News In Brief

Bolivia's ruling party suffered a clear upset in municipal voting as leftist and conservative opposition parties won eight of the nine provincial capitals, including La Paz, according to initial results yesterday. Unofficial returns indicated the ruling Nationalist Revolutionary Movement had failed to win a single provincial capital, a defeat that analysts said reflected the unpopularity of austerity measures imposed by the government of President V'ictor Paz Estenssoro.

21 Chilean refugees in Rio to press asylum

Twenty-one Chilean refugees occupied the offices of the UN in Rio de Janeiro yesterday and held a local newspaper photographer hostage to back their demands to be sent to another country, a spokesman for the group said. The photographer being held hostage said the Chileans had told him that with no guarantees on living conditions or safety from the secret police, they were afraid to remain in Brazil.

France detains twenty in Iranian opposition

About 20 exiled members of the opposition People's Mojahedin of Iran were arrested yesterday in a police sweep and could be expelled, the Interior Ministry announced. A Mojahedin spokesman said the arrests were part of French negotiations with Iran aimed at obtaining the release of three Frenchmen still known to be held hostage in Lebanon.

Iranian missile misses target in Kuwaiti waters

Kuwaiti government officials said yesterday that Iran fired a Chinese-made Silkworm missile into Kuwait's territorial waters, but it missed its target and hit an unmanned barge near Kuwait's Sea Island oil terminal. Meanwhile, a Singaporean tanker, attacked Sunday by Iran, was in flames that were out of control, and regional shipping sources said there seemed little chance of saving the ship.

Separately, Iraq admitted Sunday that one of its warplanes bombed a Saudi Arabian island in the northern Gulf last Friday by mistake.

Korean protests disrupt candidates' rallies

Violence disrupted rallies for Roh Tae Woo, Kim Young Sam, and Kim Dae Jung, the top three presidential candidates, yesterday, with the election only 10 days away. None of the candidates were hurt, but at least 42 other people were reported injured, at least 30 people were arrested, and dozens of cars were destroyed.

Separately, South Korea expects that a woman who is linked to the suspected bombing of a Korean Air jet will be extradited from Bahrain to Seoul, officials said yesterday.

Chinese students protest in first march since 1986

About 500 students, who were protesting the murder of an undergraduate, marched on government offices in Peking yesterday and scuffles broke out when police tried to break up the demonstration, witnesses said. It was the first known major student unrest since China cracked down on pro-democracy protests in late 1986 and unleashed an ideological campaign to counter ``bourgeois liberalization,'' or the spread of Western political ideas.

Pope, Patriarch to seek Catholic-Orthodox unity

Pope John Paul II and Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios of Constantinople declared yesterday that they would work together for unity between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox followers. The two churches have been divided for more than 900 years by a dispute over whether the pope outranks the patriarch of Constantinople, the ancient name for Istanbul and the seat of Eastern Orthodoxy since the days of the Byzantine empire.

Israel's Peres suggests pulling troops from Gaza

During an angry exchange with right-wing parliamentarians yesterday, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres raised the prospect of withdrawing Israeli troops from the occupied Gaza Strip. Aides said Mr. Peres was responding to demands for Israel to annex the coastal strip captured from Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war and populated mainly by Palestinian refugees.

Meanwhile, Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American activist who has been defended by Washington against Israeli expulsion, asked Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir yesterday to meet him before deciding on his deportation.

Army chief holds power in Fiji despite civilian rule

Brig. Sitiveni Rabuka, Fiji's Army commander, will remain in control of the South Pacific island chain despite a return to civilian rule after eight months of turmoil, military sources said yesterday. Colonel Rabuka, who stepped down as head of state Sunday, would retain control of security forces as minister for home affairs in the new government of the prime minister, Ratu Sir Kemasese Mara, they said.

7 anti-Ershad protesters are killed in Bangladesh

At least seven people have been killed in Bangladesh since Saturday in clashes between police, opposition supporters, and government followers, Indian sources said. Bangladeshi President Hossain Muhammad Ershad, facing an unprecedented antigovernment protest that continued yesterday, dissolved parliament Sunday night in a last-ditch attempt to save his nation's new civilian rule.

High court agrees to hear Catholic church tax case

The US Supreme Court said yesterday it will consider invalidating a lawsuit that seeks to strip the Roman Catholic Church of its tax-exempt status because of the church's anti-abortion lobbying. The justices agreed to decide whether ``pro-choice'' organizations and individuals have the proper legal standing to sue the federal government over the church's tax status.

The court's decision is expected by July.

US banks' summer gains fail to offset dismal year

The nation's banks posted record profits of $5.8 billion last summer, partly offsetting an all-time high loss of $10.6 billion sustained from April through June, the government's Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said yesterday. But FDIC chairman William Seidman said the upswing in the July-September quarter would not prevent 1987 from being the worst year for US banks since 1934.

For the record

New Delhi's chief of police returned to work yesterday after being suspended for 15 days because his car got in the way of a Soviet motorcade. Cuban President Castro has announced that Cuba will build a medical center for victims of El Salvador's civil war, a state-run news agency said yesterday.

Voters in the Seychelles elected a new four-year Parliament Sunday, and electoral officers reported an increase in turnout over the last general election held under the country's one-party system.

Three people died and at least nine were wounded in weekend violence in South Africa's Natal Province between black factions while their leaders wrangled over peace terms.

In Lima, Peru, at least 15 people were killed and over 100 missing after a mud slide engulfed four villages in the central Peruvian jungle, police said yesterday.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.