News In Brief

Little, if any, change appeared to result from visiting Secretary of State Colin Powell's weekend meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He was jeered by thousands of Palestinian demonstrators as he talked with Yasser Arafat, despite calling for Israel to lift its "siege" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon said Israel required "full security" and that the blockade could not end nor peace talks resume until violence ended.

Worried investors waited for the financial markets to open in Turkey, with the lira having lost 36 percent of its value against the US dollar. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was due to meet the president and military chiefs for what was expected to be tense discussions of the week-old political and economic crisis. Ecevit has ruled out changes in his Cabinet after his blowup at President Ahmet Necdet Sezer last week, but it was not clear whether Central Bank Gov. Gazi Ercel's offer to quit because of the crisis would be accepted.

"Special forces" were ordered by President Abdurrahman Wahid to the Indonesian island of Borneo to contain spreading ethnic violence that has caused at least 270 deaths in the past week. Thousands of Madurese settlers jammed ships bound for Java to escape armed Dayak tribesmen, and equal numbers were waiting for evacuation as they sought protection from police.

Foreign sympathizers joined masked Zapatista rebels and thousands of their indigenous backers for a 12-state "peace caravan" from southern Mexico to the national capital to lobby for Indian rights legislation. But while new President Vicente Fox, in a televised speech, said he welcomed the march, its leader blasted him as "the senor who talks a lot but listens little." The government and the Zapatistas have not met for peace talks since 1996.

As many as 80,000 people were being evacuated by authorities in central Mozambique as tons of water were released from behind a dam under pressure from weeks of rain. The region was accessible only by air as flooding along the Zambezi River collapsed two railroad bridges and left roads impassable. The government is seeking $30 million in emergency aid.

Authorities scrambled to contain an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain's cattle, sheep, and pig herds. Abattoirs and livestock markets were ordered closed for a week last Friday, and huge pyres were being built to burn the carcasses of hundreds of animals slaughtered because they were found to be infected.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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