News In Brief

So-called antiglobalization protesters were pouring into central Genoa, Italy, for the first planned demonstration against this weekend's Group of Eight meetings. But the zone around the heavily guarded conference venue was all but deserted as police banned rallies, and only sporadic early demonstrations were reported in other areas of the city. Organizers expected up to 100,000 protesters for the two-day summit. (Related story, page 3; related opinion, page 11.)

The armed forces of Indonesia will not "act outside the law" to deal with the expected constitutional crisis if President Abdurrahman Wahid declares a state of emergency today, their chief of staff said. Hundreds of police guarded parliament in Jakarta, where legislators were preparing for a "snap" impeachment session if Wahid issues such a declaration, and commanders said they'd commit thousands more if necessary.

Angry civil servants were helping to lead a nationwide general strike in Argentina against President Fernando de la Rua's controversial plan to slash $1.4 billion in government spending so the financially troubled nation can meet its heavy debts. Shops and cafes in Buenos Aires remained open, but public transportation was idle and thousands of workers stayed home. Some legislators vowed to try to overturn key parts of the plan, but debate on such a move appeared unlikely in Congress until at least next week.

Hopes for an early end to the ethnic insurgency in Macedonia appeared doomed as Albanian political leaders said they were through with peace negotiations, accusing rival Slavs of trying to take the slow-moving talks back to Square One. Against that backdrop, two terrorist bombs exploded in Skopje, the capital, injuring one person and damaging shops.

Tear gas hung in the air of Sri Lanka's capital as police clashed with tens of thousands of protesters against the suspension of parliament by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Two people died, more than 70 others were hurt, and dozens were arrested. Among those injured was opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

With his 17-month-old coalition government in tatters, the prime minister of Nepal handed in his resignation. G.P. Koirala cited the growing communist insurgency as one cause of the landlocked kingdom's troubles. But he has been under intense pressure from parliament since the June 1 massacre of royal family members and was given an ultimatum by his own party to quit or be voted out of power.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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