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Indonesia general resists resigning

Indonesia's most prominent general denied Tuesday that he was responsible for human rights abuses in East Timor and sidestepped a suggestion by President Abdurrahman Wahid that he resign.

"As a soldier, I am going to continue to fight to reveal the truth," declared Gen. Wiranto, who like many Indonesians uses one name.

He said he had not yet read a report issued Monday by an Indonesian human rights commission that placed him at the top of a list of 33 officers and civilians responsible for a wave of violence and destruction in East Timor last year.

Wiranto said he had done his best to try to curb a wave of terror carried out by military-backed militias after East Timor's vote Aug. 30 to break away from Indonesia. The general said he would wait to talk with the president when he returns to Jakarta on Feb. 13.

Wahid, who is on a trip abroad, said Monday that Wiranto should resign from his Cabinet post as coordinating minister for political and military affairs. He said Tuesday that if Wiranto refuses to quit, he will "remove him from office" when he returns home.

House votes to boost

military ties with Taiwan

WASHINGTON _ Ignoring a veto threat, the House voted 341-70 Tuesday to increase American military ties with Taiwan.

"If we truly love freedom, we must protect democratic Taiwan," said Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, as the chamber sent the bill to the Senate. Its fate there is less certain.

The legislation would lift a prohibition on direct communication and cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwanese military, open American military academies to more Taiwanese officers and require annual Pentagon reports on threats to Taiwan's security.

The Clinton administration contends the bill could undermine stability in Asia while doing little to help Taiwan's security.

Mexican student clashes

leave 1 dead, 30 injured

MEXICO CITY _ Battling with rocks, bottles and sticks, strikers clashed Tuesday with students seeking to end a nine-month strike at Mexico's largest university. One person was killed and 30 were injured.

The street fighting erupted when about 200 students opposed to the strike forced their way onto the campus of a university-affiliated high school in Mexico City.

One man was killed by stab wounds; at least four people suffered skull fractures.

Police took control of the school, but strikers remained in charge of the university's main campus several miles away. They are refusing to reopen the 260,000-student National Autonomous University until their demands for guaranteed admissions and looser academic standards are met.

Ulster Unionists say

Cabinet facing collapse

BELFAST, Northern Ireland _ Northern Ireland's Protestant-Catholic government was plunged into crisis Tuesday after a report by an independent commission confirmed that the Irish Republican Army has failed to begin turning over its weapons.

David Trimble, leader of the major Protestant party, the Ulster Unionists, said the British government now had a "regrettable but inevitable" choice: to suspend the cross-party Cabinet's powers in hopes fresh negotiations could produce a more ironclad agreement involving IRA disarmament, or watch the Cabinet collapse as the Ulster Unionists back out.

For its part, the IRA insisted its 1997 cease-fire should be sufficient grounds for its political wing, Sinn Fein, to keep a place in the province's administration. But the IRA gave no hint it intended to hand over a single bullet, much less its many tons of weapons stockpiled in hidden caches.

Britain's minister for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, said he would meet this week with political groups from the province before making any announcements.