News In Brief

Uneasy calm returned to the capital of the Philippines after a nine-hour rampage Monday night by supporters of ousted President Joseph Estrada. At least four people died, 138 others were reported hurt, and 103 arrests were made by police in Manila's worst violence in 15 years. Acting under emergency powers declared by Estrada's successor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, police were searching for opposition leaders to arrest them as well. Estrada, who awaits trial for plunder of the national treasury, was moved to a special prison outside the city following the riots.

A pre-recorded speech to the nation was scheduled for tonight by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid in the wake of his second censure by parliament for alleged involvement in two financial scandals. But although aides refused to say what he would discuss, it appeared unlikely that he'd bow to calls for his resignation. They said he believes he still can negotiate a deal with opponents to remain in office until his term expires in 2004, although critics say impeachment this summer now seems inevitable.

Hundreds of political activists were under arrest in Karachi, Pakistan, and the city was described as under virtual curfew as police and paramilitary forces blocked an attempted pro-democracy rally that had been banned by the nation's ruling junta. There were few reports of violence, but police in a suburb said they retaliated with tear gas when demonstrators threw stones at them. The military government has said it will abide by a Supreme Court ruling to restore civilian rule by October 2002.

Five American technicians arrived on China's tropical Hainan island for what's expected to be at least two days of inspections of the $80 million Navy surveillance plane involved in an April 1 midair collision with a jet fighter. Plans called for the technicians from Lockheed Martin, the principal builder of the EP-3E plane, to make a recommendation on removing the plane - either by barge or larger cargo aircraft. To date, China has not said it will release the plane or allow it to be repaired in place.

All contact with the government of Mexico was broken off by Zapatista leaders after both houses of Congress approved landmark Indian rights legislation that failed to meet rebel demands. In a communique, Subcomandante Marcos, the Zapatista chief, called the bill "a grave insult" that weakened clauses guaranteeing autonomy and self-determination, "sabotages the process of reconciliation" between the rebels and the national government, and "closes the door to dialogue and peace." President Vicente Fox had made passage of the measure his first legislative priority.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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