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World datelines


PHNOM PENH — A Cambodian court charged a former soldier with terrorism and membership of an illegal armed group in connection with bomb attacks July 4 on two Phnom Penh hotels that killed three people and injured at least 11.


SANTIAGO — Demonstrators protested Monday's decision to spare Gen. Augusto Pinochet from standing trial on human rights charges, calling it an injustice to the thousands killed by his military.


BEIJING — Heavy rains caused a sodden hillside to give way in southern China, burying houses and killing at least 14 people, an official said.


BOGOTA — A television reporter was shot and killed in a bar in the Pacific port of Buenaventura, the fourth journalist assassinated in the past two weeks in Colombia. Colleagues said the killing of Jorge Enrique Urbano, 53, may not have been related to his activities as a reporter for a weekly news magazine show on Buenaventura's Canal 2 TV.


WESTON-UNDER-LIZARD — The British and Irish governments resumed negotiations with rival Catholic and Protestant delegations, but their effort to solve the deepening crisis in Northern Ireland appeared to be getting nowhere.


JAKARTA — Two passenger ships collided on a river in Indonesia's southern Sumatra province, killing at least 13 people, officials said. Seven people were missing after the accident on Musi River, near Palembang, 250 miles northwest of here.


TEHRAN — A leading Iranian missile designer who contributed to the Islamic republic's homemade weapons program has died in "unexpected circumstances," state television reported. Col. Ali Mahmoudi-Meimand, an officer with the air force branch of the Iranian army, "recently died in an unexpected condition," the television said, without giving more details.


BAGHDAD — Two children were killed and another injured when a cluster bomb dropped during the 1991 Persian Gulf War exploded in the southern province of Dhi qar, al-Rafideen weekly newspaper reported. The newspaper said the bomb exploded when three siblings, a girl and two boys, tinkered with it.


TOKYO — A telephone counseling hotline said it has received the largest number of suicide-related calls in its 30-year history last year, a reflection of Japan's high suicide rates and economic woes.


AMMAN — The State Security Court opened the trial of 13 suspects on charges of plotting terrorist attacks in the kingdom. The defendants, all Jordanians in their teens or early 20s, had been arrested in January, judiciary sources said.


NAIROBI — A Kenyan freed after 36 years in jail for the murder of a politician said he became one of Africa's longest-serving political prisoners on the basis of a false confession extracted from him under torture. Kisilu Mutua, who says he was framed for the 1965 killing of nationalist politician Pio Gama Pinto, told a news conference a week after his release that torture was routine in Kenyan prisons.


SKOPJE — Negotiations resumed on a peace plan to defuse Macedonia's ethnic Albanian insurgency, with two Western envoys expected to join the talks and pressure the country's feuding factions to find common ground.


MEXICO CITY — A major human rights group is urging new President Vicente Fox to take stronger measures against torture in Mexico, saying the practice remains widespread. "It can be found at all levels of Mexico's federal, state and municipal system of administration," Amnesty International said. Fox has vowed to clean up Mexico's long-notorious human rights record.


MOSCOW — Five men charged in the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that killed more than 200 people — one of the motivations Russia cited for sending troops back to breakaway Chechnya — went on trial in southern Russia.

MOSCOW — Government investigators blamed pilot error Tuesday for the Russian airliner crash that killed 145 people aboard a Russian Tu-154 jet in Siberia a week ago.

South Africa

KEMPTON PARK — Thousands of South African squatters pondered their fate after a court granted an order to evict them within 48 hours from land they have illegally occupied east of Johannesburg.