HURRICANE EMILY HEADS TO CAROLINAS Hurricane Emily zigzagged across the Atlantic early yesterday, taking a turn to the northwest that brought relief to southern Florida and anxiety to South Carolina, where memories of Hurricane Hugo are still strong. With Emily expected to hit land sometime tomorrow, meteorologists said the storm's movements prevented any precise forecast of where it will hit. Emily's top winds yesterday were near 80 m.p.h., but the storm was expected to increase in intensity to a Category 3 hurricane, with winds exceeding 1 11 m.p.h. Russia defaults on US loans
Gradually, and with little fanfare, bank claims against the US Agriculture Department for defaults on loans to Russia under a food export program have exceeded $1 billion. Russia began defaulting late last November on the debt owed by itself and the rest of the former Soviet Union, forcing a cutoff in sales of grain and other commodities.
The curtailed shipments to what was once a major customer have put a major dent in exports. The Agriculture Department says Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union will cut their total imports of grain nearly in half this trade year. Ukraine government totters
A day after Ukraine's market reform czar resigned, Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma said his government's days were numbered and criticized parliament for blocking progress. Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Pynzenyk said he could not be part of a government that continued to lead its country into debt and rejected any attempts toward market reforms. Bhutto blasts debt list
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto accused Pakistan's caretaker government of partisan politics after a hefty list of loan defaulters, which reads like a Pakistani political "Who's Who," hit the streets. It is estimated that delinquent loans taken from Pakistan's state-owned banks since 1985 total nearly $2 billion, or two-thirds of this impoverished nation's foreign debt.
Several weeks ago, interim Prime Minister Moeen Qureshi said politicians would be ineligible to run in the Oct. 6 elections if they were delinquent on loans greater than 1 million rupees ($31,000). Ms. Bhutto, her husband, and her mother are all on the list. Singapore's new president
Former Deputy Prime Minister Ong Teng Cheong became Singapore's first elected president Saturday. Backed by the ruling People's Action Party and the nation's labor unions, Mr. Ong was heavily favored to win a six-year term in the newly strengthened post.
The presidency was a ceremonial position until 1991, when Parliament amended the Constitution to give it executive power to oversee the country's finances, senior government appointments, and religious and some security affairs. The president will also have powers over the use of the Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial. Davidian tip-off
A TV cameraman confirmed he had a chance conversation with a Branch Davidian shortly before February's deadly gunfight at the cult compound. But the TV station's lawyer denies the talk amounted to a decisive tip-off.
KWTX cameraman Jim Peeler told The Dallas Morning News that he didn't know he was talking to a sect member when a man in a private car bearing US Postal Service signs pulled up and began a conversation. That occurred shortly before Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents raided cult leader David Koresh's compound. Morocco's big mosque
Graced by the planet's tallest minaret, a laser pointing the way to Mecca, and a retractable roof, the world's second-largest mosque opens today in Casablanca, Morocco. King Hassan II will inaugurate the mosque bearing his name, reinforcing his role as leader of Morocco's 24 million Muslims in a region torn by Islamic unrest.
The inauguration culminates a controversial seven-year project to give the port city Africa's biggest, most luxurious mosque, rivaled in size only by the one in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Built at a cost of $500 million, the mosque was financed by sometimes-forced donations.