News In Brief

A memorial service for the 14 Serbs found murdered in a Kosovo cornfield was postponed until at least later this week because forensics experts weren't finished with their autopsies. But it was unclear whether the examinations would yield what NATO commanders have said is a necessary breakthrough to reassure Kosovo's remaining Serb population and to counter the accusations of Yugoslav government officials that Serbs have been neglected in the conduct of peacekeeping duties.

Another postponement of the referendum on autonomy for East Timor was believed likely - amid lingering concerns about security and logistical problems. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who already has delayed the vote from Aug. 8 to Aug. 21 or 22, was to report to the Security Council on conditions in the volatile province as the Monitor went to press. Meanwhile, the UN closed two voter-registration centers after anti-independence militiamen threatened to destroy them. They'd been denied registration for failing to provide identification documents.

Indonesia's June 7 national election results - still not certified as official - were delayed at least another week when a majority of commissioners refused to endorse them. The final figures are expected to mirror previously released unofficial tallies, giving the opposition Democratic Party for Struggle a clear lead over its rivals for seats in parliament. But 27 election commissioners raised allegations of voting irregularities, which must be ruled valid or groundless. Above, retired Gen. Rudini, the election commission chief, is mobbed by reporters after the certification process failed.

Carefully avoiding the most sensitive issues that divide their countries, Greek and Turkish negotiators met in Ankara to try to find ways to ease tensions. The talks, urged by the US and European Union, were expected to cover trade,the environment, and cooperation on tourism. In a second round, scheduled for later this week in Athens, the negotiators plan to discuss terrorism and immigration.

Army troops were ordered into northern Nigeria to try to keep a lid on the violent rioting that has torn the country since the election of President Olusegun Obasanjo. As many as 40 people are believed to have died in weekend clashes between Hausa and Yoruba tribesmen in the northern city of Kano. At least 60 others died at Shaga-mu. The violence began when a Hausa woman was caught watching Yoruba tribal rites.

A huge majority of voters in Sunday's national referendum in Venezuela fell into step with their controversial new leader, endorsing his proposal to scrap the Constitution and - possibly - Congress. As a result of Sunday's nationwide referendum, at least 119 of the 131 seats in the Constitutional Assembly that would write a new charter will go to President Hugo Chavez's hand-picked candidates.

A formal process to elevate the late Mother Teresa to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church began in Calcutta, India. By custom, the process requires a five-year wait after death, but special dispensation to put the Missionaries of Charity nun on the fast track to beatification - the first step - was granted in March by Pope John Paul II. She was awarded the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work among Calcutta's poor.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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