News In Brief

A massive demonstration called to pressure Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to give up power turned violent in Belgrade, the capital. Protesters broke into parliament, setting fires and hurling portraits of Milosevic into the street. Others were driven off by tear gas as they tried to storm the government TV station. Dozens of people were reported hurt. Smaller, mostly peaceful rallies were reported in cities and towns across Serbia. The Belgrade rampage followed a ruling by the Constitutional Court annulling last month's presidential election, which the opposition is widely viewed as having won, and giving Milosevic until June to order a rerun.

Only isolated exchanges of gunfire between Palestinians and Israeli troops at a Gaza Strip flashpoint were marring the latest cease-fire between the two sides - the fourth in a week. Israeli tanks were seen pulling back from areas where they'd been positioned, and a senior Palestinian source said "we notified our commanders as well" to stop the violence.

A state of emergency was decreed for this weekend in Ivory Coast as the Supreme Court prepared to announce the list of eligible candidates for the presidency. Military ruler Robert Guei planned an address to the nation amid expectations that popular ex-Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara will be disqualified under the new Constitution on grounds that he isn't of Ivorian birth. Guei, who first pledged not to seek the presidency, now is among 19 candidates registered for the Oct. 22 vote - the first step in restoring civilian government.

A suspected Tamil rebel triggered a suicide bomb at an election-campaign rally in Sri Lanka, killing at least 13 people. Forty-five others were hurt, many of them seriously. The attack - the second of its type this week - followed a government announcement that it was ending mediation efforts by Norwegian envoys to broker a peace deal with Tamil separatists.

Despite two late public relations setbacks, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski appeared headed for reelection Sunday. Polls consistently have showed Kwasniewski with about 50 percent support. But some of that eroded after a rival's campaign ad showed him appearing to enjoy a parody of Polish-born Pope John Paul II. And earlier this week, an estimated 10,000 people marched in Warsaw to protest his veto of legislation that would have offered ownership shares to ordinary Poles in rental housing and in state-owned companies slated for privatization.

By a large majority, a measure that would allow "morning after" contraception pills to be distributed in France's public schools survived its first vote in the National Assembly. A second OK is necessary before the government-sponsored bill can take effect. The legislative route became necessary when the Council of State struck down the government's attempt last year to authorize distribution of the pills by executive order.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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