SUDANESE GOVERNMENT TIED TO BOMB PLOT A taped conversation between the alleged ringleader of a plot to bomb the United Nations and a federal informant implicates two Sudanese diplomats as accomplices, according to reports. The two men were intelligence officers for the Sudanese government and were assigned to the Islamic nation's UN mission in New York, ABC said on Aug. 16, citing US intelligence sources. The conversation has convinced US officials to put Sudan on Washington's list of nations that support terrorism, the New York Times reported Aug. 17. That means Sudan would not receive military equipment and other non-humanitarian assistance from the United States, and Americans who trade with Sudan would have to certify that material sold has no military use. Fighting ends in Georgia
Georgian government troops and Abkhazian rebels are withdrawing from the war zone near Sukhumi, capital of the Black Sea province of Abkhazia, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency reported on Aug. 17. Russia brokered a peace agreement between the two sides which came into effect Aug. 16.
Tass quoted Georgian and Abkhazian military spokesmen as saying the opposing forces pulled back heavy artillery and armor several miles from the front line, and commanders handed weapons parts over to Russian troops stationed in Abkhazia. Mining laws to be reformed
Fresh from raising grazing fees for private ranchers who use federal lands, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said on Aug. 16 that he is preparing to promote reform of federal mining laws in Congress this fall. Mr. Babbitt, on a three-week tour of Alaska, said the 121-year-old law that governs hard-rock mining on federal lands is likely to be reformed quickly.
The Mining Law of 1872, written in an era when government officials were encouraging developers to settle the western US, allows miners to extract hard-rock minerals from federal lands without paying any royalties.
"There will be royalties," Babbitt said. "I think we are going to end the patenting system. We'll keep the claim and location system." Bosnians evacuated
The UN has been overwhelmed with offers from 17 countries to provide medical treatment for 1,250 sick and wounded Bosnians. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has been struggling for months to evacuate seriously ill and wounded people.
The operation only made the headlines recently after Sarajevo doctors made dramatic appeals for help for an injured 5-year-old girl, who was finally flown to Britain. The outpouring of public sympathy prompted a flood of offers from countries previously worried about the cost of long-term medical care and support for victims. China criticized by US
The US Embassy on Aug. 17 sharply criticized China's decision to expel a leading labor activist who had just returned to the country, saying the move violated basic human rights. Han Dongfang, who founded China's first independent labor trade union and was jailed for 22 months after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, was forced across the border into Hong Kong Aug. 14, a day after he tried to return to China. Heavy rains hit Indiana
Up to a foot of rain flooded parts of central and southern Indiana on Aug. 17, closing roads and forcing evacuations from several communities. Storms also produced lightning believed to have touched off fires. Residents were evacuated from parts of Cloverdale and Martinsville. Port handed over to Namibia
South Africa has agreed to hand over the vital port of Walvis Bay to Namibia, negotiators said on Aug. 16. Walvis Bay, at the approximate midpoint of Namibia's 800-mile Atlantic Coast, had been run jointly by South Africa and Namibia. Nicaragua angry over arms
Nicaragua's Sandinista Army has accused a Salvadoran rebel faction of not cooperating with an investigation into several arms caches in Nicaragua. The Army said in a statement on Aug. 15 that the Communist Party of El Salvador may be among the factions that stashed weapons in Nicaragua at the end of El Salvador's civil war.