World

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon found himself in the unfamiliar position of defending the road map to peace with the Palestinians against angry criticism by his own political party. Likud members of parliament heckled him for Sunday's vote by his cabinet conditionally endorsing the peace plan. The vote was 12-7, with four abstentions. Sharon said continued Israeli rule over 3.5 million Palestinians is "bad for us and them." Israel's Foreign Ministry said Sharon and new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas are likely to hold a summit next week in Aqaba, Jordan, to discuss the plan.

Oil from Iraq will return to world markets early next month, officials there said, speculating that production by then would be about 1.5 million barrels a day. Iraqi crude has been under UN sanctions for the past 13 years, but the Security Council last week voted to end them. Still, the oil industry is in serious need of rebuilding due to its exploitation by the former Saddam Hussein regime and, since the war, to looting. Meanwhile, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency said its inspectors would return to Iraq by week's end to check into radioactive materials missing from the nation's largest nuclear facility.

Public anger was mounting against the leadership of Algeria for its slow response to last week's devastating earthquake. The casualty count stood at 2,217 confirmed dead and almost 9,100 others injured, and the search for survivors appeared to be abandoned. Another 15,000 people remained homeless. Over the weekend, President Abdulaziz Bouteflika was jeered as he toured the worst-hit areas, and survivors threw stones at his car. His government pledged an investigation into why recently built apartment blocks collapsed so easily.

Queen Elizabeth II will await a recommendation on whom to appoint as new governor general in Australia, a spokeswoman said, after incumbent Peter Hollingworth resigned amid two sex scandals. A court last week cleared the former Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane of a rape charge that dated back 40 years. But he as well as Prime Minister John Howard, who recommended him for the ceremonial post, have been under intense criticism for his decision in the early 1990s to allow a known pedophile priest to continue in the ministry.

All 74 people aboard were killed in the crash of a transport plane carrying Spanish military personnel home from peacekeeping duty in Afghanistan. Authorities said the plane went down in dense fog as it tried for a third time to land for refueling at an airport in eastern Turkey.

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