News In Brief

Six days after a devastating earthquake rocked western Turkey, many foreign rescue teams were returning home, as hope of finding survivors ebbed. Relief efforts were shifting to crisis intervention for hundreds of thousands of people left homeless. The Turkish Red Crescent agency spearheaded efforts to pitch thousands of tents and help prevent an epidemic in areas sweltering with heat where thousands of victims were yet to be buried. A temblor with a 4.3 magnitude jolted eastern Turkey on Sunday, but no casualties were reported. The human toll of last week's 7.8 quake has surpassed 12,000, with officials saying more than 35,000 people may still be trapped in the rubble.

Amid the typhoon winds of tropical storm Sam, a China Airlines jet burst into flames, crash-landed, and flipped upside down at Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok Airport, killing two people and injuring more than half of the 315 aboard. Most of the passengers were Thai citizens. It was the worst accident since the $9 billion airport opened in July 1998.

Threatening house-to-house searches and arrests, NATO officials urged Serbs in southern Kosovo to relinquish their weapons by a deadline extended to yesterday. On Saturday evening, the previous deadline, some 600 Serb-held weapons had been handed over to international peacekeepers. The Kosovo Liberation Army reportedly met a Friday deadline of relinquishing 60 percent of its weapons.

Meanwhile, Serbia's disjointed opposition faced another setback in its attempt to oust

President Slobodan Milosevic. Following Thursday's big Belgrade rally of about 150,000 Serbs opposing Milosevic, Vuk Draskovic, head of the Serbian Renewal Movement, denounced Zoran Djindjic, another opposition leader. Djindjic has refused offers from Milosevic's supporters for an early election this fall, insisting that the president step down immediately. Draskovic warned that if there aren't elections, there will be a "civil war."

The Kosovo conflict will cost Yugoslavia some $64 billion and make it the poorest country

in Europe, a report to be published today by the Economist Intelligence Unit reported. It said the Kosovo economy will shrink dramatically in the next few years, following damage inflicted by NATO's 11-week bombing campaign.

"A second Korean war has become unavoidable," Communist North Korea said in a statement. It also said Pyongyang views current joint military exercises between South Korea and the US as increasingly belligerent. The two Koreas fought a bitter war from 1950 to 1953, following the 1945 liberation from Japan.

Regional security and economic cooperation will be the focus of a three-day conference starting

Today with the leaders of China, Russia, and three Central Asian nations. Chinese President Jiang Xemin is expected to sign a land-dispute settlement with Kyrgyzstan, the host country. The leaders of Kazahstan and Tajikstan will also attend. Russian President Yeltsin was to arrive in Bishkek on Tuesday.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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