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News Briefs

November 14, 1995
Web posted at: 11:30 p.m. EST (0430 GMT)

Was fatal shooting an assassination?

GENEVA, Switzerland (CNN) -- The Swiss police are trying to determine whether the fatal shooting of an Egyptian diplomat was an assassination.

Authorities have been combing the immediate area surrounding the crime scene for possible clues. The diplomat, Ahmed Alaa Nazmi, was shot several times near an underground garage in his apartment building Monday night.

Nazmi was part of an Egyptian delegation to the World Trade Organization. The Egyptian mission in Geneva said no potential motives have been ruled out.

Colombian landslides kill nine, injure 41

Medellin locater

BOGOTA, Colombia (CNN) -- At least nine people were killed and 41 injured in two separate landslides in Northern Colombia after torrential rain lashed the country Monday.

Police said four people were killed and 26 wounded outside the city of Medellin when a huge wave of mud and rocks forced a bus into a 100-foot ravine.

In Northeastern Boyaca province, at least five people were feared killed and 15 injured when an avalanche partly buried a small town.

Monday was the 10-year anniversary of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano eruption, which killed 25,000 people and wiped out an entire town in Colombia's worst natural disaster .

Venezuela extends 1995 budget to next year

CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) -- The Venezuelan government and its Congress Monday agreed to extend 1995's budget to next year after efforts to pass it failed.

This means that the fiscal budget of 1995 will be replicated for at least the first trimester of 1996.

The decision to extend the budget was taken partly because of the lack of time to approve the new budget which, under law, has to be approved before November 30.

Thousands protest proposed welfare reforms

French protest

PARIS, France (CNN) --French Prime Minister Alain Juppe's proposed welfare system reform met with a stormy reception Tuesday, causing discord in his center-right coalition and sparking off demonstrations across the country.

Juppe will formally unveil his package to Parliament Wednesday, but it contains drastic spending cuts and new tax hikes.

Union leaders warned that the protests could be followed by a general 24-hour strike on November 28. This could be even more damaging for Juppe than the last big labor strike over civil service pay on October 20.

Juppe is determined to cut France's welfare deficit to enable it to meet the entrance criteria of the European Monetary Union.

Pres. Yeltsin

Yeltsin says he's still in charge

MOSCOW (CNN) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin said Tuesday he's in charge of his country's affairs, despite recent heart problems.

"I really am at the helm of this large vessel called Russia," Yeltsin told reporters at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital. "I have my finger on the pulse of things."

It was the 64-year-old's second public appearance since being admitted to the hospital with heart trouble on October 26.

Yeltsin also met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. It was his first meeting with an international head of state since his illness.

Seven more bodies found from Nepal avalanche


KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- The death toll in one of Nepal's worst avalanche disasters kept rising Tuesday as rescuers found seven more bodies. That brought the number of confirmed dead to 49, officials said.

The bodies of four Nepali nationals were found with those of three Japanese near Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain some 500 kilometers (300 miles) east of Kathmandu.

By midday Tuesday, helicopters had rescued 477 people, including 178 international hikers, mostly from around Mount Everest, which was the hardest hit area.

Officials said hundreds of international hikers had set out over the weekend and could be stranded in the Himalayas. They were caught after a freak storm, churned up by a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, dumped about two meters (six feet) of snow in the area.

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Japan apologizes for Korean colonial rule

TOKYO (CNN) -- Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued a written apology Tuesday for Japan's colonial rule of Korea. The move is an attempt to put to rest a bitter dispute with Seoul over controversial recent remarks made by Japanese leaders.

In a surprise letter to South Korean President Kim Young Sam, Murayama called Japan's 1910 annexation of the Korean peninsula the result of "unequal" bilateral treaties in the era of imperialism.

"I express my feeling of deep reflection and heartily apologize for having inflicted unbearable sufferings and sorrow on people of the Korean peninsula under Japan's colonial rule," Murayama said in the letter.

Zemin and Kim

Earlier Tuesday in Seoul, Chinese president Jiang Zemin and Kim chastised Japanese leaders whom they say have glossed over Japan's wartime brutalities.

Their joint condemnation came just as Japan prepares to host an annual meeting of the 18-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Osaka this week.

Jiang and Kim are expected to attend the APEC summit.

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