No new UN resolution that sets conditions for weapons inspectors will be acceptable, Iraq's leadership announced. The Baghdad government said Saturday it would in no way comply with any terms other than those previously agreed to with Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Analysts said the statement suggests that Iraq's offer last week to readmit UN inspectors would be rescinded if the Security Council approves a new resolution demanded by President Bush.
Mass protests by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip against Israel's latest siege of Yasser Arafat appeared smaller than those called for by their senior leaders. Despite being showered with debris as Israeli forces toppled more of his compound in Ramallah, Arafat was refusing to hand over 50 suspected militants Israel believes are with him.
Rebel soldiers were calling for negotiations with the government of Ivory Coast to try to avert an all-out battle for control of its No. 2 city, Bouake. Already, fighting that began with a mutiny last Thursday has killed 270 people, and the government's forces were massing for an assault on the city. President Laurent Gbagbo offered to hear the complaints of dissident soldiers who rebelled as they were about to be demobilized. But he insisted they surrender their weapons first. The rebels were being cheered by angry civilians who claim government police burned down their houses in a search for the mutineers.
A deadline of next Jan. 18 was set by the leading Protestant political party of Northern Ireland for pulling out of its power-sharing government with Catholics unless the Irish Republican Army demonstrates that it has renounced violence. The ultimatum by the Ulster Unionist Party was seen as the price its leader and the power-sharing administration's first minister David Trimble had to pay to avert an internal vote that could have forced him out as chief.
Prospects for joining NATO and the European Union improved for formerly communist Slovakia after voters put centrist and rightist political parties in position to form a coalition government. Hard-line nationalist former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar and his HZDS Party finished first in Friday's and Saturday's national election, but all potential coalition partners have rejected his overtures to join in forming a government.