KIGALI - A special court in Rwanda has sentenced two more men to death for genocide, bringing the number of capital sentences so far to at least eight. State radio said Calixte Ngendahimana and Janvier Bavugayubusa were sentenced by a court in Gisenyi on Tuesday. They have 15 days to file an appeal. Rwanda began a series of trials late last month against the first of 90,000 detainees, overwhelmingly from the majority Hutu tribe, accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide.
KABUL - Afghanistan's Islamic Taleban militia said it was thrusting up the Salang Pass and towards the Panjsher Valley after capturing two key towns from opposition forces north of Kabul. A senior officer said Taleban forces had captured Jabal-os-Siraj, a garrison town 70 km (44 miles) north of Kabul and Gulbahar, about 15 km (nine miles) to the north-east.
LIMA - Peru stepped up pressure on Marxist gunmen holding 73 hostages at the Japanese ambassador's home and refused to start talks to end the 37-day crisis unless the rebels dropped demands for the release of jailed comrades.
BELGRADE - Non-stop protests by Serbian students stretched into a fifth day as Belgrade citizens baffled police with a hide-and-seek strategy to evade a ban on marches.
MOSCOW - Phoney war between Boris Yeltsin and Communists in parliament continued as Duma votes "in principle" to oust president on health grounds despite lack of constitutional backing; Yeltsin, recovering from pneumonia, stays out of sight.
WASHINGTON - The senate moved swiftly to put President Bill Clinton's new cabinet in place, confirming Madeleine Albright as secretary of state and Republican William Cohen as defence secretary.
HAVANA - Canada and Cuba agreed during a brief visit by Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy on Wednesday to move their dialogue forward on a range of issues that will include human rights.
LONDON - A British newspaper said the attempted assassination of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's son Uday was part of a feud with the family of an Iraqi general killed by Saddam for criticising the government.
SANTA MONICA - Lawyer for the plaintiffs in O.J. Simpson's civil trial maked an emotional appeal to the jury to force the ex-football star to pay compensation to the father of one of the murder victims.
JERUSALEM - Israel has stepped up calls for resumption of peace talks with Syria but Damascus, wary of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, insists he first promise to hand back the Golan Heights Israel captured in 1967. Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy said he was exchanging messages with Damascus indirectly and appealed to his Syrian counterpart to meet him to revive peace talks.
MOSCOW - Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said he expected President Boris Yeltsin, who is recovering from pneumonia in his country home, to return to work in the next few days, Itar-Tass news agency said.
SOFIA - Bulgaria's new president starts wor k in a country overwhelmed by political and economic crisis. Petar Stoyanov took office on Wednesday as the Socialist Party threatened to counter opposition protests with mass marches of its own unless it is allowed to form a new cabinet.
GROZNY - Chechen president Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev signed an order renaming the regional capital Grozny in honour of late separatist leader Dzhokhar Dudayev. Yandarbiyev, speaking at a ceremony in the devastated centre of the city, said the capital would now be known as Dzhokhar-Ghala (City of Dzhokhar).