News In Brief

Their mission given new urgency by evidence of a massive ethnic cleansing effort in Kosovo, NATO forces were ordered to widen their attacks from air-defense systems to Serb ground forces in the province. Sixty-six aircraft, striking in waves, hit 17 targets, although the first plane to be lost in the operation - a US F-117 "stealth" bomber - was shot down. In Belgrade, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic met with his senior military leaders and declared the country fit to continue its resistance to the NATO attacks.

More than a half-million ethnic Albanian refugees have been driven from their homes by Yugoslav "scorched earth policies" in Kosovo, NATO officials estimated. A spokesman said waves of refugees - mostly women and children - were crossing into neighboring Albania and Macedonia after being stripped of all identity documents. Albania called on international organizations to help prevent a catastrophe.

The peace process in Northern Ireland "will go into crisis" if Irish Republican Army members don't begin turning in their weapons this week, the province's designated "first minister" told the BBC. Protestant David Trimble has refused to sit with representatives from Sinn Fein, the political ally of the IRA, unless the latter disarms. Sinn Fein leaders say they can't achieve a handover. British authorities planned to call the province's new assembly into session by Thursday to choose Trimble's co-ministers.

An invitation-only crowd of 55,000 baseball fans was expected to fill Havana's Latino-americano Stadium for the long-awaited exhibition game between the Cuban national team and the Baltimore Orioles of the US's American League. Most Cubans were able to follow the game only via radio and TV. The game was to be the first appearance by a major league team on Cuban soil in 40 years.

The impeachment trial of Paraguayan President Raul Cubas is to resume today after weekend street protests that turned violent. Security forces stood by as pro- and anti-Cubas demonstrators clashed in Asuncin, the capital, resulting in four deaths and more than 100 injuries. Cubas fired the police chief. He also scoffed at suggestions that the developments of the past week would prompt him to resign.

Despite the military government's statement of regret at the passing of Aung San Suu Kyi's husband, few sympathizers in Burma (Myanmar) appeared willing to follow suit. Michael Aris died in London after being denied an entry visa for a final visit with his wife. The democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize-winner chose not to risk a trip to Britain, out of concern that she wouldn't be allowed back. Condolence books were opened at her home in Rangoon, but it's surrounded by police checkpoints, and those seeking access must first sign a government register.

Emergency crews were still spraying mist to cool the Mont Blanc highway tunnel connecting France and Italy four days after a fire that killed at least 40 people. Damage to the roof and road surface was expected to keep the tunnel closed for weeks. Its ventilation system also reportedly failed.

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