News In Brief

Negotiations for formation of a self-rule government for Northern Ireland were in overtime as the Monitor went to press, with Protestants and Catholics both "giving away things that were never given before." But although British Prime Minister Blair said "seismic shifts" had occurred in their respective positions, further compromises appeared necessary. Leaders of the sectarian camps traded accusations of obstruction.

A military court loyal to Yugo-slav President Milosevic opened a criminal investigation against one of his severest critics, opposition leader Zoran Djindjic. Djindjic is accused to failing to respond to a draft notice. The move came two days after a massive rally by Serbs calling for Milosevic's resignation.

Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak expects to present his Cabinet to parliament Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule, aides said. After five weeks of negotiations, analysts said it appeared Barak had enlisted enough support to command 75 seats in the 120-member Knesset. His new allies will include religious, secular, nationalist, centrist, and dovish parties, all of which support his pledge to advance the peace process on all fronts.

Police were accused of firing into a crowd of demonstrators without warning in the first serious political violence in Indonesia's capital since the June 7 parliamentary election. An estimated 1,500 people were demanding that the ruling Golkar Party be disqualified for allegedly rigging the vote when fighting erupted. Three were reported wounded by bullets. At least 23 others were hurt by rocks, bottles, or clubs. Twelve protesters were arrested for trying to storm the election-commission offices.

Scots jammed Edinburgh for the opening of their own Parliament - amid lavish ceremonies, bagpipe bands, and a flyover by the Concorde and Royal Air Force jets. The 129 members assumed a range of powers from London - among them law and order, public health, agriculture, and the environment. Scotland's last Parliament voted itself out of existence in the 1707 union with England.

All 20 people aboard a gondola carrying workers to their jobs in the French Alps died when its cable snapped, sending it plunging to the ground. The gondola, at the ski resort of Saint-tienne-en-Dvoluy, recently had passed a safety inspection.

Joshua Nkomo, who died in Harare, Zimbabwe, led the fight for independence from British colonial rule but never realized his ambition to serve as the country's first black president. Once Rhodesia, as it was previously known, achieved freedom in 1980, longtime Nkomo aide Robert Mugabe assumed the presidency and named his mentor as security minister. They had a falling out two years later, and Nkomo fled into exile. He returned in 1988 and was serving as Mugabe's vice president at the time of his passing.

CORRECTION: An item in this space June 30, erred in its description of Northern Ireland's Ulster Unionist Party. It should have referred to the party as pro-British.

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