World

Militant Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti is to be charged with murder Wednesday in an Israeli court, Justice Ministry officials said. Barghuti, who has been in jail since his arrest in April, is accused of orchestrating attacks that have killed dozens of Israelis. He is a hero to many Palestinians, who see him as second only to Yasser Arafat in stature. But in a legal setback, Israel's Supreme Court blocked – at least temporarily – the deportation to the Gaza Strip of relatives of two Palestinian terror suspects from the West Bank. A military court OK'd their expulsion Monday.

A 45-minute gunfight in the largest refugee camp in Lebanon killed two men, wounded nine others, and caused heavy property damage. The Ain el-Hilweh camp, near Sidon, is a stronghold of Arafat's Fatah organization and is home to about 75,000 Palestinians as well as a hiding place for radical Islamic militants wanted by the government. But tensions between the two groups have been growing for the past month. Above, a Fatah member looks for a target.

An ultimatum to resign within two weeks or face impeachment was OK'd by voice vote in Nigeria's lower house of parliament against President Olusegun Obasanjo. The decision, in an emergency session, came on grounds of corruption and incompetence in the president's office. It was reached despite Obasanjo's order earlier in the day for an unprecedented investigation of corruption in his administration and in the judiciary.

Another 3 percent drop in the value of the Brazilian real followed the decision by Moody's Investors Service Monday to downgrade the nation's debt rating. The real now has lost almost one-third of its value since Jan. 1, mainly on concerns that a leftist may be elected president in October. Last week, Brazil won a $30 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, but its debt is more than eight times that high and a $1.35 billion payment is due tomorrow.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for an ambush by suspected separatist guerrillas in northeast India that killed at least 15 people and critically wounded 25 others. The attack in the state of Meghalaya targeted villagers riding a truck to market. India observes its Independence Day Thursday, and militant groups in that region have demanded that residents boycott all celebrations.

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