Northern Ireland

BELFAST - After three decades of bloodshed and a bitter debate over the future of Northern Ireland, politicians fell silent Friday to let voters rule on the Belfast peace accord. Every opinion poll has pointed to approval when ballots are counted Saturday in both Northern Ireland and the neighboring Irish Republic.


ALGIERS - A bomb apparently hidden in a box of vegetables exploded in a packed market in an Algiers suburb, killing at least 15 people, hospital authorities said.


KUALA LUMPUR - A crash of a Fokker-50 that killed 34 people in 1995 was a result of the pilot's failure to follow proper procedures, newspapers reported.


BEIJING - Deadly explosions that flattened a Japanese-owned fireworks factory in south China may have been sparked by employees testing new fireworks, an official newspaper reported. The death toll in Tuesday's blasts rose to nine, and two others were missing.

BEIJING - A Chinese government-controlled newspaper condemned the Dalai Lama for saying India should not be pressured by other countries to give up its nuclear weapons.


MANAGUA - President Arnoldo Aleman returned from a U.S. trip to face violent protests and fresh questions about a strike by doctors and other domestic problems.


LIMA - President Alberto Fujimori said he would use emergency anti-crime powers he received from Congress last week to defeat criminals in the same way he defeated Marxist Shining Path guerrillas.


PRISTINA - With violence spreading in Kosovo province, talks aimed at finding a solution to the conflict ended with no immediate sign of progress beyond apparent agreement to meet again.


MADRID - Hundreds of police lined the streets of the capital for the homecoming of European champions Real Madrid to prevent a repeat of violence that marred soccer celebrations overnight.


BOGOTA - Political violence surged across the nation 10 days before presidential elections, leaving at least 19 people dead in fighting between leftist rebels and security forces.


PANAMA CITY - Police seized 2,700 pounds of cocaine in the country's largest drug bust this year, authorities said.


LONDON (AP) - At least eight families whose children died from a human strain of mad cow disease after being treated with growth hormones won High Court approval to seek compensation from the government.

LONDON - A memorial service for Linda McCartney is to be staged in a London church on June 8, and animal welfare groups will hold a candlelight vigil in Trafalgar Square.


NEW DELHI - India and Pakistan traded fire across the border for a second day, India said, again accusing Pakistan of escalating clashes to hide the infiltration of militants into the disputed Kashmir region.


MOSCOW - President Boris Yeltsin told striking coal miners they had "gone beyond reasonable boundaries" by blockading several of Russia's key railroads.