Despite intensive discussions on compromise, the proposed new UN resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq may not even be submitted to the Security Council for a vote, Spain's foreign minister said. Ana Palacio said her government, Britain, and the US were considering such a move because of the "absolute and emphatic affirmation by France of a veto." The US has insisted it would be put to a vote this week despite strong opposition. Meanwhile, to try to enhance prospects for passage, Britain was proposing six new conditions Iraq would have to meet to avoid war.
Pro-Western Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic of Serbia died of his wounds after being shot, apparently by a sniper, outside the main government building in Belgrade. Two people were arrested in connection with the shooting, and police were conducting a manhunt for other suspects. Late last month, Djindjic narrowly escaped another apparent assassination attempt when a heavy truck swerved into the path of his motorcade.
Recurring reports that Osama bin Laden has been arrested in Pakistan were denied as "absolutely baseless" by the Islamabad government. In Washington, the State Department said it had no information to that effect. The report was heard first on Iranian Radio, which said the Al Qaeda leader was in the custody of Pakistan's secret service and US troops. A Pakistani political party also said bin Laden had been caught but that the news wouldn't be announced officially until war in Iraq began. A Fox News program Tuesday night said US and allied forces had narrowed the search for bin Laden to a 25-square-mile area.
Hopes that a new vote on basing US troops in Turkey rose as ruling party leader and newly elected member of parliament Recep Tayyip Erdogan was named prime minister. Reports from Ankara, the capital, said he worked late into the night Tuesday on the makeup of a new Cabinet, although with no hint that he'd replace ministers who oppose the basing of US forces there for war with Iraq. Earlier this month, a plan to admit 62,000 US troops in exchange for billions of dollars in aid fell just short of passage.
Tens of millions of Chinese will be included as the government extends its "safety net" to the jobless and the poor, Labor Minister Zhang Zuoji promised. He said the unemployment picture is "grim" and that "We have failed to cover all the people who should be covered" in pension programs and with medical insurance. The situation was dramatized by the surrender to police Tuesday of an unemployed man claiming to have a bomb who forced his way into the Beijing office of Reuters news agency demanding that it cover his plight.