South African President Nelson Mandela fired his estranged wife as a deputy minister in his government. Winnie Mandela, who has been an outspoken critic of the post-apartheid administration, travelled to West Africa in February in defiance of a presidential order. She is currently under police investigation for suspected fraud and misuse of public office.
Pope John Paul lí issued an encyclical letter in which he vehemently urged all Christians to oppose abortion and euthanasia. The 194-page document provoked outrage from pro-choice organizations and women’s rights groups, which accused the 74-year-old pontiff of being out of touch with modem life.
A SURPRISE WITNESS
At the O. J. Simpson double murder trial, prosecutors said they plan to produce a witness who claims to have seen the accused standing by a trash can at Los Angeles International Airport before his late-night flight to Chicago after the killings of his ex-wife and her friend. Prosecutors are suggesting that two pieces of luggage Simpson loaded at his home are missing and that he discarded potentially incriminating evidence at the airport.
A U.S. district court judge paved the way for the possible return of major-league baseball this spring by issuing an injunction forcing team owners to restore the old mies on salary arbitration and competitive bidding for free agents, among other issues. The players’ association responded by calling off its strike. The owners were meeting on Sunday to determine whether to go ahead with a scheduled season using replacement players starting that evening or to call that plan off and prepare for a resumption of regular baseball within weeks.
A GRISLY DISCOVERY
Thai police found the dismembered remains of two missing Canadians on the holiday island of Phuket. The passports of Sheila Damude, 49, and her son Darin, 22, of Victoria were discovered in the possession of John Martin Scripps, a Briton in custody in Singapore on charges of murdering a South African there.
REPUBLICANS LOSE VOTE
The U.S. House of Representatives rejected congressional term limits, handing the Republicans’ “Contract with America” its first big setback after eight straight successes since January.
A FORCE FOR PEACE: Canadian soldiers arrive in Haiti, part of a 6,000-member UN force from 18 countries that officially took over from U.S. troops on March 31. At ceremonies attended by UN Secretary General Boutros BoutrosGhali, U.S. President Bill Clinton assured Haitians that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government, the United Nations and the United States would do all they could to guarantee free and fair elections in the violence-wracked country this year.
The search for the cultists
As Japanese police began a ninth day of searches of the Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth) sect’s sprawling complex at the foot of Mount Fuji, a masked gunman shot and seriously wounded national police Chief Takaji Kunimatsu outside his Tokyo home. Coincidence? The doomsday cult is under investigation for a March 20 sarin nervegas attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 10 people and poisoned 5,000. In almost identical messages to two Japanese television networks, separate anonymous callers said Kunimatsu was shot on behalf of the sect.
Although police did not rule out the involvement of gangsters in the attempted murder, they continued to focus on the secretive Aum sect. Police sources confirmed that a manhunt was under way for 100 fugitive members— many of them university graduates with advanced degrees in organic chemistry, biology and genetic engineering. Meanwhile, authorities in Moscow clamped down on the 30,000member Russian chapter of Aum, freezing its bank accounts and confiscating property.
As many as 50,000 Hutus in Burundi fled the capital, Bujumbura, and hundreds of Westerners flew home. They apparently feared a replay of the ethnic genocide that killed as many as one million people, most of them Tutsis, in neighboring Rwanda last year. The exodus followed the worst violence in Burundi in 18 months, when Tutsi gunmen killed at least 200 Hutus on March 24. Rwanda and Burundi are each roughly 85 per cent Hutu and 15 per cent Tutsi. Aid workers and UN officials in Burundi say they do not expect killings on a Rwandan scale, but no one rules out the possibility.
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