World

Israeli leaders were gathering to decide on a response to the latest wave of Palestinian militant attacks, which have killed seven people since last Thursday and, for the first time, destroyed an Army tank. Three other attacks were avoided when would-be suicide bombers were caught before they could act. But it appeared unlikely that Israel's policy of not targeting Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would change.

President Bush faces an uncertain welcome today in South Korea's capital, Seoul, after a spate of protests against his terming rival North Korea part of an "axis of evil." Intense security measures are in place amid the takeover of the American Chamber of Commerce by radical leftists. And President Kim Dae Jung rebuked a member of his ruling Millennium Democratic Party for calling Bush "evil incarnate" and accusing him of wishing to make the division of Korea permanent. (Related stories, pages 1, 8.)

Sanctions against the government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe by the European Union appeared certain after a weekend in which its chief elections observer was expelled and hundreds of Mugabe supporters attacked the offices of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Meanwhile, the state security chief was named to lead a task force charged with distributing emergency corn imports, prompting worries that food would be used as a tool to help ensure Mugabe's reelection in next month's voting.

The leader of the armed coup that overthrew Fiji's government two years ago escaped execution despite confessing to treason. In a surprise move on Day 1 of his trial, George Speight cut short the proceedings by declaring, "I am guilty." But his death sentence was quickly commuted to life imprisonment by President Josefa Iloilo. Speight pleaded guilty in the hope of reducing the charges against 10 codefendants, his lawyer said. Above, Speight (l.) is led from the court.

For the second week in a row, the controversial president of Venezuela heard a dissident military officer demand that he resign so the nation could have "a truly democratic system." Vice Adm. Carlos Molina Tamayo, the highest-ranking officer to speak out so far, accused Hugo Chávez of trying to turn the nation into a "left-wing tyranny" in violation of the Constitution.

Scuffling broke out in Parliament as angry opposition legislators demanded that the government of Nepal resign for failing to prevent last weekend's attack by communist rebels. The incident came as Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba asked for a three-month extension of a state of emergency because of the rebels. But his government was accused of ignoring warnings that the attack was coming. The rebels killed 137 people in their most successful assault to date in the six-year insurgency.

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