News In Brief
Conflict in Kosovo appeared to be near an end after NATO's 11-week air war. There was action on multiple fronts:
*NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana ordered bombing halted as Yugoslav forces were seen leaving the province in large numbers.
*The UN Security Council was poised to adopt a resolution of settlement that would allow NATO-led peacekeepers into Kosovo. US Marines, who would likely be in the vanguard, landed in neighboring Greece (above) to prepare for entry on as little as four hours' notice.
*Russia OK'd the use of up to 10,000 of its soldiers in the peacekeeping mission, but said they would not be under NATO's command.
*Ethnic-Albanian guerrillas pledged to cooperate with the peacekeepers - although they reserved "the right to self-defense."
With the vote count from Indonesia's national election still only at 13 percent of those cast, final results will not be known until June 21, officials said. The announcement came amid rising concerns of a public backlash against the unpopular ruling Golkar Party - fueled by a spokesman's comment that it could win enough seats in parliament to cling to power in a coalition with rivals whose platforms are similar. Unofficial returns continued to show the opposition Democratic Party for Struggle in first place, with 34.7 percent of the vote, to Golkar's 21 percent.
The first growth in Japan's economy since the summer of 1997 was reported by the government. But experts cautioned that the 1.9 percent rise in gross domestic product (GDP) for the January-March quarter was due mostly to massive public-works spending and might be only temporary. If the pace continued the rest of the year, GDP would rise by a "respect-able 7.9 percent," the government said, although few economists expect that to happen.
Thirty-three more senior officers were expelled from the armed forces of Nigeria by new civilian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who also ordered their fortunes seized, reports said. Obasanjo's government alleges that their wealth was amassed illegally under the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha. The dismissals bring to almost 60 the number of those sent into early retirement by Obasanjo in fulfilling a campaign pledge to restructure the military. Among those ousted: the chiefs of the Navy, Air Force, and infantry.
With little evident enthusiasm, four days of elections for members of the European Union's parliament opened. Turnout in the Netherlands, Britain,and Denmark was reported to be low - although popular opposition to participation in the single European currency was expected to work against British Prime Minister Blair's Labour government. The EU's other 12 member countries are to vote tomorrow through Sunday.
The first domestic poultry, beef, and pork certified as safe since the contaminated-food scare erupted in Belgium two weeks ago is due to arrive on the market today. But almost half the nation's poultry processors remained off-limits - along with 40 percent of those in the pork industry and 17 percent of beef producers - while efforts continued to determine which had come in contact with tainted meat or given dioxin-laced feed to their livestock. Earlier, angry Belgian farmers blocked the border crossing with France to try to keep out shipments of imported meat.