News In Brief

With another round of violence raging in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli military officials said clashes with Palestinians would likely continue for more than a year and could escalate on the Lebanese front. Col. Noam Tivom said the Army needed $125 million in new weapons and equipment to prepare for such a possibility.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak, meanwhile, was again negotiating with right-wing leader Ariel Sharon in an effort to form a majority coalition. Saying "brothers walk together" in time of emergency, Barak hoped to secure the support of Sharon's Likud movement before parliament returns from its recess Sunday. Many Palestinians say Sharon's visit to Jeru-salem's Temple Mount holy site touched off the violence.

Elections officials were under armed guard and forbidden from speaking to reporters in Ivory Coast after junta leader Robert Guei disbanded their commission and declared himself the winner of last Sunday's voting for president. Guei's move came amid calls by his No. 1 rival in the election, Socialist Laurent Gbagbo, to concede defeat and step down. The vote count was suspended Monday with all accounts putting Gbagbo ahead. Reports said security forces in riot gear were on the streets of the capital, Abidjan, where Gbagbo supporters threatened massive demonstrations if Guei remained in power.

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori rejected opposition calls that he resign immediately, despite claims his government has lost control of the military and could soon be toppled. Concerns over a coup were sparked by Fujimori's spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, who flew home from exile in Panama after being denied asylum there. The armed forces are thought to be loyal to Montesinos.

Appeals to the courts by white farm owners for an order evicting squatters from their land are "unacceptable" and will be ignored if granted, Zimbabwe's agriculture minister said. He said white-owned farms will continue to be targeted for resettling landless blacks. The government of President Robert Mugabe already has ignored an April Supreme Court order to evict squatters on about 1,700 farms. The high court is due next month to hear a challenge by the white farmers union to laws allowing the government to seize land virtually at will.

All but three of the passenger ferries confined to port by the government of Greece had their licenses returned after operators met a deadline to bring them into compliance with safety regulations. Sixty-seven vessels were affected by the order following a rash of accidents at sea last month, the worst of which killed 80 people. Ten million people ride the ferry fleet each year.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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