The turmoil in Ethiopia is preventing urgently needed food supplies from reaching millions of people in the country, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees said Friday. A spokesman said a rebel faction that took power last month from dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam was "positive and pragmatic" toward international agencies but lacked administrative experience. Mengistu's departure had brought hopes of an improvement in food distribution in Ethiopia. But links with most border areas remain severed and the situation in refugee camps across the country is desperate, the spokesman said. Relief convoys continue to be deterred by rebels and roaming bandits.Treaty may aid 12 U.S. hostages
BEIRUT _ U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said Friday the United States thinks a cooperation treaty signed by Syria and Lebanon last month could help win the release of the 12 Westerners held hostage in the country. The treaty took effect Monday. Syria, which has 40,000 troops in Lebanon, already has used its influence to gain freedom for other Western hostages. The hostages _ six Americans, three Britons, two Germans and an Italian _ are believed held by clandestine groups working under the umbrella of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, or Party of God. Hezbollah denies any involvement in kidnapping.
Britain criticized over human rights
LONDON _ Amnesty International criticized Britain Friday over its handling of human rights issues and said disputed killings in Northern Ireland were causing concern. In its first full report on human rights in Britain, the London-based group said the treatment of detainees, unfair trials and the detention of non-British nationals on security grounds fell short of what was required under international safeguards. Amnesty said that while more than 300 people had died in disputed killings by security forces in Northern Ireland, Britain has yet to launch a detailed investigation into the pattern of killings.
Most U.S. Marines out of Bangladesh
DHAKA, Bangladesh _ U.S. Marines flew back to their bases around the world Friday after three weeks helping victims of the April 29 cyclone that killed more than 138,000 people and left more than 4-million people homeless. Nearly 7,000 U.S. Marines were diverted to Bangladesh to help in cyclone relief as they were returning home from the gulf war. Britain sent marines, Japan sent firefighters and other countries brought aid. All but 600 U.S. Marines left Bangladesh last week. The rest will have left by the middle of this month. The task force ferried food and medicine to the worst-hit areas, set up water purification plants and treated tens of thousands of people for diarrhea.
Pakistan train crash
kills at least 100
KARACHI, Pakistan _ A crowded express train slammed head-on into a freight train north of Karachi early today, killing at least 100 people and injuring scores more, railway officials said. The death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers cut through the twisted wreckage in what is believed to be Pakistan's second worst train accident, the officials said. The express was headed north at 40 mph for Lahore when it slammed into the freight train parked at the station in Ghotki, 400 miles north of Karachi in Sindh province.
Elsewhere . . .
BERLIN _ The Berlin public prosecutor lodged an appeal Friday against a sentence imposed on a former East German politburo member that allowed him to leave court a free man. East German trade union boss Harry Tisch, the first top communist official to face united German justice, walked free Thursday _ despite an 18-month prison sentence for fraud _ because he had served almost a year in pre-trial detention.
ALGIERS, Algeria _ Moslem fundamentalist leaders on Friday canceled a 2-week-old strike that led to violent protests, saying the government had agreed to their main demand, presidential and legislative elections by the end of the year.