November 4, 1995
Web posted at: 12:30 a.m. EST (0530 GMT)
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Diehard Tamil separatists vowed to continue their struggle for independence in spite of their withdrawal from Jaffna on Friday. The move is significant because it uprooted the core of their self-proclaimed government. Over the past several weeks, government troops have gotten the closest they've ever been to the Tamil rebels' stronghold.
Relief agencies have rushed medical aid as well as tents to the hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in military advance on Jaffna, the biggest government offensive in Sri Lanka's 12-year civil war.
United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called for additional help in the relief operation, saying that a larger effort is needed to reduce the suffering by civilians.
Thursday night, officials said Tamil rebels killed five Sinhalese children in Kandahelagama hamlet in the eastern Monaragala district. The bodies of the children, ranging in ages from 18 months to 15 years, were found Friday. The children had been hacked to death with machetes.
Fighting erupted in 1983 when Tamils pursued an independent homeland. More than 37,000 people have been killed in the clash between the separatists and government troops.
MOSCOW (CNN) -- Russians have had their first chance to see President Boris Yeltsin since he was hospitalized a week ago for heart problems. He appeared on television for about 30 seconds Friday with Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin.
CIA reports said that Yeltsin suffered a second heart attack and needs surgery, possibly a bypass or angioplasty. Russian officials, however, say Yeltsin suffers from ischemia, which is not a heart attack, but is a condition in which the heart is not receiving enough blood.
Yeltsin assured Russians that he's doing fine. "At the moment, I am not feeling bad at all. Recuperation is going on in accordance with the plan; the consultation happens twice every day. Of course, I have to recuperate fully, but right now -- there is no fear for my health," Yeltsin said on Russian television. After the appearance, Chernomyrdin said he will be taking on more responsibility while the president recuperates.
U.S. officials say that they are still confident in Yeltsin's leadership abilities. "The important thing for us is that we are able to do business with Russia, that we are able to have a stable relationship ... and I am happy to say that we are quite convinced that the Russian government is in good hands," said State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns.
The United States reportedly has offered to provide medical help to Yeltsin, but hasn't heard a reply from Russia.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN ) -- South Africa celebrated the success of it's first all-race elections Friday. President Nelson Mandela, who's party had a strong showing, said Wednesday's vote made South Africa a full-fledged democracy.
According to the ANC's secretary-general, the party registered strong victories in most of the 400 councils where the vote tally had been completed. Of those votes, the ANC won more than 50 percent in 240 councils. In another 52 councils, the ANC did not get a majority but received the biggest portion of votes among several competing parties.
Preliminary tallies project that the ANC might dominate at least some councils in all of the eight provinces. The white-led National Party, the ANC's nearest rival, is expected to dominate councils in only four provinces.
Voting figures seemed to reflect the nation's racial breakdown, which is about 75 percent black, 13 percent white, 7 percent mixed-race, 3 percent Indian and 2 percent others.
The voting results mean that many cities and towns that have been controlled by whites under apartheid will now be governed by black-led councils.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNN) -- A lawyer for former Nazi S.S. Capt. Erich Priebke said Friday his client is "very depressed" following Argentina's supreme court ruling that Priebke could be extradited to Italy.
There, he faces trial for the massacre of 335 men and boys during World War II. Priebke's defense is that he acted on orders from higher authorities in the Gestapo.
Priebke's attorney said that he will try to get the supreme court's extradition ruling annulled.
The killings took place at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome in 1944. The massacre was a reprisal for the killing of 33 German soldiers by partisans.
Prosecutors in Rome say that they are stepping up preparations for a trial.
PARIS (CNN) -- French police have arrested a key suspect who may have coordinated a series of terrorist bombs placements. Fingerprints found on two homemade bombs matched those of the arrested man, Boulam Bensaid, police said.
Police also said Friday they believe that an Algerian militant based in London, who goes by the pseudonym Abou Fares, oversaw the bombing attacks.
French authorities confirmed that the militant's real name is Abdelkader Benouif. Following the 1992 bombing of the Algiers airport, which killed nine people and injured 123, Benouif was sentenced to death.
Benouif is the alleged leader of Algeria's Armed Islamic Group, which is fighting to overthrow Algeria's military-backed government. The group accused Paris of supporting Algeria's regime and claims responsibility for a portion of the six bombings in Paris that have killed seven people and injured 160 since July.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (CNN) -- Queen Elizabeth II signed an apology Friday expressing regret for the seizure of Maori land by the British colonizers in 1863.
The document signed by the queen also returned 39,000 of the 1.2 million acres confiscated by the British, and placed $42 million in a fund for Maoris to buy back privately owned land that once was theirs. Maoris comprise about 12 percent of New Zealand's population.
LONDON (CNN) -- Britain's Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a ban on gays serving in the military, ruling that the law was neither irrational nor unlawful. But one of the three justices said the policy is "ripe for review."
The Ministry of Defense argues that homosexuals would undermine the efficiency and morale of Britain's fighting forces, but it is currently reviewing the ban.
The appeal judges rejected an argument -- by three gay men and a lesbian who had been dismissed from the armed forces -- that the ban was "absurd, outrageous, perverse and impossible to justify." The four plan to take their case to Britain's final court of appeal -- the House of Lords.
SEOUL, south Korea (CNN) - South Korea's largest business organization on Friday issued an apology for links between its members and a slush fund scandal involving ex-president Roh Tae-woo.
The Federation of Korean Industries met to discuss how to limit the damage to business from revelations that Roh amassed a $654 million slush fund through contributions from corporations.
The business organization's members vowed they would never again provide under-the-table political funds. And they said the current president -- Kim Young-sam -- had not taken any money from businesses.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (CNN) -- The Dutch government has endorsed former prime minister Ruud Lubbers as its candidate to replace Willy Claes, who resigned as NATO secretary- general. Lubbers is considered a front-runner for the post.
Claes resigned to face allegations that his party accepted bribes from a defense contractor while he was Belgium's economics minister.
FRENCH ISLAND, Australia (CNN) -- Some of Australia's koalas are facing relocation or starvation. As many of 100 of them on French Island, off the Victorian coast, will be taken by the navy to the mainland -- to relieve the overpopulation on the island.
But many of the koalas are reluctant to leave, and conservationists are having a hard time tracking them down and trapping them.
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