NEW DELHI - The nation looked set for another coalition government after a clear majority appeared to elude rival political groups in the general election. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party surged ahead but was clearly running short of the number of parliamentary seats required to form a majority administration.


BEIJING - Police arrested dissident Shen Liangqing, who had petitioned China's legislature for political reforms and a crackdown on corruption, a human rights group said.


JERUSALEM - Palestinians closed shops and schools in Jerusalem to observe a strike called by Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction to protest Israeli policies in the disputed city.


BONN - Hundreds of thousands of morning commuters in German cities were strand-ed when public workers walked off their jobs to pressure the government for higher wages and job security.


KATMANDU - A plane carrying Nepal's prime minister and 52 other people made an emergency landing in Katmandu after its nose wheel failed to open fully. No one was injured.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO - The main opposition party began a month-long boycott of parliament to protest what it called an erosion of democratic values in the country.


TAIPEI - A military helicopter crashed, killing the pilot and leaving two others missing, authorities said.


BANGKOK - Six prisoners broke out of Krabinburi provincial prison after taking the warden hostage, stabbing him to death and smashing through the prison gates in a stolen truck, police and witnesses said.


MOSCOW - President Boris Yeltsin named defense aide Andrei Kokoshin, a civilian, as secretary of Russia's Security Council, the Kremlin said.


HANOI - The communist-run government and the Vatican are set to announce agreement soon on the long-delayed appointment of an archbishop for Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, officials said.


MEXICO CITY - An earthquake centered near the Pacific coast of the southern state of Oaxaca shook Mexico City early Tuesday but caused no damage or injuries.


NABATIYEH - Israeli planes twice struck suspected positions of pro-Iranian Hizbollah guerrillas in south Lebanon after the group attacked an Israeli outpost, witnesses said.


BOGOTA - Gunmen on motorcycles killed a former radio journalist as he left the university where he taught, police say.


SANTIAGO - The presence in the Senate of former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who steps down as army commander next week, will be "of little significance," Information Minister Jose Joaquin Brunner said.


BRASILIA - Police have discovered six human skulls on a beach in the northeastern state of Alagoas and are investigating links between the gruesome find and a sprawling police crime ring, officials said.