- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2000

Pinochet followers clash with enemies

SANTIAGO, Chile Amid clashes between foes and followers of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, a court yesterday began deliberating on whether the former dictator should stand trial on human rights abuse charges.
Judges will decide if the general can keep the immunity from prosecution he currently enjoys as a senator-for-life, a post he created for himself during his 1973-90 regime.
As the court began its deliberation, police sealed off the building in downtown Santiago with crowd-control fences and kept the rival groups apart. Streets around the building were closed to traffic.

Lebanon looks to U.N. after Israeli withdrawal

BEIRUT Lebanon said yesterday it did not fear chaos and instability at the southern border after Israeli troops withdraw because U.N. peacekeepers would help fill the power vacuum.
The statement came amid a flurry of efforts to smooth Israel's planned withdrawal by July from a border zone it has occupied in southern Lebanon since 1978.
U.N. peacekeepers now number 4,500 troops from nine countries.

Ayatollah supports crackdown on press

TEHRAN Iran's supreme leader yesterday endorsed the recent crackdown on reformist newspapers, describing the publications as "deviant" and urging his supporters not to remain silent.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments came as local media reported that a court dominated by hard-liners had sent a warning to the brother of reformist President Mohammed Khatami to rein in his liberal newspaper, Mosharekat, or face sanction.

Milosevic ally killed while walking his dog

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia The latest killing in a series of attacks against prominent figures here is a terrorist act, police said yesterday, while government officials blamed foreign powers for the shooting.
Assailants shot and killed Zika Petrovic, the director of Yugoslavia's state airline and an ally of President Slobodan Milosevic, as he walked his dog late Tuesday near his home in downtown Belgrade.

Italy's 58th Cabinet installed amid furor

ROME Italy swore in its 58th postwar government yesterday with a new prime minister, but the same bickering center-left parties, united chiefly in the desire to keep Silvio Berlusconi's surging conservatives from power.
Ominous for the future of his eight-party coalition, Prime Minister Guiliano Amato a 61-year-old veteran known as "Dr. Subtle" for his political finesse proved unable to quell squabbling over Cabinet posts even long enough for the oath-taking.

Colombia peace talks thrown into crisis

BOGOTA, Colombia Colombia's top peace official resigned yesterday after Marxist rebels plunged efforts to end the nation's long-running war into turmoil by threatening to step up a campaign of extortion and kidnapping against the rich.
Peace Commissioner Victor Ricardo, 47, did not spell out reasons for his decision. Mr. Ricardo played a lead role in kick-starting talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's largest surviving 1960s rebel army, in late 1998.

Rogue police harass tourists in Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico Two rogue federal police agents assigned to the international airport in the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco have harassed U.S. tourists several times over the last month, the airport's director said.
A statement Tuesday by airport director Carlos Morlet appears to lend weight to a complaint by a Los Angeles resident, who told the Associated Press that federal agents stole $300 from him after he was held in an airport interrogation room.

Chechens protest arrests by Russians

GUDERMES, Russia Thousands of Chechen civilians protested for a second day yesterday to demand the release of 11 men taken captive by Russian forces as suspected rebels after a clash in southern Chechnya.
About 5,000 people demonstrated in the village of Kurchaloi, southeast of the capital, Grozny, to demand the military free the men, who were arrested Monday after a rebel ambush of a Russian convoy in the Argun Gorge.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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