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As many as 14 people may have died in the bombing attack on a Baghdad neighborhood where intelligence reports suggested Saddam Hussein was meeting, cleanup crews said. It was not immediately clear whether the Iraqi leader was among the casualties. Elsewhere, US forces were consolidating their control over parts of the capital despite an Iraqi counterattack that resulted in heavy casualties. And the Financial Times reported that units of the US 4th Infantry Division finally were ordered into action from Kuwait to lead a major assault later this week on the city of Tikrit, Hussein's birthplace.

A chorus of condemnation from human rights groups and governments such as the US, Canada, and Sweden was directed at Cuba for the stiff prison sentences meted out to political dissidents. Terms ranging from 15 to 27 years were ordered for at least a dozen of the 80 defendants arrested for alleged collaboration with the US to undermine the island's communist system. The dissidents, who were rounded up while world attention was focused on Iraq, are being tried behind closed doors. Above, Blanca Reyes, wife of convicted defendant Raul Rivero, reacts to news of his 20-year sentence.

Strong opposition by China was keeping the UN Security Council from agreeing on a statement that would condemn North Korea for reviving its nuclear program. China, which has close ties to the communist regime in Pyongyang, argued in a meeting of the council's five permanent members that it has no business taking up the issue. The full council plans to open discussions Wednesday of North Korea's withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty - a subject that could lead to consideration of economic sanctions. The Pyongyang regime has said any such talk would be regarded as a "prelude to war."

Violence in ethnically troubled Aceh province was being called the worst since Muslim separatist rebels and the Indonesian government reached a peace accord four months ago. Reports said return fire from police and Army troops killed nine people after they were caught extorting cash from civilians. Meanwhile, 100 staffers from the Swiss organization that is monitoring the accord were ordered back to its capital, Banda Aceh, after mob attacks on their field offices threatened their safety.

The respiratory virus blamed for 103 deaths around the world has spread to two of the most densely populated sections of Hong Kong, officials there reported. Microbiologists warned that 80 percent of the ex-British colony could be affected within two years. In South Africa, a hospital reported the first apparent case of severe acute respiratory syndrome, bringing to 20 and 2,600 the number of countries affected and cases reported, respectively.

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