News In Brief

A protest march aimed at attracting millions of people was scheduled for two days before the inauguration of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. Opposition candidate Alejandro Toledo, who boycotted last Sunday's runoff election rather than compete in a process he called fraudulent, said he'd recruit university students, trade-union members, and others for the July 26 demonstration. He also planned to appeal to the US and other influential countries to try to build support for annulling the election.

Meeting on plastic patio chairs, Lebanon's parliament held a historic special session in the border zone vacated last week by Israeli troops and heard pledges that a massive effort would be made to rebuild its heavily destroyed infrastructure. The government planned an immediate allocation of $60 million in emergency funds for the project, and the Islamic Development Bank said it was providing $100 million more in loans. Israel provided the region with water, electricity, telephone service, and health care during most of its 22-year occupation.

Ethnic Indians were dragged from their cars and beaten by supporters of Fiji's rebel coup, while police and soldiers did little to intervene. The crisis there also deepened on the political front as the rebels rejected the military government's nominee for new prime minister and his name was withdrawn. Military chief Frank Bainimarama said he wouldn't use force to free the hostages held by the rebels.

Toting their stereos, TV sets, and other belongings, Vietnamese emigrants left the last refugee camp for "boat people" in Hong Kong, ending a 25-year program of humanitarian aid. The Pillar Point Refugee Centre was home to thousands of refugees who fled Vietnam during the Communist takeover in 1975. Many have become Hong Kong residents, but 150 plan to stay at the center, claiming they need further government assistance.

A plan to import 20,000 foreign computer experts who would help keep German industries from falling behind their global competitors was approved by Chancellor Gerhard Schrder's Cabinet. The move - despite a national jobless rate that hovers at 10 percent - calls for five-year work permits to be issued to qualified technicians, who are expected to come mainly from Eastern Europe and India. But it has drawn heavy criticism from Schrder's opponents.

The deaths of two more Walkerton, Ontario, residents were blamed on the E. coli bacteria, bringing the number of fatalities in the outbreak to seven. Three small children remain dangerously ill from the bacteria, which tainted the public water supply. Environmental authorities have admitted they broke their own rule in failing to notify residents that the public drinking water was contaminated, although they knew as much several days before people fell ill.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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