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A would-be Palestinian suicide bomber was in Israeli custody after an alert bus driver reported his suspicious behavior to police at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem. The incident occurred as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (above, r.) prepared to leave for Washington, where he was expected to press the Bush administration for the diplomatic isolation of Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat. That plea appeared likely to fail, as a senior State Department official said: "Our position is very clear ... we continue to work with [Arafat]."

In the latest escalation of the dispute over Kashmir, India's prime minister vowed rival Pakistan would never "get" the region. Atal Behari Vajpayee also said Indian troops deployed and on war alert in Kashmir would be withdrawn "once Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism." The troops, Vajpayee said, were in place "not for attacking Pakistan but to defend our own territory." On Tuesday, as Pakistan observed "Kashmir Solidarity Day," President Pervez Musharraf appealed for "certain influential countries" to resolve the dispute.

The kidnapers of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl are known, he is believed still alive, and "we are very close to resolving the case," a senior Pakistani police official said. But he refused to offer further details except to confirm the arrest of three relatives of Sheikh Omar Saeed, the leader of a recently outlawed Islamic extremist group linked to violence in Kashmir and Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime.

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Hundreds of women were taking the entrance exam to Afghan-istan's Kabul University, a privilege denied them during Taliban rule. The interim government's education minister said Kabul and other schools would offer extra afternoon and evening classes to accommodate female students. (Related story, page 7.)

Tributes and congratulations poured into Buckingham Palace on Queen Elizabeth II's 50th anniversary on the British throne. The queen was to mark the occasion with addresses to both houses of Parliament, a private dinner with other European monarchs, and a ceremony opening a cancer ward at a British hospital. She also posted a personal message on the royal website, expressing the hope that "this ... will not simply be an occasion to be nostalgic about the past."

Stolen signal cables were blamed for the crash of a passenger and a freight train near Durban, South Africa, that killed at least 22 people and injured 100 others, most of them seriously. An estimated 50 more were trapped in the wreckage. Authorities said the theft of cables, which contain copper wire that can be sold for scrap, is a chronic problem in the transit and communications sectors.

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