World

Despite reports that a pause of perhaps weeks had been ordered in the US advance toward Iraq's capital, commanding Gen. Tommy Franks insisted the invasion remains "on plan," adding: "One never knows how long a war will take." Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the BBC, "We can afford to take our time and set the conditions on the battlefield." Franks denied that he was overruled by the Pentagon leadership in seeking a stronger invasion force.

In related developments:

• Antiwar protesters on every continent vented their disapproval of the fighting in Iraq over the weekend. The largest demonstration appeared to be in Morocco's capital, Rabat, where an estimated 220,000 people turned out. In Stuttgart, Germany, a 31-mile-long "human chain" surrounded the US European Command headquarters. In Paris, protesters beat a couple who objected to portraits of Saddam Hussein being carried by marchers.

• But antiwar protests in Britain were attracting only small handfuls of people compared to the huge rallies of earlier weeks. And in the Canadian cities of Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Calgary, demonstrators held the first reported rallies in support of the US war effort and expressing shame at their government's decision to sit it out.

• Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, described as disappointed and resentful at his critics in the Bush administration, announced he will leave his post at the end of June.

A Palestinian terrorist killed himself and injured at least 30 other people in a crowded mall in the Israeli Mediterranean city of Netanya. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it "a gift" to the people of Iraq. Israel's government called on new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to assert his authority over terrorist groups and make the incident "the last perpetrated by the Palestinians."

For the first time, North Korea's communist government will offer 10-year bonds, official news media announced. The move is aimed at ensuring "a modernized economy." At the same time, the Pyongyang government said it had learned from Iraq's experience never to submit again to international inspections of its nuclear facilities or to agree to disarm.

The physician credited with identifying the so-called Asian mystery illness died of it Saturday in Thailand. His passing brought to at least 57 the number of fatalities around the world from SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Meanwhile, health officials in Hong Kong reported 60 new cases, and in Toronto a second hospital was closed to new patients as the number of persons suspected of having the disease rose to more than 20.

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