News In Brief

Hundreds of Kosovo Serbs yielded to pressure from President Milosevic's government and boarded buses back to the homes they'd fled last week. But others, still hoping for permanent shelter in Serbia proper, rallied in Belgrade to protest the call to return. The move came as NATO announced all uniformed Serb troops and police had left Kosovo 11 hours ahead of schedule, bringing an official end to alliance bombing. But in Kosovo a forensics expert said so many "massacre sites" had been found that NATO can't guard them all.

As a concession to Russian President Yeltsin, the final communique at the meeting of Group of Eight leaders in Germany did not specifically rule out financial aid for rebuilding Yugoslavia as long as Milosevic remains in power. Yeltsin, who joined the meeting on its last day, said it was most important "to mend ties" over Kosovo after his repeated confrontations with NATO over the bombing.

The first government-to-government contact between the two Koreas in more than a year is due to begin today in Beijing. Low-level representatives of the two sides are scheduled for four days of discussions, beginning with the reunification of families divided by the peninsula's 1950-53 war. But skeptics said the talks quickly could be sidetracked if the North raises the issue of last week's naval clash in a disputed zone of the Yellow Sea.

A solution to the latest dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir will have to come without mediation or a face-to-face meeting between their prime ministers, the former's leader said. Atal Behari Vajpayee ruled out UN or Western-government intervention to end clashes that began May 26. He also rejected talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. Indian troops are fighting over some of the world's highest terrain with infiltrators whom Pakistan describes as "freedom fighters" - and casualties on both sides have been heavy.

No cease-fire will be signed with the government of Congo unless there's a face-to-face meeting with President Laurent Kabila, rebel leaders seeking to topple him said. Delegates from all sides in the civil war are scheduled to meet tomorrow in neighboring Zambia to discuss peace. At least six other African countries have been drawn into the 10-month conflict.

In a carefully laid plan to win the next national election in Malaysia, the main opposition parties agreed to join forces against longtime Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. They decided to put up a single candidate in each of the 192 parliamentary districts and to unify their platforms. The vote must be held by next June but is expected sooner. Mahathir's National Front has been in power since 1957, and he has headed the government for 18 years.

Saying, "Ships will not be able to unload; airplanes will not descend or leave," the leader of the government workers union in Suriname announced plans to resume massive protests aimed at ousting unpopular President Jules Wijdenbosch. He is blamed for the collapse of the guilder, which lost half its value in one week in March. But he has defied two weeks of earlier street protests and a no-confidence vote that passed in parliament June 1.

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