News In Brief

Following a night of the worst rioting yet this month in Northern Ireland, British troops erected a high barrier to enforce a ban on the Protestant Orange Order marching through a Catholic zone in Belfast. The Orangemen were commemorating a 1690 battle. The night before, when Orangemen gathered around traditional bonfires, a Protestant man was shot to death in northern Belfast. Police said the victim was targeted as part of an ongoing feud between members of two outlawed anti-Catholic groups, both of which were supposed to be observing cease-fires in support of the province's 1998 peace accord. Meanwhile in Portadown, the epicenter of the current unrest, riots left 21 officers injured.

Although a spokesman said Fiji nationalist rebels released nine of 27 hostages as a goodwill gesture, widespread civil disobedience continued around the country. A half-dozen guards were taken hostage by about 50 inmates at a prison outside the capital, and five officers were injured in an attack on a police station on the country's second-largest island. But as promised, some 40 tourists who were held at an exclusive resort were allowed to leave. The 18 hostages still being held in the Fijian capital included deposed Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry. They are supposed to be released today under the terms of a deal signed Sunday.

Negotiations in Malaysia's capital between the US and North Korea over the latter's missile program ended in stalemate as Pyongyang demanded $1 billion a year to halt weapons exports. Washington, which rejected the demand, wants North Korea to stop delivering missile equipment and technology to customers including Iran and Pakistan. The deliveries have been a vital source of hard currency for Pyongyang.

Albeit two years behind schedule, a Proton rocket carrying the Russian-built living quarters for the International Space Station blasted off from Kazakhstan. The launch was a key step for the 16-nation, $60 billion project, which has been delayed by technical problems and financial difficulties. The $300 million Zvezda module, which went into orbit unmanned, is scheduled to dock July 26 by computer with two other space-station components. The first crew could go to the station by October.

In the wake at least 11,000 people in western Japan becoming ill after drinking Snow Brand milk, the dairy producer announced it would suspend operations at 21 factories to allow emergency inspections of hygiene conditions. Officials at the Osaka plant, where the problem occurred, said several facilities were improperly recycling milk during production. The nation's Health Ministry launched a task force Monday to pinpoint blame.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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