News In Brief

Army troops took over key installations - among them the state TV and radio operations - in Pakistan following the surprise dismissal of their chief of staff. As the Monitor went to press, soldiers also were surrounding the international airport in Islamabad, the capital, and had seized the residences of several government officials. Government buildings and main roads in Lahore, the hometown of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also were under military control. No announcements had been issued.

Sharif fired Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf while the latter was on a visit to Sri Lanka and replaced him with a close ally, Gen. Zia Uddin, the secret service chief. Relations between the prime minister and Musharraf were said to have deteriorated when Sharif ordered Islamic militants to withdraw from Indian soil in July. But Sharif announced an extension of Musharraf's term earlier this month in an apparent attempt to mend the rift. Musharraf was named to the post last year after his predecessor made remarks critical of the prime minister, causing concerns about a possible coup.

"I am the first to admit that it has not been possible" to help all Mexicans affected by massive flooding, President Ernesto Zedillo said as he wound up an inspection tour of the worst-hit areas. But he said his government didn't need international humanitarian assistance to cope with the disruptions. At least 425 people have died and an estimated 200,000 others have been driven from their homes. Zedillo said rescue workers were having so much difficulty reaching many stranded communities that outside help would be of little use.

Opposition leaders and angry university students protested the formal closing of an Indonesian government probe into charities linked to ex-President Suharto - suggesting the decision was linked to next week's presidential election. Suharto, who was forced from office last year, is accused of enriching himself, his family, and friends to the tune of billions of dollars at public expense during his 32-year rule. His lawyer says Suharto's health is too delicate to withstand an emotional jolt.

Opposition leaders were calling for Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema's resignation after a parliamentary commission report named a key member of his coalition as a spy for the former Soviet KGB. Party of Italian Communits leader Armando Cossutta was among 261 people cited in the report, some of whose names appear in code because of their high rank in the government. D'Alema himself is an ex-Communist.

An Egyptian scientist won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and two Dutch researchers shared the physics prize. Ahmed Zewail of the California Institute of Technology was honored for pioneering the use of rapid-fire laser flashes to illuminate the motion of atoms. Gerardus 't Hooft and Martinus Veltman were honored for creating more precise calculations for predicting and confirming the existence and behavior of subatomic particles.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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