MEXICO CITY - The country's four opposition parties voted to strip the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of its party colors, arguing the same red, white and green as Mexico's flag gave them an unfair advantage in elections.


DUSHANBE - Fresh fighting broke out between Tajikistan's Islamic opposition and government forces on the outskirts of the capital.


MANILA - A governor on the southern island of Mindanao escaped an ambush attempt, but his four bodyguards were wounded when several armed men opened fire on his pickup truck, police said.


TOKYO - Police said bolts were removed from tracks on Japan's high-speed bullet train line in an act of apparent sabotage, and stationmasters across the country received letters warning of further incidents.


MADRID - German Chancellor Helmut Kohl made a round of last-minute calls to European Union leaders on the eve of an historic summit in an effort to resolve a dispute over who will head the European Central Bank.


COPENHAGEN - The biggest strike in 13 years entered its fifth day on Friday, and trade union leaders softened their tone amid signs the row could deal a severe blow to the Nordic country's future in Europe.


BANGKOK - The foreign ministry asked police to break up a clandestine meeting in Thailand of the Government of Free Vietnam, a non-communist resistance group.


LONDON - Tony Blair staged a low-key celebration of his first year in office despite an opinion poll showing him Britain's most popular prime minister since World War II.


MOSCOW - An oil executive who served as a regional lawmaker was shot to death in an apparent contract killing at a nightclub in western Russia, a news agency reported.


KUALA LUMPUR - The government is pushing for a fivefold increase in fines for starting fires in forests or fields - a move meant to cut this nation's chronic, smoky haze.


LIMA - President Alberto Fujimori has fallen further behind Lima Mayor Alberto Andrade in voter support for the 2000 presidential election, according to a new poll.

South Africa

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's truth commission said it had ordered two apartheid-era generals to account for a 1993 army raid in which five children were killed.


ZURICH - Swiss Jewish leaders criticized boycott threats against Switzerland and efforts in the United States to persuade Swiss banks to pay a huge global settlement of claims from Holocaust victims.


MARSEILLE - French and Spanish police have detained 19 people this week in simultaneous swoops on a network smuggling drugs from South America, police said.


DUBLIN - Four-fifths of the nation's police force called in sick Friday in its first ever action to demand better wages.