News In Brief

Prodded by security forces who turned against him, junta leader Robert Guei fled Ivory Coast, apparently leaving his presidential election rival to assume power. A day earlier, Guei had declared himself the winner of the Oct. 22 vote and imposed a state of emergency. He reportedly was seeking refuge in neighboring Benin. At least four people died in street demonstrations called by Socialist candidate Laurent Gbagbo to force Guei to concede defeat.

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was expected to resume talks on government reform with the head of the Organization of American States a day after making a surprise trip to the Army base where his ex-spy chief arrived earlier this week. Opponents, however, were urging the OAS's Cesar Gaviria to call for Fujimori's immediate resignation, after the return of Vladimiro Montesinos touched off rumors of an impending coup. Montesinos, meanwhile, told a radio interviewer he was back to stay but wished only to practice law.

With the peso plunging to a historic low against the US dollar, tens of thousands of Filipinos marched in Manila, demanding that President Joseph Estrada step down amid allegations he accepted illegal gambling kickbacks. Vice president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who quit the Cabinet two weeks ago, said his resignation was the only solution to reversing the economic decline and that she was ready to succeed him.

At least 22 people died, dozens more were hurt, and a detention camp for Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka was set on fire by hundreds of local Sinhalese villagers. Reports said the incident was apparent retaliation for the taking of a prison official as a hostage by the Tamils in a demand for their freedom.

In a stunning blow to President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, only 38 of 118 seats in a runoff election for parliament went to his National Democratic Party. Most were won by candidates who were officially independent. But, perhaps ominously for Mubarak, three seats went to candidates endorsed by the banned Muslim Brotherhood, which hopes to convert Egypt into a fundamentalist state. Two others backed by the brotherhood were elected outright in the first round of balloting, Oct. 18.

Hundreds of US residents on the Baja California coast of Mexico faced eviction from their homes after that country's Supreme Court ruled a bureaucratic mistake wrongly had stripped a local company of its land. The court ordered the government to use force if necessary to carry out the eviction - which has been delayed for years - within 10 working days. Under Mexican law, foreign nationals may not own property within 65 miles of the US border or 35 miles of either coast.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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