News In Brief

NATO may have killed an undetermined number of civilians in an attack on a convoy in Kosovo last week, a US general acknowledged. But Brig. Gen Dan Leaf said the alliance can't determine clearly whether some of the victims died, as reports have suggested, from mortar and machine-gun wounds. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia broke off diplomatic relations with Albania, accusing it of supporting NATO "aggression."

The cause of Islamic fundamentalism was dealt a major blow in Turkey, as voters in Sunday's national election turned heavily to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's staunchly secular Democratic Left Party and to the ultra-rightist Nationalist Action Party. The latter quickly challenged Ecevit to extend an offer to join his coalition government. Analysts said the Islamic Virtue Party, previously the largest in parliament, lost support because of its ongoing friction with the armed forces, which see themselves as the protectors of Turkey's secular system.

A cease-fire "guaranteed" by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was signed by two of the parties to the civil war in Congo. The deal, brokered by Qaddafi, binds Congo's self-appointed President Laurent Kabila and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, whose support has been important to anti-Kabila rebels. The accord calls for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Congo and deployment of African peace-keepers. Rebel leaders said the agreement was meaningless without their signatures, which would not be forthcoming until they'd negotiated personally with Kabila.

Two nights before the scheduled start of peace negotiations between the government of Sudan and the rebel People's Liberation Army, the former called off the talks indefinitely. An official newspaper in Khartoum, the capital, said the move was made because of "continuous violations" by the rebels of a truce. The talks were to have been held in Nairobi, Kenya, under international mediation.

With brass bands playing and flags flapping in the breeze, the German parliament officially reopened its pre-World War II home, Berlin's restored Reichstag. It was the first step in shifting the seat of government from Bonn.

Despite 91 percent support for a referendum that would have reformed Italy's complicated electoral system, the measure was declared void because too few people went to the polls Sunday. The outcome buoyed small political parties, which had the most to lose if the referendum had passed. But disappointed proponents said they now questioned whether the system would ever be changed.

Having slaughtered almost 1 million pigs in their effort to contain a viral outbreak, authorities in Malaysia now will concentrate on eliminating goats that also are believed to carry the disease, published reports said. The virus is blamed for the deaths of more than 100 people; at least 229 others are reported to be ill from it.

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