World

Pivotal reports to the UN Security Council on Iraqi disarmament are due to be offered Friday by chief weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamad ElBaradei. They're expected to cite examples of new Iraqi willingness to cooperate with their search teams and to seek more time for inspections, although the searchers have found a missile system with a range greater than is allowed under UN mandates. Before a meeting in Rome Thursday with Pope John Paul II, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz contended that the system is not a "serious violation."

There seemed to be no prospect of an early breakthrough in NATO wrangling over a US request that the alliance protect Turkey in the event of war with Iraq. The alliance was to hold its sixth emergency session in four days on the issue Thursday. Meanwhile, Turkey's prime minister appeared ready to postpone a vote in parliament, originally scheduled for Tuesday, on allowing US troops to use Turkish bases if there's war.

Appearing to confirm a report by the CIA that it has a missile capable of hitting the US West Coast, North Korea's foreign ministry said, "The attack can be taken to all" American military targets "wherever they are." North Korea's nuclear program was formally reported to the UN Security Council Wednesday by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a move the Pyongyang government angrily opposed. It has said any UN sanctions stemming from such a report would be grounds for war.

Fourteen people died and at least 100 others were hurt in Bolivia's capital, when protesters, joined by striking city police, fought with Army units. As the violence reached his residence, President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada escaped in an ambulance. The trouble began over a tax increase proposed by Sanchez de Lozada that would affect mainly the poor. He later rescinded the measure and pleaded for calm. Above, soldiers rest outside the vice presidential building.

Tensions never far from the surface in volatile southern Serbia flared anew as thousands of ethnic Albanians gathered to demand the release of neighbors arrested in a raid by police last weekend. The police, who are Serbs, found weapons caches in two Albanian towns along the dividing line with Kosovo. The Serbian government appealed for calm. But a few miles away in Kosovo, a late-night explosion destroyed a Serb-owned store in the second incident of its type in less than a week.

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