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News In Brief

By Robert KilbornJudy Nichols, and Noel Paul / September 11, 2000



A new 800,000 barrel-per-day increase in production was expected to be OK'd by members of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna as the Monitor went to press. The increase, the second in three months and about what analysts had predicted, will take effect Oct. 1, although experts warned it would be at least another 45 days before the new supplies reach consumers in the form of home heating oil.

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Another postponement of the long-awaited declaration of statehood was expected as the Palestinian Central Council prepared to meet. A delay "which would not go beyond the end of the year" was almost certain to be approved to allow more time to reach a final peace deal with Israel, the council chief said. The declaration by Palestinian Authority President Arafat had been anticipated Wednesday when interim agreements with Israel expire. But negotiators for the two sides are to begin a new month-long round of "decisive" talks today at the urging of President Clinton.

Less than a month's worth of food remains for 120,000 East Timorese left stranded in refugee camps in West Timor, a UN official warned. Refugees pleaded for the return of UN aid workers who were evacuated last week after pro-Indonesian militiamen attacked their offices, killing six people. Indonesian Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri ordered 100 tons of rice sent to the camps "soon," but the UN Security Council unanimously called on Indonesia to disband the militias, saying conditions wouldn't improve otherwise.

Seven hostages were rescued in a carefully planned raid at dawn by British forces on a renegade Sierra Leone Army encampment. Seventeen of the latter group, known as the West Side Boys, were killed and 11 others were taken prisoner, reports said. The hostages were the last of a group seized Aug. 25; five others were freed last week. A spokesman for the rescuers said the raid was conducted because negotiations "were going nowhere" and mock executions of the remaining hostages had been staged.

Summer Olympics athletes from the two Koreas will march together under one flag Friday at the opening of the Sydney, Australia, games, it was announced. The move, another in a series aimed at bringing the divided peninsula closer, will be made because "We are the same blood," a North Korean Olympics official said. The two sides will compete separately once the games begin, however.

Sanctions in place against Austria since February could be lifted as soon as today, European Union sources said. The political and diplomatic measures were imposed after ultraright-wing populist Jrg Haider's party joined the Vienna government. An EU report Friday concluded the sanctions no longer were effective.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society