News In Brief

NATO was accused of bombing a passenger train as it crossed a bridge in the heartland of Yugo-slavia, causing an undetermin-ed number of deaths and injuries. But without commenting on the allegation, British Defense Secretary George Robertson said the attacks would continue until Serb forces stop ousting ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and are withdrawn from the province.

Hours after being challenged by President Yeltsin to get on with its vote to impeach him or drop the issue, leaders of the lower house of Russia's parliament agreed to postpone the process indefinitely. Speaker Gennady Selznyov said further action was unwise while Russia is opposing NATO attacks against Yugoslavia. Impeachment efforts against Yeltsin have always failed, but the latest was viewed as having more likelihood for success because of concerns about his health.

A "group of four" presidential hopefuls in Algeria was considering a plan in which all but one would drop out of Thursday's election in order to pose the strongest possible challenge to the candidate backed by the military. They accuse the Army of trying to rig the vote for ex-Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Algeria is still mired in a cycle of violence that began when the Army overturned 1992 elections that Islamic fundamentalists were winning.

A July referendum on independence for the troubled Indonesian province of East Timor appeared even more in jeopardy after a show of force by opponents. Brandishing clubs and other weapons in front of the territorial governor's offices, they challenged separatist guerrillas - whom they're believed to outnumber - to "war." Gov. Abilio Soares said the UN-sponsored vote should be delayed because of escalating violence. Diplomats also have questioned the wisdom of East Timor's participation in Indonesia's June 7 national election.

Supporters of Malaysia's former No. 2 political leader were organizing street protests in anticipation of a guilty verdict tomorrow in his corruption and sexual-misconduct trial. Anwar Ibrahim could be sentenced to 14 years in jail on each charge if, as expected, the judge rules against him. He was fired last September by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and then arrested when he complained publicly. His case gained international attention when he was beaten while in police custody and key defense witnesses were not permitted to testify.

The armed forces were in full control of the West African nation of Niger after disbanding parliament, suspending the Constitution, and announcing formation of a "reconciliation" council. The council, headed by Commandant Daouda Malam Wanke, said it would rule for a "transition period" of nine months to be followed by elections for a civilian government. Wanke had commanded the security detail that, witnesses say, assassinated President Ibrahim Bare Mainassara last Friday.

An elevated commuter train that apparently struck a tool left on the tracks by workmen derailed and fell into a river in the German city of Wuppertal at the height of the morning rush hour. Authorities said at least three people died and 59 others were injured.

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