ISTANBUL - In a blow to Turkey's Islamic movement, a southeastern court Tuesday sentenced the mayor of Istanbul, seen as one of the movement's up-and-coming leaders, to 10 months in prison for inciting hatred based on religious differences.


PARIS - Former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur on Tuesday rejected accusations that France supported Rwanda's genocidal regime in 1994, but he told a parliamentary probe it should investigate French arms shipments at the time.


BRISBANE - Australian police are investigating new information suggesting that two Americans missing off the Great Barrier Reef may have staged their own deaths.


GEKHI-CHU - Chechen mourners danced and sacrificed sheep Tuesday in the woods near this mountainous village where rebel leader Dzhokhar Dudayev died in a Russian missile strike two years ago.


TOKYO - A total of 1,179 earthquakes, most too weak to be felt by humans, have hit a coastal area southwest of Tokyo over the past two days.

New Zealand

WELLINGTON - A deep earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale rocked much of New Zealand's North Island Tuesday, but little damage was reported.


SANAA - Security forces cordoned off an area in Yemen's rugged interior where mountain tribesmen were holding a British family hostage, a senior embassy official said Tuesday.


NICOSIA - A traditional binge over Greek Orthodox Easter sent hundreds of Cypriots to hospitals last weekend because they ate too much, doctors said Tuesday.


KIEV - Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has accepted the resignation of Economy Minister Viktor Suslov and Science and Technology Minister Volodymyr Semynozhenko, who are taking up seats in parliament.


GENEVA - Refugees from fighting in Sierra Leone have reported atrocities by forces loyal to the ousted military regime reminiscent of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.


GAZA - A Palestinian charity sent a planeload of milk and medicine to Iraq on Tuesday in a gesture of solidarity with the Iraqi people.


STOCKHOLM - Sweden is keeping its defense policy focused on Russia because of fears the mighty eastern neighbor may not complete the transition to democracy, Defense Minister Bjorn von Sydow said.


TAIPEI - Taiwan and rival China are scheduled to resume negotiations Wednesday following a 33-month impasse in bilateral talks, but local analysts said they believed the meeting would accomplish little.


BANGKOK - The wife of a Finnish diplomat has apologized for slapping a Thai boy she believed threw water on her during traditional New Year celebrations last week.


VIENNA - Czech President Vaclav Havel underwent another operation after a small abscess developed in his abdominal wall, his doctors said Tuesday.