November 2, 1995
Web posted at: 1:35 a.m. EST (0635 GMT)
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- An earthquake measure 5.2 on the Richter scale struck China's remote northwestern region of Xinjian late Wednesday at 8:29 p.m. local time. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
According to the China Seismology Station in Beijing, the quake hit just northwest of Zhaosu county along its border with Kazakhstan, in a mountainous region.
The quake also shook the surrounding cities of Baicheng, Yining and Aksu, but there were no reports of damage available.
WASHINGTON (CNN) Secretary of State Warren Christopher will meet later this week with the two candidates for the position of NATO secretary-general.
The United States has invited former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers and former Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen to the State Department to discuss the position left open by the recent resignation of Willy Claes.
State Department spokesman Glyn Davies says that the United States has not made up its mind on which candidate it will support. A number of European allies, including France and Britain, have already announced their support for Lubbers.
But Davies points out that the decision is made by consensus and the United States wishes to talk to each candidate before making a decision.
MOSCOW (CNN) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin on Wednesday held his first meeting with a government official since being hospitalized last week with heart problems.
Yeltsin met briefly with senior aide Viktor Ilyushin, who afterwards told the ITAR-Tass news agency that the president did not look well. Ilyushin blamed the president's condition on what the called the "hospital atmosphere."
Yeltsin was well enough to call for fairness in a brewing political debate. Two opposition parties appealed to Russia's supreme court Wednesday after they were banned from upcoming parliamentary elections.
The court has reportedly overruled a similar ban on three other parties.
TANGERA, Burundi (CNN) -- The prime minister of Burundi said Wednesday his government is checking reports that more than 250 Hutu villagers were massacred last week.
Prime Minister Antoine Nduwayo said that it is too soon to know if government troops were involved in the reported killings in northern Burundi. But he said that the army has been fighting anti-government guerrillas in the region.
Burundi has a long history of ethnic violence. Hutus make up 80 percent of the population, but the army is dominated by Tutsis.
OGONILAND, Nigeria (CNN) -- Britain and the Commonwealth are warning that Nigeria could face retaliation for sentencing four members of the Ogoni minority rights movement to death.
The group's leader, Nigerian author Ken Saro-Wiwa, and three others were convicted of killing four leaders of their own Ogoni Tribe.
Critics of Nigeria's human rights record say the verdict is politically motivated. On Wednesday, the Commonwealth said that it could take action against Nigeria in the form of phased sanctions at its summit in New Zealand, which is a little more than a week away.
The group also said that Nigeria's ruling military council could still overrun the sentences. International pressure led Nigeria's leader, Gen. Sani Abacha, to commute another set of high-profile death sentences last month.
GIZA, Egypt (CNN) -- Egypt's Giza area is also called the Underground Galleries. This week, a professor said that the reason for the name could be two ancient tunnels.
Workers in the area discovered the tunnels in front of the 4,500 year-old Sphinx and pyramids. Archaeologists believe that the tunnels formed part of an ancient river harbor that was used to off-load huge limestone blocks.
Those blocks were used to build the Pharaonic pyramids.
The tunnels could be part of a canal that connected with the river Nile and the harbor.
MEXICO CITY (CNN) -- Nine people were dead and two injured after a plane crashed near the northern Mexican town of Piedras Negras. The town is in the Mexican state of Coahuila, which is just across from the U.S. border town of Eagle Pass, Texas.
Ten passengers and the pilot were on board when the plane crashed near the Piedras Negras airport.
A government news agency in Mexico said that the plane lost contact late Tuesday as it approached from the town of Saltillo, Mexico. The plane is operated by Coahulia Air Transport SA.
The agency reported that the pilot had just spoken to the control tower to say that he was beginning landing procedures when communications were lost.
There were no immediate details on the identity of the passengers. The cause of the crash was also not immediately known, but officials said the weather in the area had been bad.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Government forces are poised to seize the northern Tamil Tiger guerrilla stronghold of Jaffna, military sources said Wednesday. Sri Lanka's army fears rebel forces may retaliate with ambushes and possible chemical weapon attacks.
Thirteen soldiers and an estimated 35 rebels died as troops captured a junction between the towns of Neerveli and Kopai along the road to Jaffna city. Kopai is the last major town before Jaffna. The military said troops are now less than 4 miles from Jaffna city, located near the end of a thin peninsula in far north Sri Lanka.
Aid workers say the army could move into Jaffna city within hours. A mass exodus of more than 100,000 rebels and civilians has left it a virtual ghost town.
Government officials appealed for international aid Wednesday to help feed and shelter an estimated half a million refugees of the two-week-old government offensive.
The offensive is the army's biggest against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who are fighting for an independent homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east of the island nation. More than 50,000 people have died in the 12-year war.
MARJAYOUN, Lebanon (CNN) -- Muslim Hezbollah guerrillas killed two Israeli-backed militiamen and wounded five Israeli soldiers Wednesday in attacks in southern Lebanon. The pro-Iranian Hezbollah said the attacks were to avenge last week's death of the anti-Israel Islamic Jihad chief Fathi Shakaki.
Lebanese security sources said one Hezbollah fighter was killed and three wounded in Bisri when the guerrillas fired machine guns and anti-tank rockets at a command post for the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army.
Israeli security sources said four Israeli soldiers were wounded near Braachit when the guerrillas fired at an Israeli post and a bomb exploded. A fifth soldier was injured in another incident.
In Beirut, Hezbollah said it aimed to avenge the death of Shakaki, who was gunned down Thursday on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
DAMASCUS, Syria (CNN) -- Syria denied Israeli charges that it harbors terrorists. In editorials Wednesday, two leading government newspapers targeted Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and defended Syrian support for radical Palestinian groups based in Damascus and militants fighting Israel's occupation in south Lebanon.
Rabin told an Israeli parliamentary committee Tuesday that Syria was "a center of terrorism."
"Rabin's false accusation to Syria is not only aimed at deforming Syria's image and diverting attention from Israel's arrogance, but also at directing new threats against Syria," the official daily al-Baath said.
The paper claimed the radical groups Syria supports are involved in "legitimate resistance" against the Jewish state.
(CNN) -- Typhoon Zack was poised Wednesday to make landfall along the central coast of Vietnam. Early in the day, the storm was just off the coast between Qui Nhon and Chu Lai, with sustained winds at about 115 miles per hour (185 kilometers per hour).
Heavy rain is expected to fall in the region for the next 28 to 30 hours as Zack moves over land and slowly dissipates.
Meanwhile, another Pacific storm has reached super typhoon strength. Angela was just off the coast of the central Luzon region of the Philippines early Wednesday, with sustained winds of 180 mph (287 kph).
Angela is expected to reach peak intensity within the next 12 to 24 hours, with sustained winds reaching of 190 mph (306 kph).
Samar, Leyte and Naga Islands started experiencing feeder-band rains Wednesday.
The storm could cause major damage, especially in Luzon, where mudflows and damaging floods could occur.
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