Hope grew that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl had not been executed in Pakistan, as e-mail messages purportedly from his kidnapers claimed. An intensive search of cemeteries in Karachi failed to turn up Pearl's remains, and a youth in Lahore reportedly confessed to sending at least one of the e-mails as a hoax. But authorities said Pearl's kidnapers may have moved him from Karachi, where a manhunt continues, to an area known for harboring criminals. (Story, page 7; editorial, page 10.)
With interim President Eduardo Duhalde declaring in a speech to the nation that Argentina is "on the brink of anarchy," his government was to issue a new financial rescue plan as the Monitor went to press. The plan was undergoing revisions after the Supreme Court on Friday unanimously overturned a freeze on withdrawing cash from personal savings accounts, declaring it unconstitutional. Duhalde angrily accused the justices of blackmail and said despite their ruling, depositors shouldn't expect to see their savings any time soon. His speech sparked a protest in Buenos Aires by thousands of people, but they were largely peaceful.
Rival militias were trying to finalize a deal in northern Afghanistan that would confine their skirmishes to rural areas. About 50 men died in fighting that began last Wednesday when a governor appointed by interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai sent forces to the city of Gardez to prepare for his arrival. They were driven out, but fighting resumed Saturday. Another clash was reported in Mazar-e Sharif, intensifying calls for wider deployment of international peacekeepers. (Story, page 1.)
A sweeping new law controlling the news media in Zimbabwe will not be enforced for "quite some time" - and perhaps not at all, the official state newspaper said. The roundly condemned measure, passed late Thursday by Parliament, requires government licensing of journalists and limits foreign reporters to relatively brief visits approved in advance by the government. Critics say it is part of an effort by embattled President Robert Mugabe to stifle dissent as the March 9-10 national election nears.
New ethnic violence erupted in Nigeria's largest city, with early reports saying at least 21 people - and likely many more - were killed. The clashes between rival Hausa and Yoruba tribesmen came as Lagos, the commercial capital, was still reeling from last week's explosions and fire at an Army ammunition depot in which authorities now put the casualty count at more than 1,000 dead.
At least 35 people were killed and scores of buildings collapsed in central Turkey in an earthquake whose magnitude was measured at 6.0. More serious damage was avoided because the quake struck at 9 a.m. Sunday, when businesses are closed. Despite its tense government-to-government relations, neighboring Greece quickly offered to help with rescue efforts, as it did after an even more violent quake struck western Turkey three years ago.