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President Bush was not expected to use the "axis of evil" characterization in discussing communist North Korea today as he addresses US troops patrolling the Demilitarized Zone on the divided peninsula. On the second leg of his Asian tour, his tough rhetoric has worried South Korean backers of reconciliation with the North and triggered anti-American protests by leftists. But in a counterdemonstration, about 1,000 people rallied outside US military headquarters in Seoul, to show their support (l.) for Bush's policies. (Story, page 1.)

The last of a team of would-be elections monitors were leaving Zimbabwe after being ordered home by the European Union. The move followed a vote by the EU to impose sanctions against President Robert Mugabe for refusing to allow the monitors free access to the March 9-10 voting process, which is expected to be the stiffest challenge of his political career. So far, the EU pullout leaves fewer than 30 monitors, most of them from neighboring South Africa.

Only a pardon by new President Alejandro Toledo seemed likely to keep American Lori Berenson from completing her 20- year sentence in a Peruvian prison for collaborating with leftist rebels in the mid-1990s. Peru's Supreme Court upheld the sentence Monday, closing off all other avenues of appeal. Toledo's office did not immediately react to the ruling. Berenson considers herself a political prisoner, arguing that her concern for social justice was mistaken for a terrorist agenda.

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To the dismay of democracy activists, the widely unpopular chief executive of Hong Kong appeared certain to win a second five-year term. Tung Chee-hwa filed nomination papers with the signatures of at least 702 of the 800 people who will have votes in the territory's unusual election process Feb. 28. Since a candidate needs 100 signatures to be nominated, it was mathematically impossible for a rival to challenge Tung.

Hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters were back in the streets of Madagascar's capital after their candidate for president and incumbent Didier Ratsiraka were unable to bridge their differences over the outcome of the Dec. 16 first round of voting. A runoff is set for Sunday, but opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana has refused to participate, claiming he already won outright. He also warned that he'd seize power if his negotiations with Ratsiraka produced no agreement.

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