Ap, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
U.S. officials urged an increase in the number of international human-rights monitors in Haiti on Thursday, rejecting a demand by a senator in Haiti that the mission be removed.
"There needs to be an increase in the number of monitors there who can fully document the instances of human rights abuses that are so appalling," said State Department spokesman Mike McCurry.
In Haiti, Sen. Bernard Sansaricq said the existing U.N. mission, which numbers 100 including administrative help, is illegal and should leave the country.
"The international community wants to wipe us off the face of the earth," Sansaricq said. He was an architect of the move on Wednesday to install Supreme Court President Emile Jonassaint as the replacement for deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. AP
***** PANAMA Press Control Laws Eliminated
Panama will eliminate press control laws used by former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega to jail journalists and close newspapers and broadcast stations, its president-elect said Thursday.
"I don't believe we should stay with a law that gives discretionary powers to the minister of interior and justice, and I feel anyone who thinks he has been damaged by a journalist should use civil remedies, not penal ones," Ernesto Perez Balladares said.
Perez Balladares is a member of theo party that Noriega headed but campaigned hard to separate himself from the toppled general. AP
***** RWANDA Workers Rush Food During Lull
Relief workers rushed food to thousands of hungry refugees in Kigali, Rwanda, Thursday when rebels slowed their bombardment.
Fierce exchanges of rocket, howitzer and mortar fire in recent days had blocked deliveries of food to about 15,000 refugees under U.N. protection. But combat died down early Thursday. AP
***** YEMEN Civil War Appears Stalemated
Entering its second week, Yemen's civil war seemed headed for a stalemate Thursday despite hopes in the north for a quick victory.
The war in this impoverished nation on the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula broke out after months of tension between the conservative north and the formerly Marxist-ruled south. The two regions merged in May 1990.
Northern forces have claimed since Saturday to be on the verge of seizing Aden, a southern port on the Arabian Sea and the site of key oil facilities. But U.S. diplomats say the south has put up stiff resistance. The fall of Aden would doom the south's war effort. AP
***** NATION FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION Bill Boosts Collection On Loans
President Bill Clinton signed a bill Thursday that will let the Agriculture Department hire private attorneys to collect delinquent loans issued by the Farmers Home Administration. …