Bodies of 55 people recovered from mass grave in Uganda...

FOREIGN DIGEST

April 28, 2000

Bodies of 55 people recovered from mass grave in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Uganda police exhumed 55 corpses yesterday from a mass grave on the grounds of a Kampala house used by leaders of a doomsday cult who are believed to have killed more than 900 of their followers.

Police spokesman Assuman Mugenyi told journalists that rows of black plastic bags laid outside the bungalow contained the bodies of 22 women, 15 men, 10 boys and eight girls.

The house rented by cult leader "Father" Dominic Kataribabo three miles from the city center was sealed off late last week after locals noticed a strong smell after a heavy downpour.

Italy wants seat on Security Council

ROME -- New Prime Minister Giuliano Amato demanded a permanent place for Italy on the United Nations Security Council yesterday, saying it "makes no sense whatsoever" for Rome to be left out.

"There is a G7 and Italy is in it. There is a G10 and Italy is in it. There is a G20 and Italy is in it. There cannot be a U.N. Security Council of 24 members without Italy being in it," Amato told the lower house of parliament in his maiden speech.

Amato was addressing the Chamber of Deputies at the start of a debate that will culminate today with a vote of confidence in his new administration, Italy's 58th since World War II.

Police crackdown threatened in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Police in Zimbabwe said yesterday that they would crack down on rising political violence by using powers from the era of white rule that the opposition said would threaten free elections.

Opposition parties called the new powers "draconian" and said they jeopardize the chances for free and fair parliamentary elections due by August.

At least 14 people -- farmers, farm workers and opposition supporters -- have been killed over the past nine weeks after militant supporters of President Robert G. Mugabe's party invaded hundreds of white-owned farms.

Prime ministers set talks on Northern Ireland

LONDON -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern will hold talks in London next week with parties to the Northern Ireland peace process, a Downing Street spokesman said yesterday.

Blair and Ahern will hold separate meetings Tuesday with members of the Ulster Unionist Party, the largest Protestant party in the province; the Social Democratic and Labor Party, the moderate nationalist party; and Sinn Fein, the political ally of the Irish Republican Army. "There was the understanding there would be an intensification after Easter," Blair's spokesman said.

Premier's candidate leads in Turkish legislative vote

ANKARA, Turkey -- The Turkish government's candidate for president soundly beat his rivals in the first round of voting in parliament yesterday, but failed to get enough votes to avoid a second round Monday.

The result strengthens the hand of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's chosen candidate, Judge Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who earlier won backing from all party leaders.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Nejat Arseven said Sezer won 281 votes in the secret balloting, short of the 367 needed for victory. The threshold in the next round remains 367, but after that drops to a simple majority, 276 votes.

Stanford researcher to get new trial in China

BEIJING -- A Chinese court has ordered a new trial for a Stanford University researcher sentenced to 15 years in jail for leaking military secrets, a Western diplomat said yesterday.

Hua Di, 64, a Chinese-born permanent resident of the United States, was arrested in 1998 while visiting relatives in China. He was charged with revealing classified information about China's missile program in a 1992 article published in a U.S. journal.

"We were informed by officials that the high court ordered a retrial on the grounds that the facts were unclear," the diplomat said.

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