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October 7, 1996
Web posted at: 11:40 p.m. (0340 GMT)


U.S. angered over Bosnian boycott

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States is "furious" over the refusal of Bosnian Serb leaders to attend presidential inaugural ceremonies in Sarajevo on Saturday.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns used harsh language Monday to criticize the boycott decision of Momcilo Krajisnik, the Bosnian Serb member of the new collective presidency elected September 14.

Bosnian Serb deputies to the new collective parliament also refused to show up.

Burns said the United States is prepared to return to the United Nations Security Council to seek new sanctions against Bosnian Serbs if they persist in the boycott of the new institutions, which were fashioned under Dayton peace agreements signed last December.

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Afghan forces square off

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) - Taliban and rival military forces were locked Monday in a tense standoff in mountains north of Kabul Monday, amid regional concerns that recent hostilities could spread.

The hard-line Islamic militia, which captured Kabul a week ago, pushed northward toward the strategic Panjsher Valley where an offensive against former military chief Ahmad Shah Masood appeared to stall.

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali warned the Taliban that discrimination against women in employment and education could adversely affect relief programs.

Newly imposed restrictions, such as denying women education and jobs, could "have serious repercussions on the ability of the United Nations to deliver programs of relief and reconstruction," Boutros-Ghali said in a statement.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Queen Elizabeth reportedly trying to 'buy off' Fergie

LONDON (CNN) - Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly offered to pay off the debts of the Duchess of York -- and in return wants her former daughter-in-law to leave England and forfeit custody of her children.

The $7.5 million pay-off would free up the former Sarah Ferguson financially, and pay for her to set up home abroad, according to the Sun, a British tabloid.

The duchess, who received a $3 million divorce settlement, has been a persistent cause of embarrassment to the royal family. Two new books allege lurid details of her life, already well-documented as flamboyant.

She and her ex-husband, Prince Andrew -- the queen's second son -- are parents of princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Correspondent Margaret Lowrie and Reuters contributed to this report.

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