Facebook Twitter



AMSTERDAM -- A man pleaded guilty to slashing a painting of American abstract expressionist Barnett Newman in 1997 but said he was mentally unfit at the time. The defendant, Gerard van Bladeren, was charged with taking a switchblade knife to the painting "Cathedra" in Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum.


HONG KONG -- Police have arrested and charged a 19-year-old college graduate for "subversion" after he wrote an essay denouncing the ruling Communist Party as corrupt, a Hong Kong-based human rights group said.

BEIJING -- China's worst drought since the 1980s has left 19 million people short of drinking water and affected 21 1/2 million acres of farmland, state-run media said.


BAKU -- President Haydar Aliyev ordered the release of a Russian cargo aircraft and four crew members detained in Baku earlier this month, a senior presidential adviser said.


KUALA LUMPUR -- The trial of sacked finance minister Anwar Ibrahim entered its final phase with the defense calling two key government witnesses shadowy "spooks" willing to lie to topple the former leader.


NEW DELHI -- The Hindu nationalist-led coalition faced the prospect of its most fickle partner building bridges with the opposition and demanding the removal of Defense Minister George Fernandes.

NEW DELHI -- India and the United States ended two days of talks on export controls on sensitive technology and weapons but were tight-lipped about the outcome.


MOSCOW -- The correspondent for Itar-Tass news agency in the breakaway region of Chechnya has been kidnapped, the agency said.


PARIS -- Michel Crepeau, a longtime lawmaker known for his incisive questions and lyrical orations before the French Parliament, died Tuesday, a week after collapsing in his National Assembly seat from a heart attack. He was 68.


CAIRO -- Sudanese rebels claimed to have advanced toward a major oil field in southern Sudan after killing 83 government soldiers and wounding 200.


BEIT OMAR, West Bank -- Dozens of Palestinian youths protesting Israeli land confiscation hurled stones at Israeli troops, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. One demonstrator was hurt.


MANILA -- Rescuers recovered the bodies of four men, including two treasure hunters, who were overcome by fumes in a narrow tunnel south of Manila two weeks ago, police said.


OSLO -- A hotel offering free rooms for couples trying to have the first baby of the year 2000 said that most people who initially booked rooms had backed out of the deal.


ZURICH -- A helicopter rescued a Swiss man stranded atop a flagpole, the alpine rescue service Rega said. The man, "an experienced alpinist," was sent up the pole to make repairs and got stuck after rain made the descent too dangerous. His position was complicated by the pole's location on top of a castle.


LONDON -- Britain's Duchess of York is considering moving to Switzerland to save thousands of dollars in taxes, the Mirror newspaper said.