News In Brief

People on both sides were using the word "war" to describe escalating violence between Palestinians and Israelis as a fifth day of street fighting in the West Bank and Gaza brought the number of deaths of 36. Prime Minister Barak told Israel Radio, "[Our] soldiers were told to use any method" to protect Jewish lives. Palestinian Authority President Arafat demanded that Israelis "stop shooting our soldiers, our old people, our youths, our women." (Story, page 1.)

A general strike called by the opposition in Yugoslavia was off to an uneven start as poor weather and loyal supporters of President Slobodan Milosevic combined to reduce its effectiveness. There were no immediate reports of violence. In a rare TV address, Milosevic made it clear he would not admit defeat in the Sept. 24 election and warned that an opposition takeover would lead to a breakup of the country. A dozen Christian evangelists were rescued from their Muslim guerrilla kidnappers in the southern Philippines after one escaped and told the Army where the others were. The Abu Sayyaf rebels eluded capture, however. The rebels still hold five hostages - one of them American - kidnapped over the summer.

Internet companies were handed a stiff new challenge in China, whose government released a set of regulations requiring strict surveillance against "subversive" content. The rules also require such companies to seek a government OK before they can accept vital foreign investment capital and provide grounds for shutdown any e-businesses that are found to be unlicensed.

Anti-euro sentiment hit the 70 percent mark in a new public opinion poll in Britain and reached its highest level to date in Sweden in the wake of last week's defeat of a national referendum on adopting it in neighboring Denmark. Danes voted 53 percent to 47 percent against joining the European Union's single currency system. In Sweden, a Gallup poll found 42 percent opposed to 31 percent in favor - a two-point gain for the "no" vote since opinion was measured in August. Sweden and Britain are the only remaining EU members that have yet to commit to the euro.

Denying last week's news reports, the most powerful clan leader in Somalia said he rejects the nation's new president and did not sign a "reconciliation" pact with him. Hussein Aideed told journalists he met with President Abdiqassim Salad Hassan in Libya but regards him as just another faction chief. Aideed warned of an "explosion" of violence if Salad attempts to rule without the backing of clan leaders.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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