World

World attention focused on whether Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri would summon the will to stand up to terrorism in her own country after last weekend's car-bomb attacks on Bali that killed at least 183 people and hurt hundreds of others. Critics noted that the leader of the world's most populous Muslim nation has long ignored calls to tackle the problem, However, key members of parliament said her government had consulted with them about drafting an emergency antiterrorism decree under pressure from neighboring Singapore, Australia, US business interests, and others.

Iraqis were under pressure to give Saddam Hussein a 100 percent "yes" vote in a referendum on whether he should have a new seven-year term as their leader. And, at key polling places in and near the capital, Baghdad, voters were telling foreign journalists that their ballots should be interpreted as a signal of defiance against US and British efforts at regime change. Many ignored curtained booths in order to drop completed ballots openly into collection boxes. In the last such referendum, in 1995, Hussein won 99.96 percent of the votes.

An intense gunbattle appeared to have won back the cocoa-industry city of Daloa for troops loyal to Ivory Coast's government – their most significant victory in weeks against dissident soldiers. The rebels had captured Daloa on Sunday. In Abidjan, the nation's commercial capital, mediators said they hoped to meet later in the day with insurgent representatives to discuss signing a truce with the government. But other reports said the rebels were accusing the government of importing Angolan troops to help fight them and would not participate in further mediation efforts until the Angolans left.

An official protest was expected by Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica against last weekend's runoff election to head the new government of Serbia, even though the voting was formally annulled because too few people participated. Electoral Commission officials put the turnout at 45.4 percent and said "the entire procedure has to be repeated" by Dec. 5. But Kostunica's Democratic Party maintained that its calculations showed enough participation to make the election valid and announced it would claim victory.

Fresh from his acceptance of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, ex-President Carter led a team of 59 monitors to Jamaica to help supervise today's violence-wracked national election. The outcome is expected to be close between the People's National Party of Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and the opposition Labor Party of his predecessor, Edward Seaga. Police said election-related violence has killed 17 people since campaigning began in July, and a fight that broke out at a Patterson rally on Sunday resulted in at least 27 injuries.

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