World

A suicide bomber dressed as an Orthodox Jew killed himself and injured 20 Israelis outside a school in Jerusalem as he was cornered by police. The blast was the fifth in two days by Palestinian militants, the highest concentration of such attacks in 11 months of violence. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, in the city to try to promote a new truce, was booed and jeered by angry Israelis as he toured the scene.

The US went to extra lengths to deny a claim that it was leaving "a delegation" behind at the UN Conference on Racism despite Monday night's walkout in concert with Israel. A single US representative would stay, but only as an observer, a spokeswoman said. The move drew angry protests by critics of the US position (above), and no American allies appeared ready to join in the departure. From Washington, Secretary of State Powell recalled the US representatives "with regret" over "hateful language" in a draft resolution that would condemn Israel for "practices of racial discrimination" against Palestinians.

A crucial first vote on implementing last month's peace accord appeared imminent in Macedonia's parliament as the Monitor went to press. A grudging but favorable outcome was expected, with Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski urging legislators to "look reality in the eye" and keep the peace process moving rather than risk alienating its Western sponsors. But he left open the option of a later showdown over the new rights granted by the accord to Macedonia's ethnic-Albanian minority. A final vote is due this fall.

The hope of bringing the two Koreas back together appeared in tatters as the entire cabinet of the South's president resigned in protest at the firing of his unification minister by parliament. The moves leave President Kim Dae Jung's Millennium Democratic Party without a majority, because its coalition partner joined in voting to oust the minister for being too lenient toward North Korea's communist regime. But Kim said he'd continue his policy of engaging the North and was expected to appoint a new cabinet by week's end.

Protestant church leaders appealed for an end to the new violence in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as Catholics dodged rocks, bottles, and other weapons for a second day on their way to school. A policeman was reported hurt as he confronted angry Protestant demonstrators, bringing the casualties to 37 so far. The rioting is a resumption of tactics used by Protestants as the last academic year ended in June.

Forty thousand people are to be evacuated in the Philippines today as authorities drain a lake whose water levels threaten their communities. The lake - in the crater of the Mount Pinatubo volcano - has been rising during the rainy season, which doesn't end until next month. If it collapses the loose crater wall, experts say, mudslides 13 feet deep could cover villages up to 25 miles away.

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