News In Brief

Vowing not to participate in a second round of elections, opposition Yugoslav presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica, called for a peaceful general boycott to force incumbent Slobodan Milosevic to admit defeat. Kostunica's allies asked supporters to keep their children at home and not to report for work until Milosevic yields power. The move came as the influential Serbian Orthodox Church issued a statement referring to Kostunica as "president-elect," urging him "to assume the state government peacefully and with dignity."

The worst violence in years erupted at a hotly contested religious site in Jerusalem as hundreds of Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli riot police. Reports said 25 Israelis and six Palestinians were hurt. The clash was blamed on the visit to the Temple Mount by right-wing opposition leader Ariel Sharon and a group of his Likud movement supporters, which Palestinians called a provocation. The site, known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, is an obstacle to a final peace settlement between the rivals.

Hundreds of Indo-nesian students clashed with police in downtown Jakarta after a court dismissed corruption charges against ex-President Suharto. A five-judge panel terminated prosecution of Suharto for allegedly stealing about $600 million in public money after a team of 23 physicians declared him unfit to participate in a trial. Prosecutors said they'd appeal the decision. (Story, page 8.)

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori flew to Washington to meet with the Organization of American States after learning of an alleged military plot to overthrow his government. Fujimori left Lima within hours after a member of Congress announced the Army was lobbying his colleagues to help provoke a coup and reinstate exiled secret service chief Vladimiro Montesinos. Unconfirmed reports said Fujimori also had asked to consult with high-ranking US officials.

Demonstrators claimed victory in Prague as the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund ended a day early. The organizations said their business had been completed, especially on the issue of debt-forgiveness to developing nations and that they were unaffected by the two days of violence in the streets outside. But Czech authorities reported 894 arrests, more than 100 injuries, and extensive damage to commercial establishments seen as symbols of global capitalism.

Early exit polls showed the national referendum in Denmark on adopting the euro, the single currency of the European Union, headed for a narrow defeat. But reports that the "no" vote was at 52.5 percent - to 47.5 percent in favor - were viewed with caution by analysts because of a high turnout at the polls.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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