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Bosnian Serbs said they would free more UN hostages in the town of Zvornik. An independent news agency in Serbia said 100 hostages were to be released yesterday and more would be let go gradually in coming days. US officials raised faint new hope for the survival of the American fighter pilot shot down in Bosnia last week. The Pentagon said it had picked up intermittent signals from what appeared to be the airman's emergency locator beacon. France's defense minister said if the UN rejects a proposed rapid-reaction force in Bosnia, his country would again consider withdrawing its peacekeeping troops.

Prosecutors yesterday charged Japanese sect leader Shoko Asahara and nine top lieutenants with murder and attempted murder in the March 20 nerve-gas attack on Tokyo's subway. Authorities said Asahara was the mastermind of the attack. Police have arrested 34 of 41 suspects in the case.

Russian forces tried to push deeper into the Chechen-held Caucasus mountains after capturing the key rebel base of Vedeno. Chechen leader Dudayev pledged to continue fighting Russian troops. In Moscow, Russian President Yeltsin shelved the resignation of a popular general and ordered a panel of top officials to study the matter. Lt. Gen. Alexander Lebed had submitted his resignation after Defense Minister Grachev ordered him to reduce the 14th Army.

The EU and Japan have achieved a substantial breakthrough toward easing regulations that make it hard for foreign cars to enter the Japanese market, the EU's top trade official said yesterday. Sir Leon Brittan said the EU had not achieved everything it wanted, and the negotiation would continue.

Israeli warplanes attacked Shiite Muslim guerrilla bases in southern Lebanon yesterday, security sources said. The escalation in fighting followed Hezbollah's assassination of a Lebanese-American businessman the guerrilla group claimed was working as an official of the Israeli-backed militia. US Secretary of State Christopher, meanwhile, is to leave for the Middle East today to try to speed up the pace of negotiations between Syria and Israel on a peace agreement.

Japan's ruling coalition agreed yesterday on the wording of a parliamentary resolution to apologize for the country's role in World War II, officials said. The coalition parties agreed to express remorse for Japan's "acts of aggression" against Asian neighbors and its "colonial rule" over some of them.

French Defense Minister Charles Millon said military experts recommended that France resume controversial nuclear-weapons tests to keep its deterrent credible. President Chirac had said he would decide whether or not to order a new series of tests, frozen by his predecessor Mitterrand since 1992, on the basis of the experts' recommendations.

Some 20,000 strikers brought Johannesburg to a standstill yesterday, and President Mandela urged employers to listen to their demands. The country's 1.4 million-member Congress of South African Trade Unions organized the march as the first step in a campaign to get apartheid-era labor laws changed. Meanwhile, South Africa abolished the death penalty yesterday, lifting the threat of hanging from 453 prisoners on death row.

Defiant British minister William Waldegrave said he would not resign over criticism by an official inquiry of his role in an "arms for Iraq" scandal. Waldegrave has become a central figure in an issue that could severely embarrass Prime Minister Major when the inquiry publishes its final report in the fall.

Six people were killed and a US consulate vehicle was torched in Karachi, as the estranged brother of Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto accused her of failing to quell the violence in the city.


IBM Corp., Siemens AG of Germany, and Toshiba Corp. of Japan said their $1 billion semiconductor research alliance succeeded in developing an advanced computer memory chip. It is reportedly two generations beyond the most advanced chips currently available.

German Chancellor Kohl, on a trip to Israel, yesterday visited the national memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust. He expressed shame at the slaughter. Stones at the memorial note the names of the towns where Jewish populations were annihilated during World War II.

You can get into trouble with the law in Louisiana if you let your children run with the wrong crowd. State lawmakers passed a bill making improper supervision of a juvenile a crime.

For the first time since the 1950s, a trainload of Washington politicians will not make the biennial junket to the Big Apple for four days of free sightseeing, parties, baseball, and shows. The tradition has fallen victim to Congress's new ethic of more work, fewer perks, and less play.

Brazil loses 12 million wild animals a year through illegal trafficking, and 90 percent of them die while being transported, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

Top-Grossing Films In the US, June 2-4

(Preliminary figures)

1. "Casper," $14.1 million

2. "The Bridges of Madison County," $10.8 million

3. "Die Hard With a Vengeance," $9.2 million

4. "Braveheart," $7.5 million

5. "Crimson Tide," $6.5 million

6. "Forget Paris," $3.7 million

7. "Johnny Mnemonic," $3.3 million

8. "While You Were Sleeping," $3.3 million

9. "Mad Love," $2.4 million

10. "Tales From the Hood," $1.9 million

- Associated Press

"Everyone, including the most abominable of human beings, has the right to life, and capital punishment is therefore unconstitutional."

- South African Constitutional Court Judge Arthur Chaskalson

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