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A bomb thrown by Protestant demonstrators exploded in Belfast, Northern Ireland, injuring four police officers guarding the entrance to a Catholic elementary school. Administrators inside said some of the arriving 4- to 11-year-old girls were "in a terrible state of panic" (above) as the anti-Catholic protests entered a third day. The attack also reversed a situation that had seemed calmer Tuesday, and angry Protestants said they'd continue harassing the pupils until Catholic attacks on their own nearby homes ended.

Rising opposition in parliament appeared to threaten passage of the peace plan between Macedonia's government and its ethnic-Albanian minority. Amid warnings that defeat in a critical ratification vote would throw peace efforts into chaos, backers of the deal were struggling to muster enough votes to keep it alive. Eighty votes were needed for passage. Balloting already was likely to take place a day later than expected as angry nationalist legislators railed against some of its terms. Meanwhile, government forces were accused by the group Human Rights Watch of torturing and murdering noncombatant Albanian villagers Aug. 12 in an offensive against insurgents.

Eight foreign aid workers being tried in Afghanistan for preaching Christianity may hire lawyers who are both foreign and non-Muslim, the ruling Taliban announced. But it said the trial was "going very fast" and the defendants would be hanged "if the crime is worthy of hanging." Western diplomats were denied access to the court after the Taliban had said they and journalists would be allowed to monitor the trial.

"For their personal safety," five senior staff members of the UN's oil-for-food program reportedly were already out of Iraq after being ordered to leave by the Baghdad government. The four Nigerians and a Bosnian had been given 72 hours to vacate because of "activities ... inconsistent with their assigned responsibilities," the Foreign Ministry said, although no details were provided. UN officials protested the expulsion as a violation of an international treaty covering agency workers.

Arson was suspected in a multimillion-dollar fire that wiped out the world-famous straw market and destroyed or damaged other key attractions in Nassau, capital of the tourism-dependent Bahamas. The blaze, which wasn't extinguished until late Tuesday, caused the evacuation of hundreds of hotel guests and could be seen from the decks of cruise ships in the harbor. No injuries were reported.

Sixteen months after the armed coup that toppled the government of Fiji, both its leader and the prime minister he ousted won seats in parliament. In an election aimed at restoring democracy to the Pacific island nation, George Speight was chosen for the legislature even though he is in jail awaiting trial for treason. And ex-Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry easily won one of the seats reserved for the ethnic-Indian minority, although indigenous Fijian parties were discussing ways to keep him from forming a new government.

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