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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pope, Taiwan Meet

VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II met Taiwan's vice president in a private audience Tuesday, ignoring protests by China.

Lien Chan was the highest-ranking Taiwanese official to be received by the pope. The Vatican has said that he expressed a desire to meet John Paul during a stopover on his way home from a trip to Nicaragua.

Lien said he invited the pope to visit Taiwan during the 35-minute meeting. He said the Vatican stop provided an opportunity for Taiwan to strengthen its relations with the Holy See.

have given Milosevic's foes control of Belgrade.

Radomir Lazarevic, chief of the Belgrade election commission, told reporters the election commission would appeal the ruling to the federal courts of Yugoslavia, the federation of Serbia and smaller Montenegro. The federal court must rule within 48 hours.

Regardless, the Serbian Supreme Court decision did not bode well for appeals of nullifications of elections in other cities and brought out 100,000 protesters Monday against Milosevic, who once had extraordinary grass-roots support in Serbia.

Zoran Djindjic, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, said it was no longer a question of the opposition winning back its election gains.

"This is an uprising to win democracy,'' Djindjic said. Vuk Draskovic, another opposition leader, said almost three weeks of anti-Milosevic protests "will continue until we achieve the resignation of the head of the law state and media terrorism.''

Earlier Monday, 30,000 students protested the arrest Saturday and beating of 21-year-old Dejan Bulatovic. Foes of Milosevic said he was fingered for being one of several protesters in Belgrade who stood atop a jeep with an effigy of Milosevic in a prison uniform.

Independent radio B-92, which had been shut down last week by the authorities and then allowed to re-open, reported Bulatovic was already sentenced to 25 days in jail and faced further charges of offending Milosevic that could sentence him to up to three years in jail. Dejan's mother Ljiljana Bulatovic told B-92 that she visited her son in prison Sunday. She said his nose was broken and he told he had had a pistol barrel stuck into his mouth during interrogation.

She said he had asthma problems and was shivering with cold as he was beaten naked, in front of an open window despite freezing weather. Kati Marton, chairwoman of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, met with Milosevic on Saturday and later told B-92 that the he had pledged not to use force against protesters.

But the opposition reported Sunday that eight people -- including Bulatovic -- had been arrested the past two days, bringing last week's total to 40.

Independent unions pledged to start strikes today in support of three weeks of political protests. But workers traditionally are poorly organized here, and the protests got off to a slow start.

A strong workers' movement could mean serious trouble for Milosevic, under whom the economy has taken a long nosedive.

?International peace coordinator Carl Bildt renewed criticism of Serbia's leadership Monday after talks with Russian officials, Itar-Tass said.

The actions of Serbia's leadership have become "a source of serious unease in the international community," the news agency quoted Bildt as saying after talks in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov.

Russia has traditional ties with its fellow Orthodox Christian Slavs in Serbia.