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Afghanistan

KABUL — The ruling Taliban were reported to have shelled world-famous, rock-hewn Buddhas as a U.N. envoy warned them of a devastating reaction if they carried out a plan to destroy all of the country's historic statues.

Benin

COTONOU — People in Benin will vote Sunday in a presidential election, the third multiparty poll since the West African country embraced democracy 10 years ago.

Bolivia

LA PAZ — Nine gold miners were officially declared dead on Thursday, six days after they became trapped in a flooded mine north of La Paz, the capital.

China

HONG KONG — A man set himself on fire in Hong Kong's legislative chamber after dropping off a letter with a litany of complaints focusing on troubles in the restaurant industry. Three guards sprayed the man with foam from fire extinguishers. He was taken to a hospital, where he was in critical condition.

BEIJING — Authorities sentenced seven people to die for tax fraud in the southern province of Guangdong in the first verdicts of what could add up to the biggest corruption case of the Communist era.

Fiji

SUVA — Ousted last year in a nationalist coup, Fiji's prime minister said he was headed home to "reclaim the people's mandate" after a court ruled that the country's military-backed regime is illegal. Mahendra Chaudhry, Fiji's first ethnic Indian prime minister, spoke to reporters in Sydney, Australia, where he stopped on his way home from India.

France

PARIS — A French court sentenced Alois Brunner, the highest-ranking former Nazi official still believed alive, in absentia to life in jail for sending 345 Jewish children from France to the Auschwitz death camp. The court, following the example of earlier French verdicts in war crimes cases in 1953 and 1954, reached its decision soon after the accusations against him were read out.

Germany

BERLIN — Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Germany should not miss out on the benefits of a U.S. missile defense shield but said he remained skeptical about the project.

Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Parliament confirmed economist Jean-Marie Cherestal as the new prime minister, a vote that backed his plans to repair relations with international donors and rebuild the shattered economy. An overwhelming majority of both legislative houses voted for Cherestal, whose program is based on new President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's promises of stability and economic improvement in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

India

SIMLA — A bus skidded off a mountain road and plunged into a river in northern India, killing as many as 50 people, police said. The accident occurred near Lahal, a village near Chamba town, 280 miles north of New Delhi.

Japan

TOKYO — Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori got a reprieve from another showdown with Japan's opposition parties, who said they would delay a motion of no confidence against him until next week.

Philippines

MANILA — The Supreme Court unanimously voted to affirm the legitimacy of the rule of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ABS-CBN television reported. And the government formally urged the Ombudsman to file plunder charges against deposed president Joseph Estrada for enriching himself in office, a crime punishable by death.

South Korea

SEOUL — A Korean-American resident of New York City was arrested this week on suspicion of spying for communist North Korea, South Korea's main intelligence agency said. Song Hak-sam, 55, was also accused of trying to publish in Seoul a book supporting the North and its leader, Kim Jong Il, the National Intelligence Service said.

DESERET NEWS, FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2001

Afghanistan

KABUL — The ruling Taliban were reported to have shelled world-famous, rock-hewn Buddhas as a U.N. envoy warned them of a devastating reaction if they carried out a plan to destroy all of the country's historic statues.

Benin

COTONOU — People in Benin will vote Sunday in a presidential election, the third multiparty poll since the West African country embraced democracy 10 years ago.

Bolivia

LA PAZ — Nine gold miners were officially declared dead on Thursday, six days after they became trapped in a flooded mine north of La Paz, the capital.

China

HONG KONG — A man set himself on fire in Hong Kong's legislative chamber after dropping off a letter with a litany of complaints focusing on troubles in the restaurant industry. Three guards sprayed the man with foam from fire extinguishers. He was taken to a hospital, where he was in critical condition.

BEIJING — Authorities sentenced seven people to die for tax fraud in the southern province of Guangdong in the first verdicts of what could add up to the biggest corruption case of the Communist era.

Fiji

SUVA — Ousted last year in a nationalist coup, Fiji's prime minister said he was headed home to "reclaim the people's mandate" after a court ruled that the country's military-backed regime is illegal. Mahendra Chaudhry, Fiji's first ethnic Indian prime minister, spoke to reporters in Sydney, Australia, where he stopped on his way home from India.

France

PARIS — A French court sentenced Alois Brunner, the highest-ranking former Nazi official still believed alive, in absentia to life in jail for sending 345 Jewish children from France to the Auschwitz death camp. The court, following the example of earlier French verdicts in war crimes cases in 1953 and 1954, reached its decision soon after the accusations against him were read out.

Germany

BERLIN — Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Germany should not miss out on the benefits of a U.S. missile defense shield but said he remained skeptical about the project.

Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Parliament confirmed economist Jean-Marie Cherestal as the new prime minister, a vote that backed his plans to repair relations with international donors and rebuild the shattered economy. An overwhelming majority of both legislative houses voted for Cherestal, whose program is based on new President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's promises of stability and economic improvement in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

India

SIMLA — A bus skidded off a mountain road and plunged into a river in northern India, killing as many as 50 people, police said. The accident occurred near Lahal, a village near Chamba town, 280 miles north of New Delhi.

Japan

TOKYO — Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori got a reprieve from another showdown with Japan's opposition parties, who said they would delay a motion of no confidence against him until next week.

Philippines

MANILA — The Supreme Court unanimously voted to affirm the legitimacy of the rule of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ABS-CBN television reported. And the government formally urged the Ombudsman to file plunder charges against deposed president Joseph Estrada for enriching himself in office, a crime punishable by death.

South Korea

SEOUL — A Korean-American resident of New York City was arrested this week on suspicion of spying for communist North Korea, South Korea's main intelligence agency said. Song Hak-sam, 55, was also accused of trying to publish in Seoul a book supporting the North and its leader, Kim Jong Il, the National Intelligence Service said.