News In Brief

The guns were temporarily silent around the Macedonian city of Tetovo despite rejection by ethnic Albanian guerrillas of an ultimatum to surrender within 24 hours or face an all-out assault. The deadline, midnight, local time, had not yet arrived as the Monitor went to press. Instead, a guerrilla leader vowed his men would not leave their positions and expected to open attacks on new fronts. And an Army spokesman said his spotters had seen a "huge group" of Albanians preparing to cross into the tiny state from Kosovo.

Outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain grew by 46, the largest number on a given day so far, reports said. With the total at 411, Agriculture Minister Nick Brown denied the government had tried to cover up the crisis despite claims by two timber merchants that they'd been contacted by his agency about supplying wood for burning livestock carcasses weeks before the first outbreak was reported. Meanwhile, the first case of the disease was confirmed in the Netherlands, which ordered all livestock within a mile of the affected farm to be slaughtered.

At least four people were hurt and parts of Haiti's capital were at a standstill as militant supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide blockaded opposition followers inside their headquarters and a school. Reports said rocks and firebombs were thrown and shooting could be heard. Opposition leaders complained that police (some in riot gear, below) did nothing to disperse the attackers. The Aristide supporters were demanding the arrest of Gerard Gourgue, whom the 15-party Convergence alliance has named as president of an "alternative government."

Police experts detonated a powerful car bomb in a crowded ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jersualem before it could go off. The device was linked to one of two cellphones inside the vehicle, a tactic used in several other bombing incidents in recent months. No injuries were reported

White farmers were gathering in Zimbabwe for what was expected to be a lengthy and heated meeting to consider whether they should stop resisting the government's land-redistribution program. The meeting was called because although the farmers have won a Supreme Court ruling declaring the program illegal and ordering the evictions of thousands of militant black squatters from the farms, President Robert Mugabe has ignored it. Instead, Mugabe has pressured some of the justices into quitting. Since the seizures began last spring, at least 34 people have been killed and farmers are subjected to daily acts of intimidation by the squatters.

Warnings of "trouble" were sounded in Nigeria over the announced intention of President Olusegun Obasanjo to raise the price of fuel. No date for the hike has been declared, but angry union leaders say they expect it to take effect April 1. Nigerians pay 68 cents a gallon under a longtime government subsidy. But there are regular shortages because much of the fuel is hoarded or smuggled to neighboring countries.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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