- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Journalist pleads guilty to genocide charges

ARUSHA, Tanzania The only foreigner to face charges in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda changed his plea yesterday from not guilty to guilty at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
George Ruggiu, a Belgian-born Italian citizen, faces two counts of directly and publicly inciting people to commit genocide while employed at the private Radio Television Libre Des Mille Collines in Rwanda.
"I regret the events, and I have decided to assume the responsibility," Ruggiu told the court. "I am guilty because of what I was directly doing."
More than 500,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus, were slain between April and July 1994 by elements of the extremist Hutu-dominated government.

Gunman holds students hostage in Norway

HJELMELAND, Norway A man charged with rape and upset over losing custody of his children took 25 students and 10 adults hostage at a preschool yesterday, holding some for 11 hours until he was allowed a televised interview with psychologists.
The gunman held the 35 hostages for hours in a wooden schoolhouse in Hjelmeland, a town of 2,500 people 185 miles west of the capital, Oslo, before releasing all but five children and two female staff members.
The last seven hostages appeared to be in good condition after the gunman surrendered. There were no reports of injury among any of the 35 hostages.

Woman killed by necklace bomb

CHIQUINQUIRA, Colombia An explosive placed around a woman's neck by men demanding money went off yesterday as technicians tried to deactivate it, killing the woman and wounding a bomb technician and three soldiers.
Elvia Cortez, 53, was "practically decapitated," when a 3-inch-thick circular tube containing explosives went off around her neck, army Lt. Col. Fabio Roa said. The explosion occurred by a rural highway outside this town in central Boyaca State.
Family members of Mrs. Cortez were present when the collar exploded, and were seen afterward in tears. She was the mother of four children.

Ethiopians protest U.N. resolution

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Tens of thousands of Ethiopians vented their anger yesterday against a U.N. resolution threatening sanctions if Ethiopia and Eritrea don't end the latest round of fighting in their two-year border war.

The protest came as an Ethiopian offensive rolled across the northern Badme front into Eritrea, its much smaller neighbor in the Horn of Africa.

In Addis Ababa, well-coordinated demonstrators, including groups of schoolchildren, men on horseback and priests from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, marched in Meskel Square. Many carried banners in English and Amharic warning the United Nations not to repeat an arms embargo imposed by its precursor, the League of Nations.

Serbian opposition defies official threats

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia More than 20,000 opposition supporters, chanting "Rebellion" and "Disobedience," defied threats made by President Slobodan Milosevic's government and massed yesterday to demand free and fair elections and an end to his war on dissent.

There was no visible police presence at the rally at Belgrade's main Republic Square despite earlier threats of mass arrests. A police helicopter flew briefly over the square during the rally, as the crowd booed and jeered.

Opposition leaders said Mr. Milosevic could plunge Serbia into violence.

Five in Spain die in fireworks blast

RAFELCOFER, Spain An explosion ripped through a fireworks factory yesterday, killing five workers, injuring seven and touching off a small forest fire, Spanish news agencies said.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports

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