World

Saying "everything" will be a challenge, retired US Lt. Gen. Jay Garner arrived in Iraq's capital to begin supervising postwar reconstruction. But as he did, the leader of the long-exiled Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi, told the BBC he believes Saddam Hussein remains alive and in hiding. Two more senior members of Hussein's regime - one of them his son-in-law - were arrested, however.

A corrected version of North Korea's official statement on reprocessing nuclear fuel appeared on a government website two days before discussions on the issue are expected to open with the US. In English, the statement was changed from "successfully reprocessing" to "successfully going forward to reprocess" thousands of fuel rods. The initial translation last weekend caused international alarm because of the possibility that it could cause the US to pull out of the talks in Beijing, sponsored by China's government.

No extension of Wednesday's deadline for forming a new Palestinian Cabinet will be granted, aides to Yasser Arafat said as he and Prime Minister-designate Mahmoud Abbas remained deadlocked over who was to take charge of security. Mediators were trying to broker a compromise, although it wasn't clear whether they'd succeed in time to convene the Legislative Council to OK Abbas's Cabinet choices. Abbas has threatened to quit over the issue, a move that analysts say would be a major setback for political reform, since no other Palestinian has his stature.

Amid accusations of vote-rigging, incumbent Olusegun Obasanjo pulled into a commanding lead in Nigeria's presidential election. He had trailed Muhamadu Buhari, the strongest of 19 challengers, on the basis of early returns Sunday. Buhari, who warned of unspecified "mass action" in case of fraud, planned to meet by Wednesday with his advisers on what to do next. The nation's election commission said it was satisfied the vote had not been rigged but promised to cancel results in any areas where fraud was proved.

Suspicion fell on ethnic Hmong rebels for an attack on a bus carrying vacationers to a resort in northern Laos Sunday. Reports said at least 12 and perhaps as many as 32 passengers were shot to death, with 30 others wounded. Robbery did not appear to be a motive. The attack was the second of its type in the area in three months, and analysts said it appeared aimed at embarrassing the communist regime, which had announced that travel there was again safe.

The condition of hard-line President Gaidar Aliev of Azerbaijan was in question after he collapsed twice during a speech at a military academy. Aliev, who has a history of health problems, is a candidate for reelection in October, although thousands of protesters gathered in the capital, Baku, last month demanding that he resign.

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