Nujoma to declare a state of emergency in the turbulent Cabrivi region. The secessionists are battling for autonomy in the area near the Zambian border.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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