News In Brief

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was en route to Washington to try to convince US leaders that the Palestinian Authority has not done enough to implement the cease-fire plan offered by CIA Director George Tenet. But the likelihood of its collapse appeared to increase after a Palestinian activist on Israel's most-wanted list was killed as he used a booby-trapped pay phone in the West Bank city of Nablus. Palestinians immediately blamed Israelis for the incident.

Surrender terms were being negotiated by ethnic-Albanian insurgents in a suburb of Macedonia's capital, the government claimed. Offering a different version, European Union envoy Javier Solana said he'd brokered a truce between the rebels and government forces and that international monitors, presumably NATO troops, would supervise a demilitarized zone in the town. A rebel field commander also disputed the account, saying higher leaders had ordered him to stop fighting and pull back to a nearby village.

Former hard-line President Slobodan Milosevic was one step closer to trial by the UN tribunal in The Hague after a majority in the Yugoslav Cabinet pushed through a decree authorizing extradition of indicted war-crimes suspects. It was to take effect immediately. Yugoslavia's Constitution bans such transfers. New President Vojislav Kostunica, who has insisted that Milosevic first must be tried in Yugoslav courts, was said to be unhappy at the decree but willing to accept it.

At least 47 people were killed and hundreds of others were hurt in a powerful earthquake that struck southern Peru at midday Saturday. Despite winter temperatures, thousands more were camping outdoors because of damage to their homes. The magnitude was measured at 7.9, and at least 20 aftershocks were reported as the Monitor went to press.

An international manhunt for ex-Peruvian spy-agency chief Vladimiro Montesinos ended with his capture in Venezuela, that country's president said. Hugo Chavez said he ordered his Interior Ministry to return Montesinos to Peruvian authorities "faster than a rooster crows." Montesinos is wanted on charges ranging from corruption to money-laundering. Once the top adviser to disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori, he had been on the run since late last year.

Two teenagers released from prison after the 1993 murder of a toddler are in serious danger of harm or death from an angry public, Britain's home secretary acknowledged. David Blunkett issued an appeal against vigilante attacks on Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who have been given new identities after serving eight-year sentences. A parole board decided they no longer posed a threat to society. A newspaper in Manchester appeared to violate a court order by publishing details of their whereabouts.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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