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TASHKENT -- Three gunmen hijacked a passenger bus carrying 24 people in Uzbekistan, shot to death three police officers and then were themselves killed by police Wednesday, officials said.


DURBAN -- A judge sentenced a convicted serial killer Wednesday to 506 years in prison after he was found guilty of 16 slayings and other charges.


BERN -- The Swiss government announced Wednesday it was disbanding a special crisis task force looking into the country's role in World War II.


MOSCOW -- President Boris Yeltsin vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have allowed lawmakers to ban material from Russian television or radio if it was believed to be morally impure for viewers.


TYRE -- Israeli warplanes and artillery positions attacked suspected guerrilla hideouts in southern Lebanon Wednesday, Lebanese security officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.


NEW DELHI -- Two lovers were lynched by their fellow villagers in the northern Indian state of Haryana after they tried to elope.


TAIPEI -- Taipei took issue on Wednesday with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's assertion that his shock 1979 switch of U.S. diplomatic ties to Beijing from Taipei actually helped Taiwan on its road to democracy.


BEIJING -- Chinese police have arrested a a local deputy police chief on suspicion of hiring three men to assassinate a Communist Party boss in the northeastern province of Liaoning.


KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's central bank on Wednesday delivered a cautiously upbeat outlook for 1999, predicting the economy will recover modestly this year from Asia's financial crisis and its first recession in 13 years.


JAKARTA -- Portugual's envoy to Indonesia Wednesday urged the United Nations to help secure peace in the troubled province of East Timor in the run-up to a vote on autonomy likely later this year.


SOFIA -- Bulgaria's main opposition Socialist Party Wednesday introduced a motion of no confidence in the center-right government of Ivan Kostov over its industrial policy.


PARIS -- France's unemployment rate edged up to 11.5 percent in February from 11.4 percent a month earlier, the Labor Ministry said Wednesday.


SIHANOUKVILLE -- A controversial shipment of mercury-laced Taiwanese waste is expected to leave Cambodia for the United States this week, officials said Wednesday.


WINDHOEK -- Namibian President Sam Nujoma and his visiting Kenyan counterpart, Daniel Arap Moi, made a joint call Wednesday for a speedy end to the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


SANTIAGO -- Chile began rationing power across most of the country Wednesday due to a severe drought last year that nearly dried up reservoirs at hydroelectric dams.