In solemn ceremonies on every continent, government, political, and religious leaders as well as ordinary people commemorated the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US. The first condolences marking the occasion came from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pope John Paul II said that nothing could justify "such an aberration," but he also asked God's forgiveness for the attackers. In London, a rose petal was dropped from the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral for each person who died in the assaults. Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were on guard against a repeat of the widely condemned street celebrations of a year ago.Skip to next paragraph
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In a major new blow to the prestige of Yasser Arafat, his entire 21-member cabinet resigned rather than face almost certain defeat in a no-confidence vote by the Palestinian Legislative Council, or parliament. An aide said a new slate would be submitted "in the next 14 days." Some legislative counclors had warned that they viewed his leadership shakeup, announced in June, as not going far enough toward achieving the reforms he promised under international pressure.
In the biggest one-day exodus of asylum-seekers so far, 36 North Koreans left the foreign embassies in Beijing where they'd been holed up and headed for the airport. Most of the group were allowed to travel to South Korea via the Philippines or Singapore, with the rest going to another, unidentified country. The exodus brings to at least 70 the number of North Koreans who've successfully sought asylum since March, although the pattern is diplomatically embarrassing for both China and the Pyongyang government. But in almost every case, China has allowed the asylum-seekers to leave, despite a treaty requiring their repatriation to North Korea.
Tough new measures against Colombia's leftist insurgencies were announced by President Alvaro Uribe. Among them: making arrests, holding suspects in jail, the interception of communications, and searches conducted by police all without warrants and implementation of special zones in which travel is restricted. Until now, Uribe had used his emergency powers only to impose a tax on the wealthy to pay for the counterinsurgency campaign.
His outspoken opposition to US military intervention in Iraq has pulled German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder into a tie with his challenger as time winds down toward the Sept. 22 election, a new survey found. Schröder, who's seeking reelection, and conservative Christian Democrat Edmund Stoiber both would win 38 percent of the vote, according to the poll by the RTL television network and Stern magazine. Stoiber has led in some polls for much of the summer.