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Senior Iraqi officials professed no reason for worry despite indications that a keenly anticipated report to the UN Security Council would say there is little new information in the required declaration on weapons programs. Meanwhile, in the second such incident so far, an inspections team was kept waiting for perhaps 20 minutes as it sought admission to a military guest house while an Army helicopter circled overhead.

Despite losing a Supreme Court ruling on control of the capital's police force, leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez tried a new move to short-circuit the almost three-week-old general strike against his rule. He issued a decree allowing seizure of any truck, boat, or plane that delivers fuel or food - commodities that the strike has caused shortages of. He also ordered inspections to determine whether businesses were hoarding such items. Above, Caracas police celebrate the court ruling.

With vote-counting all but complete, the protégé of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung claimed victory in his nation's critical election. Roh Moo-hyun won 49 percent of the votes, to 46.5 percent for opposition leader Lee Hoi-chang, who conceded defeat. Roh's victory appeared to have major implications for the US; he has pledged to seek a "more equal" relationship with Washington and supports Kim's policy of engaging rival North Korea in dialogue to resolve issues of mutual concern.

The second terrorist attack on peacekeepers in Afghanistan's capital this week killed one person and wounded two others. The casualties all appeared to be Afghans. Unknown attackers threw grenades at the entrance in Kabul of a base used by soldiers of the 22-nation force. The incident took place despite heightened security in Kabul after the first attack, which wounded two American soldiers and their interpreter Tuesday.

Dissident soldiers ousted regular Army units from the major city in Ivory Coast's coffee-growing region and vowed their next target would be Abidjan, the commercial capital. The fall of Man came one day after leaders of other west African countries agreed on plans to send 1,600 troops to Ivory Coast by Dec. 31 to try to end its civil war. The new force was to have been in place last month, but a dispute over who should command it stalled the plan.

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