News In Brief

A general mobilization of the Army in Macedonia was ordered in response to the insurgency of ethnic Albanian guerrillas as police units struggled over the weekend to drive the attackers back across the border into Kosovo. In Skopje, the capital, President Boris Trajkovski urged calm, although an estimated 10,000 demonstrators demanded that his government resign if it couldn't guarantee the security of the Serbian majority.

The spread of foot-and-mouth disease among livestock in Britain will cost at least $12.9 billion, a business research center said, as the number of confirmed outbreaks reached 304. The government's chief veterinary officer acknowledged "We have an immense logistical problem" and refused to predict when the crisis would end.

Less than three months before the scheduled presidential election, the hard-line Iranian courts forbid all further activity by the nation's only formal opposition party and ordered four publications that have supported social and political reforms to cease operations. The directors of all four will be charged with "continuous violations of the law," state-run Tehran radio reported. The opposition Freedom Movement, which had been tolerated although technically outlawed, was accused of plotting to overthrow the conservative regime.

Corruption scandals appeared likely to tip the election for the mayor of Paris to a leftist for the first time in more than a century. Socialist Bertrand Delanoe also would be the first known homosexual to win the post if, as expected, he was able to hold off incumbent Jean Tiberi, who has portrayed himself as a scapegoat for a series of City Hall scandals, and Philippe Seguin of the Rally for the Republic Party, who figured to split the rightist vote Sunday.

Signs of a deepening rift between the top two leaders of Indonesia became evident as Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri failed to show up at the installation of a new member of the cabinet. She normally presides over the swearing-in of cabinet ministers, but analysts said she's trying to distance herself from embattled President Abdurrahman Wahid, who is under pressure to resign because of a corruption scandal.

A too-close-to-call vote in one of the safest election districts for Australia's conservative government appeared to be one more sign that Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal/National party coalition will confront a massive defeat when the entire nation goes to the polls later this year. A victory by the opposition Labor Party in Ryan, a wealthy Brisbane suburb, would be its third this year in state or local by-elections as voters take out their anger at Howard's economic record. He must call a national election by year's end, with expectations centering on November.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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