News In Brief

From east africa, to Iraq, to central Europe, the fallout deepened over Turkey's capture of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan:

*Turkey pledged that Ocalan would be given a fair trial, but said it would not tolerate foreign interference. Ocalan was being interrogated by intelligence officers at a high-security prison prior to his first court appearance - due in about two weeks. Meanwhile, hundreds of Kurdish activists were jailed following violent protests over the capture. And thousands of Turkish troops pushed into northern Iraq to attack Kurdish guerrilla bases in the hope that their quarry would be demoralized at Ocalan's arrest.

*In Athens, Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and two other Cabinet members resigned at the demand of Premier Costas Simitis. They were held responsible for allowing the Kurdish fugitive onto Greek soil and then to seek refuge in Greece's embassy in Kenya. Simitis ordered an investigation, but ruled out early elections because of the affair.

*Kenya's immigration chief was fired and the finance minister quit rather than accept a demotion in moves that analysts said were at least hastened by the Ocalan affair.

*Rioters and other Kurdish demonstrators targeted Turkish-owned businesses and cultural centers across Germany in a third day of protests over Ocalan's arrest. A Kurdish spokesman said Israel now would be the chief target of retaliation after three protesters were killed by security guards Wednesday as they tried to storm Israel's consulate in Berlin. Israel, meanwhile, denied reports that its Mossad intelligence agency had assisted Turkey in capturing Ocalan and said the guards had acted in self-defense. In Vienna, police cordoned off the UN complex after "50 to 70" Kurds forced their way inside to demand that a delegation go to Turkey to ensure Ocalan's health and safety.

NATO officials brushed aside warnings that Russia "will not allow" the use of force against Yugoslavia or Serb targets in Kosovo if no peace deal is reached over the troubled province by tomorrow. NATO was ready to strike quickly and hard unless the rivals negotiating outside Paris finished their work successfully, Secretary-General Javier Solana said.

Barbed wire fencing surrounded a village in southern Lebanon that the Israeli Army said was seized to protect residents from attack by Muslim guerrillas. But Lebanese officials said Israel's move against Arnoun, near the northeastern edge of the so-called "security zone," belied the latter's claim that it wanted to withdraw from Lebanon.

A simple bus trip tomorrow has come to symbolize the hopes of ordinary Indians and Pakistanis for an early end to the hostilities that have soured relations between their countries for decades. Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was to inaugurate the first cross-border passenger bus service by riding to a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. Their two days of discussions are expected to center on the Kashmir dispute.

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