World

No apology will be forthcoming, North Korea's government said, for a battle at sea Saturday with South Korean patrol boats that killed four of the latter's sailors and wounded 19 others. Each side blamed the other for the incident, which analysts said appeared timed to undercut the South's pride in successfully staging much of the World Cup soccer tournament and making its own run at the championship. The two sides dispute the maritime boundary that was drawn in the aftermath of the 1950-53 Korean war, and the South claims that the North repeatedly violates it.

A bomb exploded under an Israeli passenger train, causing four injuries and damage to a carriage. Such attacks are rare, since most bombings have targeted buses, and police said they weren't yet ready to blame this one on Palestinians. Meanwhile, the army was dismantling 10 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, with 10 more to follow within days, on grounds that they were built illegally and are difficult to protect.

Pope John Paul II asked for the prayers of Roman Catholics to help him find the "spiritual strength" and "intimate comfort" to remain in office despite growing concerns about his health. The pontiff sought to end months of speculation that the effects of various illnesses would lead him to retire, saying, "With God, I will end a martyr."

In a move apparently aimed at prolonging his presidency beyond constitutional limits, Kenya's Daniel arap Moi said he supported an extension of Parliament until it finishes drafting a new national charter. Moi, who has ruled for 24 years, seemed to contradict his own assertion last month that it was time to retire and an election to succeed him should take place on schedule later this year. The constitutional conference already has said it won't finish its work on time, and Moi's KANU Party has proposed extending the deadline until mid-May 2003.

Two years after being denied a run for the presidency, Ivory Coast's opposition leader was granted citizenship. But the recognition of ex-Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara still triggered protests in the capital, Abidjan, Saturday by supporters of his political opponents. Despite his efforts to prove Ivorian nationality in 2000, Ouattara was barred from campaigning on grounds that he'd been born in neighboring Burkina Faso.

Before a global TV audience, Brazil won a record fifth World Cup championship, defeating Germany 2-0. Both goals were scored in the second half by superstar striker Ronaldo. The game was played in Yokohama, Japan.

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