News In Brief

New cooperation on the commercial uses of outer space was promised by the Clinton administration after China's government made its strongest commitment to date not to sell nuclear missile technology abroad. The move also brought a reprieve from US economic sanctions that could have undermined delicate relations with the Beijing Communist regime. China agreed in 1998 not to transfer whole missile systems to other nations. But it has taken a more ambiguous approach to the sale of individual components and dual-use technology that could end up in weapons systems, and US intelligence reportedly has tracked such sales to Pakistan, Iran, Libya, and North Korea.

Early voting for a new government in Canada was running well below the pace of 1997, the last time a national election was held. Elections commission officials said only about 600,000 people had voted in advance - 100,000 fewer than at the same point three years ago. Political observers said that was only one indication of low enthusiasm for Monday's balloting, which is widely expected to give Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his Liberal Party a rare third consecutive majority in the lower house of Parliament.

By this weekend, a motion will be filed by Philippine President Joseph Estrada to seek dismissal of all impeachment charges against him in Congress, an aide said. His trial for allegedly accepting illegal gambling payoffs and various constitutional abuses is scheduled to open early next month. The aide said Estrada's attorneys had spotted what they believe are technical defects in the impeachment articles, believed to be the first against an Asian chief of state.

Without immediate progress in curbing the spread of AIDS and treating its victims, the disease will kill one South African a minute by 2005, an insurance industry conference in Cape Town warned. A spokesman for Lifeworks, an industry foundation set up to work on the AIDS crisis, accused the nation of ignoring the dimensions of the problem, which he said was growing faster than anywhere else in the world. A Lifeworks statement called AIDS "the single most strategic issue facing our economy."

Emil Zatopek, who died in the Czech Republic, was a national hero both in sports and political activism. Between 1948 and 1954 he won an unprecedented 38 races at a distance of 10,000 meters. In the 1952 Olympics he took gold medals in the 5,000-meter, 10,000-meter, and marathon events. But he fell from grace with Czech Communist authorities by becoming a leading advocate of "Prague Spring," the pro-democracy campaign that led to a 1968 Soviet-led military invasion.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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