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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Kristen Broman-Worthington / October 23, 2002



"Much work" remains necessary before France can agree not to veto the new draft resolution on Iraq presented by the Bush administration to the UN Security Council Monday, senior officials of the Paris government said. In fact, President Jacques Chirac said, although French relations with the US "are good and will stay that way," they also are based on the notion that the latter is not "always right." The resolution would put Iraq on notice that it faces "serious consequences" unless it surrenders its weapons of mass destruction. An unidentified senior Russian official also called the draft "unacceptable."

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The amnesty granted to Iraqi prisoners on Sunday by Saddam Hussein also extends to all opponents of his government living in exile, a newspaper that speaks for him said. It called the amnesty "a great opportunity" for those people to return home "in dignity and peace."

An unscheduled fifth day of discussions between senior North and South Korean negotiators appeared likely because the former were resisting pressure to sign a joint statement denouncing nuclear weapons. The North's delegates were demanding a clause blaming the rise in tensions on the peninsula on "hostile" US policy toward the Pyongyang government.

For the first time in months, Israel did not retaliate quickly for a terrorist bombing, choosing instead to accuse the Palestinians of timing their latest attack for the new peace mission of special US envoy William Burns. Echoing the sentiment, Burns called Monday's bomb explosion that killed or hurt more than 60 Israelis aboard a bus a blow to the goal of Palestinian statehood. Israeli security sources said a response would come "at a time and place" that suit the Jewish state's interests.

The number of deaths from the Oct. 12 terrorist bomb explosions in Indonesia rose to 190, authorities said. The announcement came as President Megawati Sukarnoputri prepared to leave for a forum in Mexico on economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, at which she is expected to appeal for international help in combatting terrorism. Jemaah Islamiyah, a radical Muslim group suspected of possible involvement in the Bali explosions and of having ties to Al Qaeda, was expected to be listed as a terrorist movement by the US.

Four suspects were arrested and more than three tons of ammonium nitrate were seized by police trying to stem the rash of terrorist bombings in the Philippines. Also confiscated: a ton of potassium nitrate. Both are agricultural chemicals but can be adapted easily for use as explosives. They were being unloaded at dawn without a permit at a warehouse 70 miles from Manila when police arrived. Five bomb explosions have killed 21 people in the Philippines this month.

A search-and-rescue mission was under way in the Caspian Sea, where a ferry carrying 51 people and a cargo of oil sank in rough weather. The accident happened as the Mercury II was en route to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from a port in Kazakhstan.

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