Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO - A crushing election defeat spurred by the death of an opposition leader has left President Leonel Fernandez facing two years under the thumb of political rivals.


BEIJING - Torrential rain has caused flooding and landslides that have killed 20 people in eastern and southwestern China, state media reported.


PHNOM PENH - The Cambodian opposition on Monday demanded the general election scheduled for July 26 be postponed, saying it would not take part unless the date was changed and conditions to ensure a fair vote were in place.


ASMARA - Washington's senior diplomat for Africa shuttled between Eritrea and Ethiopia on Monday to mediate in a violent border row that shows no signs of abating.


DUBLIN - Support for Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern's party has hit a record of 63 percent ahead of a landmark referendum on Northern Ireland, an Irish Times/MRBI poll reported on Monday.


ATHENS - A Greek court on Monday sentenced two local television station directors to seven months in prison each for broadcasting pornographic advertisements, the Athens News Agency reported.


MOSCOW - President Boris Yeltsin will summon his prime minister and two parliamentary leaders later this week to urge prompt ratification of the START-2 nuclear disarmament treaty, the Kremlin spokesman said on Monday.


ZAGREB - A Croatian court on Monday adjourned the trial of two journalists accused of libelling President Franjo Tudjman after they refused to appear at the hearing, which they described as a farce.

Vatican City

Pope John Paul turned 78 on Monday, a frail man but with his sights firmly fixed on celebrating the year 2000 and ushering in the third Christian millenium.


VIENNA - The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra said on Monday it had commissioned American conductor and musician Lorin Maazel to compose a symphonic work.


HEBRON - Israeli troops lightly wounded six Palestinians in clashes in the West Bank town of Hebron on Monday, witnesses said.

JERUSALEM - Israeli troops wounded several guerrillas overnight in an operation north of Israel's south Lebanese occupation zone, an army spokesman said on Monday.


LONDON - Britain on Monday launched the world's most famous flower show in a land of obsessive gardeners who spend two billion pounds ($3.2 billion) a year lovingly tending their beds.


TEHRAN - Drug offenders in Iran are to be segregated from other prisoners and held in camps, the head of the country's judiciary Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi said.


ALGIERS - Algerian security forces in a series of operations have killed at least 63 rebels, while attackers at the weekend gunned down two peasants, newspapers said Monday.


OSLO - Socialist leaders from around the world met in Oslo on Monday for two days of talks on promoting peace in the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Bosnia.