News In Brief

With the collapse of the Camp David peace negotiations, the planes of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat were being refueled for their trips home as the Monitor went to press. Early reaction to the news across the region was sparse. But the new leader of the militant Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine predicted a new wave of violence in the West Bank and Gaza as a result of the failure to reach a deal "because the Palestinian people have gained nothing" out of the negotiations since they began in 1991.

A spreading revolt against violence shut down at least 150 white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, and some local businesses were closing in sympathy. A spokesman warned of more shutdowns unless President Robert Mugabe's government ended the illegal takeovers of farms by armed black squatters, now approaching half of those owned by whites. The protest began after another white farmer - the sixth since March - was beaten to death in the occupations, which Mugabe has said are justified. Analysts said a complete stoppage of farming would bring the battered economy to near-collapse.

Every resident of Havana was urged by Cuban President Fidel Castro to participate in the largest-ever "march of combatants" today to protest the US trade embargo and mark the anniversary of the 1959 revolution he led. While Cuba's Communist leadership has praised efforts in Congress to ease trade sanctions, the Communist Party daily Granma equated the 38-year-old embargo to a "monstrous genocidal policy."

Homosexuals were complaining and British Prime Minister Tony Blair was confronting another setback after Parliament's House of Lords blocked repeal of a ban on promoting the controversial lifestyle in schools. The 270-to-228 vote rejected for the second time this year a move to strip the anti-homosexuality provision from a larger law. Blair, who packed the upper house with 29 new peers in the spring, now must decide whether to force a third showdown on the issue before Britain's next general election, probably early in 2001. Two leaked internal memos last week pictured his government as weak on family values.

An Air France Concorde en route to New York crashed on takeoff from Paris. The French Foreign Ministry reported no survivors among the 109 passengers and crew. The accident was the first of its type for the supersonic plane since its introduction in 1969.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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