World

The Turkish lira lost 5 percent of its value and the stock market closed down 12.5 percent Monday as worry mounted that parliament's rejection of a deal to admit US troops for war with Iraq could cost the struggling economy a multibillion-dollar aid package. Prime Minister Abdullah Gul refused to say whether the proposal would be resubmitted to the legislators, but analysts suggested it would, although perhaps not until after this weekend's important by-election and possibly not until after Turkey sees how the UN Security Council votes on the proposed resolution that would declare Iraq in material breach of its obligation to disarm.

A founder of Hamas and three of his sons were in Israeli custody after a raid on the Gaza Strip settlement in which they lived. Another Hamas member died in the raid, which angry witnesses said was carried out by undercover Israeli troops using vehicles that resembled local taxis. It was the latest move in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's campaign to cripple the extremist organization, which has led a wave of bombings against Israelis in the 29-month-old intifada.

More than 2,000 advisers to China's National People's Congress opened their annual meeting in Beijing, the forerunner to a session later this week in which a new slate of leaders will be confirmed. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the nation's presidency is expected to pass from Jiang Zemin to his younger deputy, Hu Jintao (r.). The advisers have no power, but their consultative conference gives the nation's leaders a sense of the most pressing concerns out in the provinces.

A conference widely seen as the last chance for long-term sectarian peace in Northern Ireland opened near Belfast, with Catholic leaders saying, "We are here to do a deal." The conference, given added luster by the presence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Republic of Ireland counterpart, Bertie Ahern, was convening amid new hopes that the Irish Republican Army finally was ready to offer full disarmament. But a senior leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political ally, cautioned that Protestant demands for a public surrender of weapons were "unrealistic."

Nineteen alleged terrorists went on trial in Greece for acts of violence dating back to the mid-1970s. All are believed to be members of November 17, the militant organization blamed for 23 murders, more than 100 bombings, and numerous armed robberies. Among their victims were US, British, and Turkish diplomats or military attaches, senior judges, leading politicians, and business executives. The trial is expected to last for months.

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