FLOOD CONTAMINATES DES MOINES WATER Rising flood waters knocked out the water system in Des Moines Sunday and left thousands in the city without electricity as the Mississippi and its tributaries swallowed more land across the Midwest. A water treatment plant serving about 250,000 people in the Des Moines area was forced to shut down when floodwaters washed over its 15-foot dikes. City officials said it might take a month to restore clean drinking water. Flooding along the Mississippi and other rivers has forced more than 30,000 people from t heir homes and caused 18 deaths since late last month. Officials estimate crop and property damage at more than $2 billion in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. [Note to readers: Flood conditions in Des Moines have temporarily shut down CDS Inc., the Monitor's subscription service. Please bear with us.] Russian charter cleared
Russia's Constitutional Assembly approved yesterday a draft constitution submitted by President Boris Yeltsin that would give more power to the presidency. The draft would lead to the abolition of the conservative Congress of People's Deputies, which has resisted the president's economic reforms.
The pact will be sent to Russia's 88 regional elected councils, but will likely face roadblocks there. The regions are angry that the heavy taxes they pay subsidize the 20 ethnic republics which are smaller but have more autonomy. Bosnians reject partition
In a formal vote in Zagreb, Croatia, late Sunday, Bosnia-Herzegovina's collective presidency vowed to try to preserve a single federal state, giving equal rights to Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The decision seemed to support Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic's rejection of a Serb-Croat plan for a three-way partition of the republic, and thus was seen as a blow to UN peace efforts which hinge on the Serb-Croat plan. More US troops in Balkans
The final 156 soldiers of a US peacekeeping contingent arrived in Macedonia yesterday from Berlin. They joined an advance group of some 150 US soldiers.
The units are the first American combat troops to be assigned to former Yugoslavia. Their main role will be to deter any possible Serb aggression that could draw Macedonia into the conflicts that have swept through three other former Yugoslav republics. Sheikh's backers protest
Some of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman's followers demonstrated in lower Manhattan on Sunday to demand the Egyptian cleric's release from a federal prison. The protesters, nearly all men, with a handful of veiled women in a separate area, maintained the sheikh's innocence and questioned the motive behind detaining him.
The sheikh was detained July 2 on immigration charges, following reports that a number of suspects charged in the Feb. 26 World Trade Center bombing and a foiled plot to blow up other New York City landmarks worshipped in his mosque in Jersey City, New Jersey. China jails dissidents
Chinese police have sentenced a prominent Shanghai dissident to three years in a labor camp and jailed eight Tibetans for staging pro-democracy protests ahead of a visit by Western officials in May. Fu Shenqi's sentence came amid a recent crackdown on dissidents in Shanghai and charges that Mr. Fu had talked to foreign reporters about government activities there. Haitians demand Aristide
Scores of demonstrators, some shouting "Aristide or Death!", gathered on Sunday at a church in Haiti that was set on fire in September 1988 while President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was preaching. It was the first organized show of support for the exiled president since Haiti's military leaders agreed to return him to power by Oct. 30. Witnesses said police arrested and beat some protesters. Bomb rocks Pakistan
A bomb exploded yesterday in a vegetable market in Pakistan's troubled Punjab Province town of Gujranwala, injuring five people, police said. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared martial law in the province last month, setting off a period of political unrest and opposition calls for his resignation.