World

Arab reaction to Tuesday night's congressional election outcome in the US was glum and appeared grounded in the belief that President Bush will have a free hand to attack Iraq and offer greater support to Israel against the Palestinians than before. A former senior Jordanian government minister told journalists that only protest groups in the US now stand between Bush and "an unjust war against Iraq." The chief of Egypt's Council on Foreign Relations said, "We are dealing with a power that has no limit" in its policy toward the Middle East. A European Union official predicted new difficulty in trans- atlantic relations because "we have many issues on the table which could be complicated ... with a Republican president and Congress." A leading Russian analyst foresaw "no reason for change" in relations with the US. China's official news media issued no immediate commentary on the election outcome.

The final revision of the US draft resolution on disarming Iraq was presented to the UN Security Council, with the Baghdad government urging that it be rejected. The measure, on which the US hoped for a vote by week's end, offers Iraq "a final opportunity" to comply with disarmament obligations, but declares that Saddam Hussein's regime "has been and remains in material breach" of them. It was not clear whether France, Russia, or China would exercise their right to veto the resolution. A senior Russian official said his government remains opposed to any wording that would give the US a free hand to attack Iraq.

If the national election called by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were held today, his Likud movement would increase its seats in parliament by 14, while the opposition Labor Party would lose seven, results of a new opinion poll showed. The survey was released as Sharon's rival for Likud leadership, Benjamin Netanyahu, took his oath of office as foreign minister in the caretaker government that will serve until the election in January.

All but four of the 22 people aboard a twin turboprop passenger plane died when it crashed in thick fog as it was about to land at Luxembourg's international airport. The survivors were in critical condition in hospitals. The accident on a flight from Berlin was the first in the 40-year history of Luxair, a carrier jointly owned by the Luxembourg government and the German airline Lufthansa.

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