News In Brief

Police were ordered by prosecutors in Yugoslavia to investigate claims that ex-President Slobodan Milosevic illegally transferred 400 pounds of gold out of the country - a move that suggests he could soon be brought to trial in a domestic court. Milosevic has been indicted by the UN war-crimes tribunal in The Hague, but his successor has indicated a preference for bringing him before a Serbian court first before considering an extradition request.

Military forces were on standby across Britain and there were hints that national elections expected this spring may be postponed as efforts to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease grew. At least 11,000 head of livestock so far have been destroyed or await slaughter, officials said. There also were concerns the disease may have spread to Northern Ireland, farms as far away as Germany were under quarantine, and Belgian authorities ordered the slaughter of all sheep imported from Britain since Feb. 1.

The sixth serious train accident in Britain in two years killed at least 13 people and injured 70 others. Authorities said the wreck occurred as a freight train and a high-speed passenger train collided after the former had struck a stalled Land Rover at a crossing 200 miles north of London.

Ethnic atrocities tapered off in Borneo as heavy rains, a curfew, and the shooting of looters on sight by police kept rampaging Dayak tribesmen from carrying out new attacks against Madurese migrants. An Indonesian government decision on imposing a state of emergency was to follow a visit to the area today by Vice President Mega-wati Sukarnoputri. Meanwhile, health officials warned against the mass outbreak of disease, with an estimated 40,000 Madurese refugees lacking adequate food, shelter, and other needs as they await evacuation.

In defiance of the government of Zimbabwe, Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay "will not take early retirement or go on leave," his attorneys said. A state-owned newspaper had said Gubbay, who is white, would leave his post Wednesday under pressure. The government announced it would no longer recognize his authority as of midnight local time, but it lacks legal authority to fire him.

No pressure from other nations or religious movements will cause a reversal of the decision to destroy ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan, a senior Taliban official said. Criticism of the plan, expressions of dismay, and pleas for reconsideration have come from the UN, Buddhist groups, and several governments.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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