World

Defeated rivals were rushing to endorse incumbent Jacques Chirac in France's May 5 runoff election for president. He will oppose ultrarightist Jean-Marie Le Pen of the anti-immigration National Front, who swept past the expected No. 2 finisher, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. Jospin (above, addressing supporters after the polls closed) announced his retirement from politics. Anti-Le Pen demonstrations across France were continuing into Monday, some of them broken up by police using tear gas. (Story, page 7; editorial, page 8.)

Palestinians in the West Bank returned to shops and schools after Israeli troops ended "the current phase" of their counter-terrorism operation. But much of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority lay in ruins. In Bethlehem, the siege of the Church of the Nativity remained in place, with conditions inside reported steadily worsening. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the mission had yielded "very tangible results" but that "the struggle will continue by other means." (Related stories, pages 1, 6.)

The trial of Muslim militants for the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl resumed in Pakistan, with a prosecution witness testifying that he saw defendant Ahmed Omar Saeed and the victim together in a car on the day Pearl disappeared. But Omar and his codefendants pleaded not guilty to the government's charges. And a lawyer for Omar said his client did not accept the court's authority and was demanding a trial under Islamic law.

Two Muslim guerrillas were in custody and police said they expected to arrest others in the southern Philippines after another terrorism bomb exploded – the fourth there in two days. The blast, which went off shortly before President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was to meet with a local mayor, injured no one. An angry Arroyo, who had gone to inspect the damage from Sunday's explosions, declared a state of emergency.

The third-place finish by his party in a key state election Sunday was "a bitter defeat," German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder conceded. But he blamed it on unique local issues that he predicted wouldn't have a lasting impact. Schröder's Social Democrats were ousted from power in economically depressed Saxony-Anhalt in the final state election before the Sept. 22 national vote.

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