News In Brief

By , Judy Nichols, and Noel Paul

With incumbent Slobodan Milosevic and his chief rival both claiming victory in Yugoslavia's presidential election, officials were keeping the vote totals secret. But in a sign of concern in Milosevic's camp, some of his political allies acknowledged he might have to face challenger Vojislav Kostunica again Oct. 8 in a runoff. Official results were not expected until today at the earliest. (Stories, pages 1, 4.)

Milosevic was under heavy pressure from Yugo-slavia's neighbors to step down without trying to cling to power illegitimately. The European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the foreign ministers of Germany, Britain, and Italy all said Kostunica had won decisively and warned Milosevic against manipulation of the vote. But Western diplomats noted that Milosevic commands the loyalty of Yugoslavia's Army and special police if he refuses to leave and that NATO peacekeeping units in Bosnia and Kosovo have no contingency plans for intervention.

The homes of more than 10 million people in eastern India and an estimated 200,000 in Bangladesh were under water as torrential monsoon rains pushed every major river in the region over its banks. Authorities said 388 people died, but news agencies put the number at 497 in the Indian state of West Bengal alone, based on the local reports. An aid worker called the scope of the crisis "gigantic," but weather conditions were improving, allowing truckloads of relief supplies to head for stricken communities.

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Reports that disgraced spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos had fled Peru for Panama proved true, and the latter government was under growing international pressure to grant him political asylum. President Mireya Moscoso was expected to decide the matter as the Monitor went to press, despite refusing late last week to admit him. Panama has a history of accepting deposed leaders from other Latin American countries. Monte-sinos's departure did not appear to jeopardize negotiations between Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and opposition leaders over new elections.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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