World

A "foreigner" was arrested for his role in an abortive car-bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, that may have been directed at President Hamid Karzai. Other potential targets: senior officials in Karzai's administration or Western peace-keepers. The term "foreigner" in Afghanistan usually is taken to mean an Arab, Pakistani, or Chechen. The attack was foiled Monday when police inspected the suspect's car as it was stalled because of a minor traffic accident. An Afghan with him also was in custody; a third man reportedly fled the scene.

An offshoot of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement claimed responsibility for both a suicide bombing in Jerusalem and the deaths of two Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The bombing at a fast-food outlet favored by police officers was Jerusalem's first in six weeks. It killed only the attacker but hurt seven other people. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade said another of its operatives shot the settlers as they were making a fuel delivery in the Palestinian village of Jammain.

In a major blow to counterterrorism efforts in Britain, a special appeals commission ruled that the detention of nine foreign suspects arrested under emergency powers after Sept. 11 breaches the European Convention on Human Rights. The panel said the Antiterrorism, Crime, and Security Act rushed through Parliament is "unlawful," "discriminatory," and "disproportionate" since it allows the jailing only of foreign nationals when Britons, too, may have been involved with such terrorist movements as Al Qaeda. It wasn't clear whether the ruling would free the nine alleged terrorists, who are in a maximum-security prison in London.

Despite sagging opinion-poll ratings, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi survived his first no-confidence vote in parliament. The motion, brought by opposition leaders, was seen as largely symbolic and doomed to failure because his Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition has a majority in parliament's 480-seat lower house. Since Koizumi took office in April 2001, public approval of his performance has fallen by almost half from a high of 90 percent.

A new round of fence-mending talks was scheduled for this weekend between North and South Korean diplomats after the former agreed they should resume. None have been held since last November, but the North recently has expressed regret over a fatal clash at sea between their respective naval units and indicated its readiness for diplomatic meetings with the US. Secretary of State Powell was to decide whether to talk with the North's representatives after he arrives at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference in Brunei.

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