World

No vote by the Turkish parliament on whether to allow US troops to use that country as a staging base for war with Iraq will be held until early next week, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis said. But he left open the possibility that a decision in principle might come sooner. Earlier, in Washington, Secretary of State Powell said that as a result of intense discussions with Turkish officials on billions of dollars in US aid he expected a reply by late Thursday.

The UN will ask Iraq's regime to destroy the missiles found by weapons inspectors to have a greater than allowable range, reports said. But it was unclear how Saddam Hussein, who was conferring with his senior military leaders, would respond. The meeting, Iraq's official news agency said, was called to discuss "the preparations of our brave armed forces" against the "US threats of aggression."

With Secretary Powell due in the region this weekend, North Korea sent a warplane into South Korean airspace. But the intrusion, reportedly the first of its type in 20 years, was brief, and the plane returned home as South Korean jets were scrambled to confront it. The Pyongyang government also asked the summit of nonaligned nations in Malaysia to blame the US for the tensions over its resumed nuclear program. The request appeared unlikely to be met.

At gunpoint, secret police arrested one of the organizers of the two-month national strike in Venezuela as he dined in a Caracas restaurant. The incident triggered an angry protest in the streets by hundreds of demonstrators, and a second strike leader, ordered by a court to surrender on treason charges, refused to comply. The court order came as the remains of four people who were shot, execution-style, on leaving a rally against President Hugo Chávez last Saturday night were found on the city's outskirts.

Veteran mountain-climbers were enlisted to help recover the remains of 302 men who died when their military transport plane crashed in southeastern Iran late Wednesday. The accident was the worst in Iranian aviation history. The Russian-built plane was carrying elite Revolutionary Guard troops to a site that supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was scheduled to visit Friday.

A runoff was scheduled for early next month in Armenia after incumbent President Robert Kocharian failed to win a majority of votes for a new term in Wednesday's election. He took 49.8 percent of the ballots, to 27.7 percent for his closest challenger. But international monitors said the vote was flawed, and opposition parties refused to recognize the results.

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