News In Brief

The main opposition party in Israel filed an appeal with the Supreme Court aimed at making it easier to force a new national election. The Likud movement seeks an OK for a simple majority in parliament to pass legislation calling for an election that likely would hasten the downfall of Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The measure, due to be introduced tomorrow, normally would require a two-thirds majority. Three readings are necessary before it can become law, but passage would be a crushing blow to Barak's efforts to forge a broad-based emergency coalition to deal with violence in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and a new front - the border where Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet. Hizbullah guerrillas claimed responsibility for a bomb explosion there Sunday that killed a soldier and hurt two others.

Ordinary Peruvians were pinning their hopes for political stability on the new caretaker government sworn in Saturday by interim President Valentin Paniagua. He also fired virtually the entire top brass of the armed forces under the ousted Alberto Fujimori, who was known for basing promotions on loyalty to him rather than on ability. But in Japan, where he hopes to live at least for the short term, the ex-president said he might return to Peru to run in next April's national election.

The once-formidable 32-point lead in preelection polls had shrunk to half its original size for Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his Liberal Party as Canadians prepared to vote for a new government today. In the absence of major campaign issues, analysts said the election has turned into a referendum on Chretien's seven years in power. But the prime minister appeared poised to win, and the main question was whether the Liberals would claim a majority in Parliament.

Sixty-eight arrests were announced by police in Cambodia after a raid by armed insurgents on government facilities Friday that killed eight people and hurt 12 others. But while officials said they'd been tipped off that the assaults in Phnom Penh, the capital, were coming, they blamed "miscommunication" for failure to stop them. The violence was the worst there since 1997, when Hun Sen overthrew his co-premier, Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

The only question clouding the return to power in Haiti of ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide appeared to be the size of his vote as opposition parties and international monitors boycotted Sunday's election. Opponents claimed the polls were rigged to guarantee victory for him and his Lavalas Family Party. Aristide, who was barred by law from succeeding himself in 1996, has pledged to generate 500,000 new jobs - a tactic scorned by critics in the impoverished nation, where only one in three workers is employed.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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