British Prime Minister John Major stared down a band of rebel Tory backbenchers by calling—and winning—a confidence motion on his government’s support for the Maastricht treaty on European economic union. The treaty must still survive court challenges in Britain and Germany before it is ratified.
U.S. President Bill Clinton fired William Sessions, 63, as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, replacing him with Louis Freeh, 43, a Manhattan district judge and former FBI agent. The justice department has accused Sessions—appointed to a 10-year term as FBI chief by President Ronald Reagan—of ethical lapses including using FBI aircraft for personal trips and refusing to co-operate with an investigation into a possible “sweetheart” homemortgage deal. Sessions has denied any wrongdoing.
TIGHTENING THE NOOSE
Two Canadian peacekeepers were wounded in a mortar attack as fighting escalated in eastern Bosnia. And 120 km to the west, UN soldiers rescued a group of mentally disabled children who had been abandoned in a hospital. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb artillery pounded Muslim-enclaves in Sarajevo with one of the heaviest barrages in months, threatening to cut off the last supply route into the besieged city.
Early monsoon rains triggered flash floods and landslides over vast areas of northeastern India, Bangladesh and Nepal, killing more than 2,000 people, leaving several million people homeless and forcing soldiers to rescue stranded rail passengers. The flooding caused extensive damage to India’s breadbasket provinces of Punjab and Harayana, while the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, was isolated when rain water washed out eight city bridges.
After five days of talks with Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, Joe Clark, now the UN special envoy for Cyprus, travelled to Athens and Ankara for meetings aimed at ending deadlocked talks to reunify the Mediterranean island. Clark said that he is “cautiously optimistic” that the two sides will eventually accept UN measures to improve relations between them.
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