World

Despite their small number, UN inspectors said they "are fully conscious of the responsibility" on their shoulders and have a confidential plan to search Iraq for evidence of weapons of mass destruction, beginning Wednesday. The effort is expected to start at a site checked in the 1990s, when the original inspections regime was under way. The team of 17 is scheduled to grow to 100 by year's end.

One by one, student organizers of the largest street protests in years in Iran were being arrested, reports said, despite the risk of triggering new unrest. Meanwhile, Iran's chief prosecutor warned that the death sentence against a popular professor - the rallying cry for the protests - will be ruled final unless he appeals it within 20 days. Hashem Aghajari has refused to contest the sentence for insulting Islam. Because of the rallies, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered that the sentence be "reconsidered."

Thousands of supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide jammed the streets of Haiti's capital and other key cities in an attempt to stem the growing public anger at his government's handling of the threadbare economy. In the provincial city of Gonaives, a radio station was firebombed and six people were wounded by gunfire from a pro-Aristide group. The Miami Herald quoted a former Haitian journalist as saying, "A civil war here is almost unavoidable."

The journalist whose newspaper column triggered a week of sectarian violence in Nigeria "should be killed," the government of her Muslim-dominated state decreed in a fatwa. More than 200 people died in clashes between Muslims and Christians in Zamfara State after Isioma Daniel wrote that the prophet Mohammad likely would have taken one of the contestants in the Miss World pageant as a wife. The pageant has been shifted to London. Daniel reportedly has fled to the US for her safety.

Ultrarightist leader Jörg Haider brought a new chorus of ridicule on himself in Austria by rescinding his retirement from politics within hours of announcing it. The governor of Carinthia Province said he'll remain in that post and keep his membership in the Freedom Party, despite its landslide defeat in Sunday's national election. He has broken four previous pledges to quit politics.

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