An Austrian jetliner traveling over Thailand apparently tore apart after the thrust of one of its two engines suddenly reversed, the airline owner said Sunday. Niki Lauda said it was his opinion that the activation of a thrust reverser caused the Air Lauda Boeing 767-300 to break into pieces May 26, killing all 223 people aboard. A Boeing spokesman disputed Lauda's theory. He said the U.S. government had required proof the 767 could fly with a thrust reverser deployed before certifying it. The reversers deflect the hot air thrust from jet engines to act as a brake. They are retracted during flight and are designed to be used only when the aircraft is on the ground, during landing.U.N. considering Ethiopia evacuation
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia _ U.N. officials caring for Ethiopia's famine victims were considering withdrawing dependents and non-essential staff because of concerns about security in the war-ravaged country. The agencies had decided a week ago to evacuate all but so-called "core staff," but the rebel offensive that ousted the previous government closed Addis Ababa's international airport before the withdrawal could be completed. The interim government said Sunday that Ethiopia's 1st Army had surrendered without a fight in the southeastern part of the country. The approximately 15,000 soldiers were the last large body of former government soldiers to surrender.
No deaths reported in Bangladesh storm
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh _ A tropical storm flooded several islands in southern Bangladesh on Sunday but most areas devastated by a killer cyclone a month ago escaped another shattering blow. Packing winds up to 45 mph, the storm swept across low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal, spawning tidal waves in some coastal areas and high tides in others, said Golam Rabbani, deputy director of the Red Crescent Cyclone Preparedness Center. Several hundred bamboo and tin-roofed homes were destroyed. Bhola island, which had escaped the cyclone, was hardest hit, said Rabbani. There were no reported deaths from the storm.
Pope visits city
near Soviet border
PRZEMYSL, Poland _ Pope John Paul II paid tribute Sunday to Catholics who suffered under communism as he visited a Polish city only six miles from the Soviet border _ the closest the pontiff has ever come to the Soviet Union. Nearly 10,000 Ukrainians, some waving blue and yellow national flags, crossed over the border from the Ukraine to see the pontiff. Most of those who came were Ukrainian Catholics whose church was outlawed by Josef Stalin in 1946 and forcibly merged with the Russian Orthodox Church. The day was a forerunner of his planned visit to the Soviet Union, which church officials say could take place as early as next year.
Germans to help Iran's development
NICOSIA, Cyprus _ Iran has signed letters of agreement with Germany outlining extensive German help in developing ports, power plants, mines and metals, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported Sunday. The agency, monitored in Nicosia, said the agreements were signed by Iran's minister of mines and metals, who returned Sunday from a one-week visit to Bonn. The agreement comes as Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani has tempered more than a decade of anti-Western Islamic fervor and improved his country's ties with Western Europe. Tehran has looked primarily to Germany and France to reconstruct industries battered in the 1980-88 war with Iraq. Rafsanjani is scheduled to visit Paris and Bonn this summer.