The world in brief
BRITAIN: As from June 1 British courts can remand young offenders aged 12 or over in custody while they wait for their case to come before the courts. Campaigners warned that there was a real danger that too many children would be locked up when what they really needed was support or fostering. "For most young people, the answer lies in bail-support programmes which provide supervision and help for those awaiting trial, not in greater powers to lock children up", said Paul Cavadino, director of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.
* * *GERMANY: McDonalds is negotiating with German motor-racing ace Michael Schaumacher for the right to put its logo on his baseball cap. The cap is already a best-seller in German clothing shops and now McDonalds wants to crash in on and cash in on the advertising potential. * * *PANAMA: True to its arrogant imperialist nature, the USA is not yet prepared to get out of Panama. Under the Torrijos-Kater treaties signed in 1977, the US is obliged to withdraw its troops from Panama and hand over the Panama Canal to the Panamanian Government after 2000. The US Congress is planning to renegotiate with the new government for a permanent military base. It is using its "war against drugs" as the excuse. * * *UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has condemned the killing of an Irish UN peacekeeper in Lebanon by Israeli-backed forces and called on Israel to ensure that the UN force was not attacked again. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was established in 1978 to restore the Lebanese Government's authority over the southern part of the country after an Israeli invasion. * * *ILO: According to International Labour Organisation estimates some 250 million children between the ages of five and 14 work in developing countries. About half work full-time, 61 per cent are in Asia, 32 per cent in Africa and 7 per cent in Latin America. Many are engaged in hazardous work. One of the most brutal forms of exploitation is the commercial sexual exploitation of children which appears to be worsening. * * *RUSSIA: Earlier this month Moscow children took part in an international support action outside the Yugoslav embassy. They made drawings on the asphalt, laid flowers and observed a minute's silence for the Yugoslav children who have been killed by NATO aggressors. The same day about a million signatures were prepared for delivery to NATO HQ in Brussels. Lorries took the petition via Brest and Frankfurt-on-the-Oder. The signatures were collected from 68 regions of Russia.