Around the world
BURMA: Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Friday she will hold her regular weekend meeting with supporters at the gates of her home, in defiance of a ban by Burma's military regime. Through a supporter, Suu Kyi issued a message to reporters saying, "I will proceed with the Saturday lecture as usual." There was no sign how the ruling junta would respond to the challenge from Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent efforts to bring democracy to Burma.TAIWAN: Taiwan wants to sign a peace treaty with China but will focus on economic ties until the political climate improves, Vice President Lien Chan said Friday. Lien indicated he would be willing to lead a delegation to China to break the deadlock. "I absolutely do not rule out high-level exchanges, which can help develop mutual understanding and personal relationships," Lien said in his first news conference since his inauguration May 20 as President Lee Teng-hui's deputy.
BOMBING: A candidate for deputy mayor of Moscow was seriously wounded Friday when a bomb exploded as he left his apartment, police said. The radio-controlled homemade bomb went off when Yuri Shantsev opened his door about 8 a.m., said police spokeswoman Lidiya Lagu- tkina. Shantsev was burned and hit in the back with shell fragments, the Interfax news agency said. He was in satisfactory condition following surgery.
Across the nation
CONVICTED: A man was convicted in Lansing, Mich., of kidnapping and other charges for taking two young brothers on a 10-day, cross-country road trip and sexually molesting the older boy. When FBI agents arrested Boud Dean Weekley in New Orleans, he tried to send the boys a written apology and confessed that he kidnapped the 3-year-old and 11-year-old brothers near Benton Harbor, Mich., last October so he could molest them. A jury deliberated 45 minutes Thursday before convicting Weekley of two counts of kidnapping, one count of transporting a child across state lines with intent to sexually assault him and one count of driving a stolen car across state lines.
SHUTTLE: Space shuttle Columbia will blast off June 20 for what could be the longest shuttle mission since start of the program in 1981. NASA hopes the crew of seven can conserve enough electricity during the 16-day mission to allow a one-day extension. The longest mission so far lasted 16 days, 22 hours. The crew will concentrate on experiments to measure the long-term effects of weightlessness on the human body, NASA said Thursday in announcing the launch date. A subset of experiments will study production of metallic alloys in space.