Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was to announce his latest strategy to cope with violence in an address to the nation. He said he'd meet soon with Palestinian officials, but dismissed claims that three men suspected of murdering Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi last October were in Palestinian custody - a condition for ending Israel's virtual house arrest of Yasser Arafat. Meanwhile, Israeli forces closed off all West Bank towns, fired more rockets at Arafat's headquarters, and blew up the Voice of Palestine broadcast center in the Gaza Strip. Forty-eight people have died in the violence since Monday. (Story,page 8.)
Air Force planes bombed strategic targets in the region used as a refuge by leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas after President Andres Pastrana called an end to the nation's unfruitful three-year peace process. Army troops were massed outside the Switzerland-size haven, awaiting orders to enter, although reports said the FARC and many civilian residents had disappeared. Pastrana acted after FARC was blamed for hijacking a domestic airliner and kidnapping a prominent senator.
There was no sign that President Bush and China's Jiang Zemin reached agreement on halting the sale of missile and nuclear technology to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea or on freedom of worship in the communist nation. Before leaving for home, however, Bush won agreement from Jiang and his eventual successor to visit the US in October. (Story, page 1.)
A three-month extension of the state of emergency in Nepal was granted by Parliament to give the Army more time to end the insurgency by communist rebels. The vote came as the Defense Ministry announced 48 rebels were killed in a sweep by troops through the area where 137 police and soldiers died last weekend in the guerrillas' most successful attack to date.
Hinting of a confrontation with security forces, the prime minister of Madagascar warned opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana to abandon plans to seize the presidency today. Tantely Andrianarivo said in a broadcast address, "you will see tomorrow" what the military's response is. Ravalomanana told another massive turnout of supporters that all avenues to resolve his dispute with incumbent Didier Ratsiraka over the outcome of the Dec. 16 election had been exhausted. But Andrianarivo insisted that plans for a March 24 runoff were still on course. (Opinion, page 11.)