News In Brief
For the first time in two years, British Army troops were deployed against rioters in Northern Ireland as the level of violence threatened to spiral out of control. Clergymen pleaded for the Protestant Orange Order to stop calling its supporters onto the streets or "before long, there will be deaths" as protesters show their anger at being banned from holding many of their traditional summer parades through Catholic neighborhoods. British Army spokesmen said they observed more violence in 24 hours in Belfast than in all of 1999.
Both sides were trying to lower expectations for next Tuesday's summit in the US bringing Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat together with President Clinton. Barak rated the prospects for success as "50 percent - like the toss of a coin" because of difficult-to-resolve disputes over borders, Jewish settlements, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, and the status of Jerusalem. But a senior Palestinian official warned that the failure of the summit "would make the region sink in a wave of violence."
By the necessary two-thirds majority, both houses of Yugoslavia's parliament passed a constitutional amendment that will allow authoritarian President Slobodan Milosevic to run for two more four-year terms. His current term, the only one permitted under the present system, expires next year. Milosevic has been indicted by the UN's war-crimes tribunal in The Hague for atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, and analysts say remaining in power is his best guarantee against prosecution.
While life apparently returned to normal in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, dissident soldiers warned they'd resume their mutiny if a promised bonus isn't paid "within a few days." The mutineers agreed to end their two-day rampage in exchange for lump-sum payments of $1,600 - less than one-third of what they claimed they were promised for helping to topple the civilian government last Christmas Eve.
Temperatures as high as 113 degrees F. were searing southeastern Europe in the worst heat wave in 100 years, and relief appeared to be a week away. At least 23 deaths were blamed on the heat in the region from Croatia east to Turkey and Iran. Dangerously high air pollution levels, power blackouts, scores of forest fires, and melting asphalt roads also were making life difficult. Nighttime lows in some cities were only in the mid-80s.
By a 556-to-42 vote, legislators in Germany OK'd a $5 billion compensation fund for Nazi-era slaves and forced laborers. Passage clears the way for payments to begin flowing to thousands of eligible people by year's end. The fund is jointly financed by government and industry, but still is almost $1 billion short of its goal.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society