UN Security Council member France was insisting on still more "adjustments" to the final draft resolution on Iraq submitted by the US, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he doubted a vote on the matter could be held before Monday. Differences remained centered on language in the text that French and Russian diplomats said they worried still contained "hidden triggers" for automatic military action against Iraq without the UN's consent.
A sentence of death for insulting the prophet Muhamad was issued against a leading Iranian university professor and advocate of political reform. Hashem Aghajari, who was found guilty of questioning the hard-line clergy's interpretation of Islam as well, was also ordered to be lashed 74 times, among other punishments. Multiple sentences often are issued by Iranian courts to make a special example of the accused. Aghajari's lawyer hoped for the sentences to be overturned by Iran's Supreme Court. Aghajari, who lost a leg in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, is a political ally of President Mohamad Khatami.
A minivan owner on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali admitted to taking part in the Oct. 12 terrorist bombings there that killed almost 200 people, police said. Based on his admissions, "we are pursuing his companions," national police commander Dai Bachtiar said. Indonesian TV news reports also cited a link between the suspect and radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakr Bashir, also in police custody but not yet questioned in connection with the attack because he complains of illness. Above, a police official displays a newly released artist's sketch of another suspect in the bombing.
Over the protests of President Alvaro Uribe's government, a court in Colombia ordered notorious narcotics trafficker Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela freed from prison. The court ruled he had exhibited good behavior and there was no legal reason he should continue to be held. The order did not apply to his brother, Miguel. Both were leaders of the Calí cocaine cartel. Last Sunday, Uribe blocked the court's initial move to free both brothers, and his aides were searching for grounds to keep Gilberto behind bars as the new order was issued.
The first program in a controversial series based on anti-Semitic writings appeared on Egyptian state TV, despite appeals by the US and Israel to keep it off the air at a time when the Cairo government "is working to promote peace" in the Middle East. The plot of "Knight Without a Horse" is drawn from "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," an early 20th century tract that claims a secret plot by Jewish rabbis for world domination. A clause in the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty prohibits "incitement," but a government spokesman in Cairo called "prejudging a work of art ... a kind of intellectual and emotional terrorism."