World

Yasser Arafat was in China on the last leg of a tour aimed at gathering non-Arab support for the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian Authority president chided Arab leaders for offering little more than a call for the US to stop supplying Israel with offensive weapons. Meanwhile, Israeli helicopters failed for the second day in a row to kill their intended targets in rocket attacks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Above, police in Nablus remove items from a car involved in the latest strike.

Lawyers for former hard-line Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic were promised a ruling by next Friday on whether he should be freed by the UN war-crimes tribunal in The Hague. The case is being considered by an appeals court in the Nethelands. Milosevic, who argues that the tribunal is illegitimate, refused to enter a plea at his arraignment seven weeks ago for alleged atrocities in Kosovo in 1999. (Related story, page 1.)

Only the OK of President Andres Pastrana stood in the way of notorious Colombian narcotics suspect Fabio Ochoa's extradition to the US after the nation's Supreme Court ruled against him. Ochoa, an associate of the late cocaine boss Pablo Escobar, is wanted on charges of smuggling 30 tons of the drug with a value of $5 billion. His handover would be the 16th since the US and Colombia reinstated their extradition treaty in 1997.

Defying a ban on protests, tens of thousands of opposition activists in Sri Lanka swarmed the capital, Colombo, demanding that the suspended parliament be reconvened. The rally came as the United National Party agreed to discuss sharing power with Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake's minority government, but gave him 24 hours to convene talks. Parliament was suspended July 10 by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to avoid defeat in a no-confidence vote.

The president who has led civil war-torn Angola since 1979 announced he won't seek another term in national elections promised for next year. But José Eduardo dos Santos appeared to hedge on the time-table, saying the vote couldn't be held as long as UNITA rebels continue to fight. The war has resulted in an estimated half-million deaths and left as many as 4 million people homeless.

A surprise nominee to succeed President Frederick Chiluba in October was announced by Zambia's ruling party. Levy Mwanawasa, who quit as vice president in 1994 because his powers had been marginalized, will represent the Movement for Multiparty Democracy. Chiluba toyed with rewriting the Constitution to allow a third five-year term, but abandoned the effort in May under heavy pressure.

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