News In Brief

People in the Mexican state of Chiapas poured into the streets to celebrate the all-but-certain election victory by an opposition candidate for governor. The win by Pablo Salazar echoed the country's presidential vote last month, when Vicente Fox's victory turned out the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) for the first time in 71 years. During his campaign, Salazar pledged to bring peace to Chiapas, long a PRI stronghold, which has been wracked by conflict between government forces and Zapatista rebels.

All charges were dropped against a computer-school dropout in the Philippines who was accused of releasing the "Love bug" virus that struck e-mail systems worldwide in May. The Department of Justice said the charges filed against Onel de Guzman either were insufficiently backed by evidence or did not apply to the case. Legislation dealing with computer hacking was not approved in the Philippines until June and couldn't be applied retroactively.

With efforts abandoned to save the crew of the sunken submarine Kursk, Russian officials said they would concentrate on raising the vessel and recovering its two nuclear reactors - a task that could take months. The shift in operation came after Norwegian divers opened the submarine's escape hatch, confirmed the Kursk was flooded, and found no sign of survivors. Having no deep-sea diving teams at hand, Russia requested that the Norwegian and British divers recover the bodies of the crew, but the teams hadn't indicated yet whether they would undertake that dangerous mission.

For the second time in a week, a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak quit - another sign of the challenges facing his government. The Yediot Ahronot newspaper quoted Haim Mendel-Shaked, Barak's bureau chief, as saying the prime minister refused to delegate responsibility and sidestepped his advisers. Shimon Batat, Barak's deputy bureau chief, also resigned recently. Observers have said early elections are likely after parliament reconvenes in late October.

Portraying it as a "new iron fist," China's state media revealed a plan for senior officials in government and the Communist Party to be audited when they leave their posts. It's the latest step in the country's campaign to stop corruption, which already resulted last year in audits for officials at county level and below and for heads of all state-owned enterprises.

The sex-related murders of two children in Italy over the weekend sparked debate on whether to publish a list of known pedophiles in the country. An Italian group against child abuse offered to make available a list of 140 convicts, which was compiled from court rulings. But others, including Social Affairs Minister Livia Turco, said such a move would be "useless and damaging." She cited the recent cases of two British men who committed suicide after a tabloid there published a list of sexual offenders.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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