News In Brief

WE'D REALLY RATHER NOT For 32 years, they chafed under the oppression that they believed the government was imposing on them. So strong were their convictions that their representatives walked all the way to the national capital to plead with authorities. Now, their efforts have paid off. So what is it that the Baduy tribesmen of Indonesia care so deeply about: the right to vote? No, the right not to vote. Their religion forbids involvement in political affairs, but they were given no choice in the matter as long as President Suharto was in power. But he quit last year, Indonesia has two elections coming up, and - at last - the Baduy may sit them out.


If your TV screen shows a commercial featuring the animated talking tuna, Charlie, you're not in a time warp. StarKist's spokesman has been returned to duty after a career spanning 28 years and dozens of network ads and - um - "personal appearances," ending in 1989.

Germany's new president is 8th since World War II

Johannes Rau, who was elected president of Germany Sunday, has long been one of the nation's most admired politicians. His election marked the start of what many Germans are calling the "Berlin Republic." Over the next few months, the parliament and seat of government are moving from Bonn, the provisional postwar capital, to Berlin, the capital of reunited Germany. Rau, who was premier of the nation's largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, for 20 years, begins his five-year term July 1. He is only the second Social Democratic Party member to hold the high office, which has few executive powers, but considerable symbolic authority. Germany's eight postwar presidents:

Theodor Heuss 1949-59

Heinrich Lbke 1959-69

Gustav Heinemann 1969-74

Walter Scheel 1974-79

Karl Carstens 1979-84

Richard von Weizscker 984-94

Roman Herzog 1994-99

Johannes Rau 1999-

- Reuters

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