News In Brief

NATO jets - apparently by mistake - bombed government positions in Albania as the Kosovo conflict widened. Defensive Albanian artillery and police stations also came under fire from heavy Yugoslav guns in Kosovo. It was unclear which was responsible for the most damage.

Israeli jets were attempting to provide cover for the withdrawal of the proxy South Lebanon Army (SLA) from an increasingly untenable sector outside the occupation zone used to protect the northern border from invasion. But two Israeli-paid SLA soldiers were killed and another was wounded by Hizbullah guerrillas as the pullout got under way. It is seen as a possible precursor to the complete withdrawal from southern Lebanon promised by Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak.

Barak and outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both looked uncomfortable as they held their first face-to-face meeting since the landslide Israeli election May 17. Reports said they discussed security issues, but Barak also is known to want to include Netanyahu's Likud group in his coalition government to assure a broad parliamentary majority.

At least 60 percent of the vote appeared likely to go to candidates of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in today's first of two national elections in South Africa. Just under 19 million people are registered to elect the 400 members of the National Assembly, which, in turn, will chose the successor to President Nelson Mandela June 14. In a final preelection message, Mandela's presumed successor, Thabo Mbeki, urged minority whites not to fear that their futures would be compromised if they voted for non-ANC candidates.

Four decades of "war" by the US have resulted in death or injury to 5,577 Cubans, and the Castro government will demand $181 billion in compensation, the Communist Party newspaper Granma said. The claim is included in court documents detailing alleged planting of epidemics on the island, US backing for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and other actions. No reason was given for the timing of the demand.

Because of scarce employment opportunities at home, educated Kenyans - especially teachers - should apply for jobs in other countries, President Daniel arap Moi told an audience at a speech on the 36th anniversary of self-government. Annual per capita income in Kenya has dropped to $281, and the Central Bank recently reported that 80 percent of the national wealth is held by just 8 percent of the population.

Thousands of people - among them the brother of President Jules Wijdenbosch - marched through Suriname's capital, demanding his immediate resignation. John Wijdenbosch said he was concerned not only about the collapsing economy, the second-poorest in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti, but also about protecting his family's name. The president fired his entire Cabinet last week after the nation's currency, the guilder, lost half its value.

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