News In Brief

India and Pakistan both displayed wreckage of a Pakistani naval reconnaissance aircraft shot down by Indian fighter jets over marshlands off the Arabian Sea. Both claim the shifting tidal channel, known as Sir Creek, which an international tribunal left undemarcated while setting other boundaries after their 1965 war. The area is suspected to be rich in oil deposits. Officials of both countries said the incident, in which 16 Pakistanis were killed, is unlikely to set off a full-scale war.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were working on a compromise over the timetable for implementing a land-for-security accord. Reports said Israel has offered to carry out the final withdrawal in January - and allow the Palestinians to begin constructing a port in Gaza. Despite the delays, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy said Israel "never had any intention of not keeping the agreement."

Serbia's influential Orthodox Church demanded the resignation of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, because he was leading the country "into certain disaster." The appeal from the Holy Synod - a conference of bishops - was also backed by some who were thought to be pro-government.

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China escalated a war of words with Taiwan, saying it could vanquish the island within five days, should a real war break out. Meanwhile, Taiwan won the backing of six Central American nations for its efforts to rejoin the UN. Central America is a rare stronghold of support for Taiwan.

From the Pope to the pauper, millions gazed skyward to catch glimpses of a total solar eclipse across Europe and Asia. The moon's shadow dashed at 1,522 miles an hour across a path 60 miles wide from Land's End, England, to India before sinking at sunset in the Bay of Bengal. Above, a Jordanian reflects the beginning of the eclipse in the cup of his hand.

Muslim rebels clung to their positions in the Russian province of Dagestan, while Russia for the first time claimed casualties on its side. Russian officials said the resistance will last only a few days.

For the first time, Australians are likely to constitutionally honor Aborigines through a proposed November referendum declaring the natives "the nation's first people." When the British settled Australia in 1788, they declared it an empty land. And, until the 1960s, Aborigines were not recognized as citizens but governed under flora and fauna laws.

Small-scale loans have helped 22 million women overcome poverty, according to the Asian Development Bank, a big supporter of such loans. Muhammad Yunus began the micro-credit trend in the 1980s when he lent $27 of his own money to a woman who made bamboo furniture. He then founded the highly-acclaimed Grameen Bank microcredit venture, which has loaned more than $2 billion to 2.5 million people.

Natalya Vitrenko, a charismatic and fiery speaker, is likely to become Ukraine's first female head of state, polls show. Her campaign for the Oct. 31 elections calls for more government regulation in Europe's second largest country. Historically, women in Eastern Europe have seldom been politically active.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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