News In Brief

US jets attacked targets in both northern and southern Iraq, and reports from the latter area said human casualties and property damage were sizable. US military sources said missiles were fired by Air Force and Navy planes at two targets near Basra in the southern "no fly" zone following threats by Iraqi air-defense sites. Iraqi officials offered to escort reporters to Basra to see the damage - a step usually taken only when civilian areas have been hit. In the northern "no fly" zone, the US sources said laser-guided bombs were dropped on a ground artillery system whose radar had "illuminated" the American planes.

International truce monitors in Kosovo found the remains of five more ethnic Albanians - two of them children - who were killed aboard a truck carrying corn. The discovery came as a special US envoy was to arrive in the province - in a new search for a diplomatic solution to the crisis - and as so-called Contact Group members prepared to meet in Brussels on a similar mission. Earlier this month, 45 other Kosovo Albanians were found murdered, allegedly by Serb forces.

A massive manhunt was under way in India for the leader of a Hindu nationalist group who is believed responsible for plotting the murders of a Christian missionary and his two sons. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee welcomed a decision by the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the crime, saying "no mercy should be shown to the perpetrators." But his government came under a torrent of international as well as domestic criticism over the deaths. One leader of a regional political party that helps to support Vajpayee's minority coalition, reportedly demanded an end to attacks on minorities as the price of continued allegiance.

Last year's Olympic Winter Games may have been awarded to Nagano, Japan, on the basis of "excesses" in the bidding process, its mayor admitted. But Tasuku Tsukada blamed visiting International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates for making demands during the process that were "difficult to refuse." He spoke after a third IOC member resigned and six others were expelled. The six are accused of taking up to $600,000 in cash and other favors from officials in Salt Lake City while it was bidding for the 2002 Winter Games.

As expected, King Hussein of Jordan signed a decree appointing his eldest son as heir to the throne. Prince Abdullah, a career soldier, replaces Hussein's brother, Hassan. Analysts said Abdullah lacks experience in both foreign and economic affairs. But his marriage to a Palestinian is considered likely to win him the support of Jordanians of Palestinian origin.

Intense lobbying by the electric- utility industry appeared to have caused a last-minute delay by Germany's government in submitting a controversial bill committing the nation to a phased withdrawal from nuclear power. The legislation also was contested by France and Britain, which threatened to sue if lucrative contracts to reprocess German nuclear waste were canceled. The government said the delay could last three weeks.

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