1. Archive

Lithuania, Soviets to negotiate

Lithuanian and Soviet officials agreed Saturday to try to hold formal negotiations next month on the possible secession of the Baltic republic, the Lithuanian president said. But the five-hour meeting at the Kremlin failed to settle guidelines for the talks. Participants asked a joint committee to continue work on a "protocol" document, according to Soviet and Lithuanian news reports. Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis gave no exact date for the beginning of the talks, according to the independent Baltic News Service. Lithuania wants the Kremlin to agree to certain guidelines before official talks start. The Soviet side considers the negotiations already under way.Mozambique approves reforms

MAPUTO, Mozambique _ Parliament voted Saturday to end 15 years of leftist one-party rule, permitting competing political parties and secret balloting, the state news agency reported. The move could help break a stalemate in the 13-year-old civil war that has killed some 600,000 people. Proposals for a multiparty system previously were adopted by the ruling FRELIMO party's policy-making Central Committee. Approval by the People's Assembly, Mozambique's parliament, had been expected. The AIM news agency said the changes adopted Saturday cleared the way for new laws on the formation and registration of political parties.

Cuban cannon blast kills tot

HAVANA _ A 2-year-old boy was killed and 24 people, mostly children, were injured Saturday when an old cannon exploded while being fired during a ceremony at a Spanish colonial fort in Havana, Cuban television reported. The ceremony was being held at the San Carlos de la Cabana Fortress overlooking Havana Bay to mark the 20th anniversary of the creation of a popular Cuban cartoon character, Elpidio Valdes, an imaginary independence fighter in Cuba's 19th century war against Spain's colonial rule. Three of the injured children were reported to be in a serious condition. Elpidio Valdes stars in numerous cartoon books and films and is the mascot of the Cuban Young Pioneers' movement.

Elsewhere . . .

PANAMA CITY, Panama _ Police have arrested a former soldier implicated in the kidnap and murder of Raymond Dragseth, an American teacher slain the day after the U.S. invasion last December, Panama America reported Saturday. Officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.

ATHENS _ About 25 female prisoners and 40 inmates from the psychiatric wing of Korydallos maximum security prison joined about 800 men who took over two cell blocks and threatened to burn down the top-security prison near Athens Saturday. They want better living conditions in the overcrowded prison, release of those who have served two-thirds of their sentences, and removal of drug addicts to special clinics.