News In Brief

New elections in Peru will be held within seven months, a member of President Alberto Fujimori's Cabinet said. Fujimori met with his closest allies to plan his exit from power after calling for new elections in which, he said, he wouldn't run. Meanwhile, opposition leader Alejandro Toledo, saying "I want to be president; I will be president," was greeted by hundreds of supporters after returning from the US. He planned a mass rally in the center of Lima.

Protests against the price of motor fuel threatened to spread outside Europe as truckers in Israel vowed to block highways today. They would join haulers in Norway, Sweden, and Finland, who briefly denied access to roads, oil terminals, and harbors, and commercial fishers in Barcelona, Spain, where the port was sealed, keeping inbound ships from their docks.

Yet-to-be-made proposals from the US appeared necessary to bridge the latest obstacles in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. A senior Palestinian said his side no longer was willing to cede any West Bank territory so Jewish settlers can continue to live there. And Prime Minister Ehud Barak rejected Palestinian sovereignty over the Jerusalem shrine known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif.

An assassination attempt against the leader of Ivory Coast's military junta failed, but reports said two of his guards died and four other people were badly hurt. Gen. Robert Guei's residence was cordoned off by loyal troops and he appeared still to be in control. The attackers were motivated, reports said, by anger in Army ranks over the unequal payment of promised bonuses or because Guei has declared himself a candidate for president after originally pledging he wouldn't.

With President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea looking on, work began on the year-long reconstruction of the railway linking his country with rival North Korea, the latest step toward reconciliation between them. The rail line has been closed since war erupted on the peninsula 50 years ago. Soldiers eventually will have to clear the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries of land mines.

Facing mounting criticism that he has lost control of law and order in Indonesia, President Abdurrahman Wahid fired his national police chief for failure to arrest the youngest son of ex-President Suharto. Wahid had called for the arrest, believing the younger Suharto has been involved in recent bombings coinciding with his father's trial on graft charges.

The worst flooding in 70 years was blamed for at least 109 deaths along the Mekong River in Cambodia. Authorities said more than 93,000 people were left homeless by monsoon rains and almost 300,000 acres of rice paddy have been destroyed. In the Mekong delta of Vietnam, 25 people were reported dead and up to 400,000 others still needed to be evacuated.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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