A defiant Marwan Barghuti was ordered to return to an Israeli court Sept. 5 for the second session of his trial on murder and terrorism charges. Guards twice took the Palestinian militant, the leader of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, out of the courtroom for making political speeches. His trial is the first of a prominent Palestinian in almost two years of renewed violence between the two sides. Critics warned that the case could backfire against Israel, with Barghuti's lawyers using an international spotlight to portray their client as the victim of a politically motivated effort to discredit the Palestinian Authority.
"When they stop attacks against our civilians, then we will not touch their civilians," Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin told journalists in rejecting a bid to unite Palestinian factions around a proposal to end human bombings and other assaults inside Israel. The idea, pushed by the Palestinian Authority as a possible goad to bring Israel back into peace negotiations, also was rejected by Islamic Jihad.
A new round of family reunions, sports exchanges, and discussions on economic issues were agreed to by North and South Korean negotiators as they wound up three days of talks in Seoul. But they failed to achieve the South's No. 1 goal: setting a date to discuss resumption of rail service across the Demilitarized Zone. The rivals are scheduled for three more sets of talks over the next month on such matters as tourism and flood-prevention measures.
The last governor of East Timor was found guilty of gross rights violations and sentenced to three years in prison for his role in atrocities linked to the territory's 1999 referendum on independence from Indonesia. The verdict was the first in a series of war-crimes trials of Indonesians or their agents allegedly involved in the violence. Defendant Abilio Soares maintained he was unable to control gangs of militiamen who killed hundreds of Timorese.
Rays of sunlight broke through the clouds in Prague after days of heavy rain that caused the worst flooding on record in the Czech Republic's capital. The Vltava River was expected to crest Wednesday, but more than 200,000 people were unable to return to their evacuated homes until further notice. The Czech government appealed for emergency aid, especially medicines and equipment to speed the drying process. Also hard-hit were parts of Germany and Austria as the casualty count across Europe rose to 94 deaths.