New weight for the US argument that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein must be ousted was supplied by a leading defense "think tank." The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London said in a report that with enough fissile material from foreign sources, Iraq could build a nuclear bomb in a matter of months. It said the Baghdad government's arsenal already includes missiles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. Iraq again denied it has resumed activity at previously inspected nuclear sites.Skip to next paragraph
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Israel, Hamas, and even an aide to Yasser Arafat heaped scorn on his highest-profile public appearance in months. In a speech to the Palestinian parliament, Arafat said, "After 50 years of struggle and bloody suffering, enough is enough," adding that he condemns "every act of terror against Israeli civilians." But senior Israeli officials blasted the speech for its failure to call explicitly for an end to such attacks. Hamas said it hadn't lived up the expectations of Palestinians. And the acting chief of the Fatah movement in the West Bank called on parliament to reject Arafat's new cabinet, via a no-confidence vote, for "trying to prevent the Palestinian people struggling against the [Israeli] occupation."
Five Muslim militants were arrested in Pakistan for what police said was a plot to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf. All are members of an outlawed radical organization. They failed in their mission only because Musharraf showed up hours late for a public ceremony April 27, investigators said. The arrests came as Musharraf, who has incurred anger in Pakistan for allying with American counterterrorism efforts, was in the US.
Rescue helicopters were driven off by communist rebel gunfire on a mission to pick up wounded soldiers and police in the second massacre at a Nepal security outpost in two days. At least 57 people died in the midnight attack; dozens more were wounded. Two policemen and the highest-ranking civilian government official in the region were reported kidnapped. The rebels, emboldened by the expiration of a state of emergency last month, are fighting to topple Nepal's monarchy.
A new national election appeared likely in Austria after four senior members of the government resigned. The four, all from Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel's conservative coalition partner, the Freedom Party, quit over an internal power-struggle between ultrarightist Jörg Haider and Schuüssel's deputy, Susanne Riess-Passer. Analysts called the flap a victory for the controversial Haider, whose political record is often overshadowed by comments he once made defending the Nazi era in neighboring Germany.