News In Brief

Frantic Russian efforts to dock rescue craft with its disabled nuclear submarine failed, and further attempts in the Barents Sea were hampered by deteriorating weather. Officials said the crew of the Kursk had stopped pounding SOS signals on the hull - although the Russian Navy chief, who previously had been pessimistic about the prospects for a successful rescue, said he was "far more confident" the operation would "produce a result." Russia officially accepted help from Norway and Britain, the latter of which airlifted a minisubmarine to a nearby port.

With investigators saying a burst tire was the primary cause of the Concorde crash July 25 - a factor officials said should never bring down a passenger plane - French and British aviation authorities acted to have the aircraft's certificate of airworthiness officially suspended. The two carriers operating Concordes, however, already have grounded their fleets. The British Civil Aviation Authority said it was asking Concorde manufacturers to recommend an action plan to ensure the problems associated with the tires are resolved. British Airways said it would seek urgent meetings with relevant officials in an attempt to get the jet flying again.

Muslim rebels in the Philippines released one hostage - a native of the country - who had been held for 115 days. Negotiators said a dozen more captives, mostly Westerners, could be freed today. A deal bankrolled by Libya has raised hopes of resolving the months-long crisis, but negotiators still were smoothing out "minor hitches" in securing the hostages' release from Abu Sayyaf guerrillas.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed an elderly Palestinian man in a West Bank town after he opened fire from the roof of his home, apparently believing the troops were burglars. The soldiers were on a predawn search for Palestinian militants, but the Army said the home of Mahmoud Abdallah had not been a target of the operation. Abdallah, an American citizen, was an uncle to the Palestine Liberation Organization's representative to the US, relatives said.

Faced with a wave of neo-Nazi violence, Germany's Cabinet approved spending $35 million over three years to support local youth initiatives fighting racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-foreigner sentiment. Berlin also indicated it will establish a telephone hot line the public can use to report racially motivated attacks and will create a special fund to compensate victims of right-wing violence.

A group of Colombian children on a field trip in the northwest part of the country apparently got caught in crossfire between Army troops and rebels, and conflicting reports said four or six were killed. An Army officer accused the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia's second-largest guerrilla force, of using the children as human shields. There were no independent reports of the battle.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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