News In Brief

US cease-fire monitor william Walker was ordered out of Yugoslavia for publicly accusing Serbs of murdering 45 ethnic Albanians last weekend. But there were hopes of a last-minute compromise that would allow him to stay and forestall punitive air strikes by NATO forces.

For the moment, rebel forces in Angola appear to have gained the upper hand in the renewed war with government troops, a Western diplomat there said. The Army conceded its units were involved in clashes near the strategic northern city of Malanje and that fighting "is difficult in all areas." But it refused to comment on claims that UNITA rebels had seized a bridge across the country's largest river. News reports in Luanda, the capital, said the government had stepped up conscription and recalled retired Air Force pilots.

New violence in the march on Bucharest by striking Romanian coal miners resulted in dozens of injuries to police. About 50 other police were taken hostage, reports said. The strikers, who are paid an average of $209 a month, rejected a government offer of new negotiations to end their 16-day walkout.

The first tour of India in more than a decade by a cricket team from rival Pakistan appeared likely to go ahead after the New Delhi government pressured right-wing Hindus to call off a violent protest campaign. Cricket is the No. 1 sport in both countries, but political tensions have kept their teams from playing on each other's soil since 1987. The two-month series is to open next week amid tight security. Hindus are blamed for ransacking India's cricket-authority offices, digging up one playing field, and pouring acid on another.

"Designer plague" weapons that would target specific ethnic groups could be as few as five years away, researchers warned. At a London news conference, Dr. Vivienne Nathanson of the British Medical Association said genetic information already is being used to enhance biological weapons that eventually could be used by rogue states or terrorists. The news conference was called to launch a new book, "Biotechnology Weapons and Humanity," whose authors say they want to raise public and political awareness of the potential danger.

Opening what are expected to be two of the busiest years of his papacy, Pope John Paul II is due in Mexico today for a visit advertised as a "special message of hope for Latin America." On Tuesday he plans a stop in St. Louis, where the agenda includes his fourth meeting with President Clinton. Also ahead: a trip to his native Poland and possibly Romania, a synod with European bishops, and 160 other events during what the Vatican calls "Jubilee 2000."

The biggest landslide victory in Barbados history returned Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his Labor Party to office for a second term. The winners took all but two seats in Parliament, mainly on the strength of an improving economy.

Compiled by Robert Kilborn and Lance Carden

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