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NEWS CAPSULES

Around the world

ALGERIA: A former Algerian interior minister was assassinated Saturday - the second in nine months - in this North African nation torn by an Islamic insurgency. Mohamed Hardi was slain in Oued Smar, an industrial suburb of Algiers known as a stronghold of the Armed Islamic Group, the most violent of Algeria's armed factions. Witnesses said three young men shot Hardi as he was getting into his car in the parking lot of a company. Hardi died instantly, according to company employees who saw the shooting.TREATY: The parliament of Belarus voted overwhelmingly Saturday to ratify a union treaty with Russia that will link the countries' economic and political systems but stops short of full unification. The parliament voted 166-3 with one abstention to support the agreement, which was signed on April 2 in Moscow by presidents Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus and Boris Yeltsin of Russia. The Russian parliament ratified the treaty last month.

KIDNAPPING: An American woman was kidnapped from her vehicle after being forced off the road by unknown gunmen on a highway in Guatemala, police said Saturday. Janice Ellen Morgan Thomas, 54, of Colorado, was seized Friday night along with her husband, Chandler Boyton Thomas. He was released minutes later. The kidnapping was the latest in a series of violent incidents against foreigners in this Central American country. Wednesday a Russian diplomat was shot in the head in what officials said appeared to be an attempted car robbery. He remains in a coma. Last week, the son of a leftist Salvadoran legislator was shot and killed, and Friday, two government investigators assigned to both of those cases were shot and killed.

Across the nation

RESCUE: An airport manager giving a flying lesson landed his plane quickly after seeing another plane crash near Wauseon, Ohio, and rushed to rescue two people from the burning wreckage. Shane Williams' quick heroics saved pilot Christopher Malhoit and his teenage daughter seconds before the entire wreck burst into flames. "If it had not been for him, they'd have both died," said Sgt. Fred Greive of the State Highway Patrol. Malhoit, 42, of Toledo, and his 14-year-old daughter, Lauren, remained hospitalized in serious condition Saturday after the crash at Fulton County Airport on Friday night.

PLANE CRASH: A World War II-vintage airplane crashed before thousands of spectators at an air show in Lafayette, La., Saturday, killing the pilot. The plane crashed less than 150 yards from stands where an estimated 13,000 people watched the Sertoma Cajun Air Festival. None of the spectators was injured.

PLAYBOY: A prosecutor who told a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Cincinnati to keep Playboy and other adult magazines out of the view of minors acted improperly, a judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Herman Weber ruled Thursday that the Hamilton County prosecutor's office must pay the legal costs of Playboy and 12 other companies that sued last year.