HEBRON, West Bank - Israeli soldiers at a roadblock turned back a Palestinian woman in labor, who then gave birth in a car to a newborn who died shortly afterwards, doctors said.


KINSHASA - The sound of explosions rumbled through the capital of this central African nation as government forces battled rebel fighters on the city's eastern outskirts.


KHARTOUM - Sudan has filed a criminal lawsuit against the United States for its missile strike last week, and the attorney general said that President Clinton may be tried in absentia.


DAR ES SALAAM - The death toll in the twin bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania rose to 259 after two more deaths were reported.


SINGAPORE - The U.S. embassy in Singapore received a bomb threat on Wednesday and took "appropriate steps" to assure the safety of people in the building, an embassy spokesman said.


SYDNEY - Australian churches, unions and business leaders joined forces on Wednesday in an unprecedented condemnation of far-right politician Pauline Hanson, warning that her One Nation party threatens the country's future.


PRAIA, Cape Verde Islands - The Guinea-Bissau government and army rebels signed an agreement on Wednesday endorsing a ceasefire after a military revolt.


SHANGHAI - Shanghai, hoping to reclaim its glory as China's cultural centre, is getting ready for the first curtain call for its gleaming new Grand Theatre.

HONG KONG - Hong Kong pressure groups on Wednesday denounced a senior Indonesian government official who said there was no proof that ethnic Chinese women had been systematically raped in Indonesia during May riots.


PHNOM PENH - Cambodia has a population of 11.42 million people, with 51.8 percent of the total female, according to preliminary results of the country's first census in more than three decades.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO - Several hundred Sri Lankan Tamils have demonstrated in the rebel-held northern Vanni region against what they say is a government restriction on food supplies to the area, aid workers and rebels said on Wednesday.


TEHRAN - A man arrested for the assassination of a former Iranian prison chief died on Wednesday from wounds suffered at the time of his arrest, the official IRNA news agency reported.


BEIRUT - Haunted by memories of lightning air raids and exploding shells in past Israeli offensives, the people of Lebanon braced on Wednesday for possible retaliation for rocket attacks on northern Israel by Muslim guerrillas.


LAHORE - A Pakistani court on Wednesday unfroze ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto's declared assets as the opposition leader brought more charges of corruption against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.


DHAKA - Bangladesh on Wednesday asked international donors for $681.5 million in emergency aid amid the worst floods in 10 years.