In what critics denounced as a coup, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori dissolved Congress, ordered the arrests of opposition politicians and sent troops into the streets. Fujimori said that the crackdown was necessary to halt corruption and strengthen the army’s hand in combating a 12-year-old guerrilla insurgency. But in Washington, President George Bush called for the restoration of democracy and ordered the suspension of about $380 million in U.S. aid to the South American country.
NORIEGA'S BLEAK FUTURE
Following a seven-month-long trial, a Miami jury found former Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega guilty on eight out of 10 drug and racketeering charges. Prosecutors claimed that Noriega, who surrendered to U.S. troops following the December, 1989, invasion of Panama, had demanded millions of dollars in bribes from the Medellin cocaine cartel in exchange for protecting Florida-bound drug shipments from Colombia. Noriega faces up to 120 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 10.
A FRACTURED PARLIAMENT
In voting for Italy’s 51st government since 1945, the four-party coalition of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti won a slender majority of 15 seats in the 630seat lower house of Parliament. Among other contenders, the former Communists of the Democratic Party of the Left took 107 seats; the Separatist Leagues, demanding autonomy for northern parts of the country, won 55 seats. Analysts said that Andreotti must forge new alliances to form an effective government.
ARAFAT'S NARROW ESCAPE
Palestinians celebrated the survival of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, whose plane made a crash landing during a sandstorm over southeastern Libya. Three crew members were killed in the crash, which left Arafat, 62, bruised but without serious injuries.
A SPLIT ON SANCTIONS
European Community foreign ministers agreed to end an oil embargo against South Africa and formally lifted sanctions on sporting and cultural contacts. But on a visit to Cape Town, External Affairs Minister Barbara McDougall said that Canada and most other Commonwealth nations would not follow the EC lead until agreement is reached on a mechanism for South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule to democracy.
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