News In Brief

A runoff late next month or in early June became necessary in Peru after vote-counting from last weekend's presidential election failed to give incumbent Alberto Fujimori a first-round victory after all. The controversial election initially appeared to be won by populist challenger Alejandro Toledo, at least on the basis of exit polls. But tensions in Peru rose dramatically as the delayed official count pushed the authoritarian Fujimori to within a fraction of 1 percent of the absolute majority he needed for reelection.

The first major opposition protest in Yugoslavia's capital in eight months was causing unusual concern in the government of President Slobodan Milosevic. Reports said Milosevic, who easily has withstood earlier demonstrations, was warning that today's rally could turn violent - a signal that people who might be drawn to it should stay away. Meanwhile, a pro-government TV station announced it would broadcast a new-movie "marathon" beginning at the same time as the rally, another lure to keep capital residents home. But critics said years of infighting among opposition leaders has disillusioned much of the public and would likely keep the rally small.

With President Robert Mugabe away at an international conference, a Zimbabwe court ruled that police must evict black squatters who have occupied almost one-quarter of white-owned farms with his support. But police argue that they lack the manpower to enforce the order, and analysts said the issue soon would become moot at the pace of the takeovers.

Despite reports that he's in deteriorating health, ex-Indonesian President Suharto was ordered not to leave the capital, Jakarta, and was threatened with house arrest if he tried. Prosecutors also warned his assets could be seized "if necessary." The moves are the latest in the new government's pursuit of the longtime autocratic ruler for alleged graft and corruption. Suharto's family was rumored planning to take him to Los Angeles, presumably for medical treatment. His fortune, built over 32 years in power, is estimated as great as $15 billion.

More than 200 followers of the Falun Gong movement were arrested - and some were beaten - for trying to demonstrate in Beijing, a human rights group said. If true, the reported move would be one of the sect's boldest since it was banned in a government crackdown last year. It first attracted global attention when perhaps 10,000 adherents staged a silent rally outside government buildings in Beijing April 25. Hundreds of followers have been arrested since, many of them allegedly abused in police custody.

At least 56 passengers drowned and more than 100 others were reported missing after a ferry sank on an inter-island trip in the southern Philippines. Only 19 of the estimated 200 people aboard had been rescued, reports said. The vessel was authorized to carry a maximum of 50 people.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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