Foreign Digest

Wildfires continue sweep throughout western Canada

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia - Hundreds of forest fires burned yesterday throughout western Canada, where authorities fear the worst wildfires in 50 years could worsen because of strong winds in the forecast.


A new fire at Maligne Lake, a popular tourist destination in Alberta's Rocky Mountains, prompted authorities to evacuate 500 visitors and staff. In British Columbia, 2,800 people evacuated from the southern towns of Rayleigh and Heffley Creek began returning home after the fire threat passed.

The fires in British Columbia and Alberta have destroyed dozens of buildings and forced 11,000 people to flee mostly rural communities. No deaths have been reported. Authorities said six fires in the Kamloops area of British Columbia, 180 miles northeast of Vancouver, have scorched nearly 88,000 acres over the past two weeks.


Clinton to help open center for Bosnian war victims

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will preside at the opening of a memorial center for victims of the worst massacre in the Bosnian war, his spokeswoman and Bosnian officials said yesterday.

The memorial ceremony will take place Sept. 20 at the site near Srebrenica, where Serb forces in 1995 overran a besieged Muslim enclave and executed up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys. Clinton was chosen to open the center, officials said, because of his role in helping end the war.

The massacre marked a turning point in the three-year Bosnian war and prompted the international community - led by the United States - to end the conflict by ordering NATO airstrikes against Bosnian Serbs. Soon after, the United States under Clinton brokered the final peace accord in Dayton, Ohio, and joined other nations in deploying peacekeepers to Bosnia.

U.N. policeman in Kosovo killed; underworld blamed

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro - The first fatal shooting of a United Nations policeman in Kosovo has shifted attention from ethnic tensions in the U.N.-controlled province to the underworld figures thought to be responsible for his death.

A sniper shot Satish Menon, 43, of India shortly before midnight Sunday as the policeman traveled in a U.N. car near the village of Slatina, 30 miles north of Kosovo's capital, Pristina, police said. A British officer driving the car was not wounded.

Menon is the first U.N. policeman killed while on duty in Kosovo since the United Nations took control of the province four years ago.


Vatican to convene study on ethics of biotech crops

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican will convene a round-table discussion in the fall to study the ethical and scientific implications of biotech crops.

The Vatican "will draw the appropriate conclusions" on using genetically modified organisms after the meeting, Cardinal Renato Martino told Vatican Radio yesterday. A day earlier, an Italian newspaper that interviewed him on the divisive issue suggested the Vatican would favor of biotech crops as a way to combat world hunger.

"The problem of hunger involves the conscience of every man and in particular those of the Christians," Martino told Vatican Radio. "For this reason, the Catholic Church follows with special interest and solicitude every development in science to help the solution of a plight that afflicts such a large part of humanity."

Bali bar reopens 10 months after suicide-bomb attack

BALI, Indonesia - Paddy's Bar, one of the nightspots attacked nearly 10 months ago by suicide bombers on Indonesia's Bali island, reopened over the weekend, staffed by several waiters who were working on the night of the attack.


Saturday night, hundreds of mostly Australian tourists and expatriates packed the bar, which was reopened in a building 100 yards up the street from its original site.

"Tell the terrorists we are back," shouted one Australian who identified himself as Mike.