YELTSIN SAYS HOLD STRIKES ON SERBS Russian President Boris Yeltsin said Saturday he hoped the Bosnian Serbs would approve a peace-plan referendum and that he opposed any outside military intervention in Bosnia before the vote. The self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb parliament had decided to hold a vote on the United Nations peace plan. Yeltsin said any decision on military action could be taken only after the referendum results were known and that any such action needed approval by the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, a news report in Washington sa id Saudi Arabia can be expected to spend upward of $100 million as part of a multinational coalition that would buy and deliver weapons and ammunition to Bosnia Muslims. The Washington Post also reported that the Clinton administration has been playing a brokering role in which governments sympathetic to the Muslims would finance and supply arms to the Bosnian government. (See stories, pages 1, 3.) Reno: Reform criminals
In what would be a shift in United States policy, Attorney General Janet Reno said Saturday the US justice system needs to redirect its resources to crime prevention and drug treatment, not just jailing offenders. A program that balances punishment for nonviolent offenses with preventive measures, including job training and drug rehabilitation, has a far better chance of reducing crime, Reno said. Turning criminals into productive citizens is more cost-effective than releasing them without the skills to survive in the community, which increases the chances that they will return to burglary and drug dealing, she added. War vet executed
Vietnam veteran Joe Johnson, who was diagnosed as suffering from a combat-related psychological disorder, was executed Saturday in Florida's electric chair for a 1979 shotgun murder. His lawyers had sought a sentence of life in prison. "When this death warrant is executed, Florida will electrocute a man injured and most probably maimed psychologically while serving in his nation's military in Vietnam and elsewhere," Florida Supreme Court Justice Gerald Kogan had written in a January ruling, in which the justices said their hands were legally tied. Guatemala talks stall
A new round of talks aimed at ending Guatemala's civil war ended Saturday with the Guatemalan government and leftist rebels at a standoff over a timetable for the peace process. "It was not possible for the two sides to reach agreement on setting a date ... for a possible end to the armed conflict that has been going on for over 30 years," Mexican state news agency Notimex quoted mediator Monsignor Rodolfo Quezada Toruno as saying. Previous rounds of talks have hung up on the same issue. Tamil bomber suspected
The suicide bomber who killed Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa just over a week ago has been identified by police as a resident of a Tamil rebel stronghold in northern Sri Lanka, the pro-government Sunday Observer newspaper reported yesterday. Another man who killed a top opposition leader a week before Premadasa's assassination also has been identified as a Tamil from northern Jaffna province, which is controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels, the paper said. Djibouti election
President Hassan Gouled Aptidon of Djibouti has been re-elected to a fourth six-year term, officials said yesterday. Less than half the electorate voted in polls Friday, which were boycotted by supporters of the opposition Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy. The front's guerrillas control large areas in the north of the tiny Red Sea republic. Officials said Hassan, in power since independence in 1977, won 60.7 percent of the vote, making a second round unnecessary.