World

Wednesday's scheduled meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers - their second on the road map to peace - is off indefinitely, aides said. Their talks were expected to set the stage for a three-way session next week with President Bush in neighboring Jordan. But both sides stressed that "technical reasons" and not a new political rift caused the postponement.

Momentum was building in the effort to improve strained relations between bitter rivals India and Pakistan. The latter appointed career diplomat Aziz Ahmad Khan as its new ambassador to New Delhi, a choice almost certain to be accepted, analysts said. That followed by one day the announcement that commercial bus service across the border would resume and that India would free 130 Pakistani civilians from its jails. Still more gestures "will be taken," Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said. But he said there can be no "meaningful" dialogue on peace until Pakistan permanently halts infiltration into disputed Kashmir by Muslim rebels.

UN aid workers said they'd obey a warning by Indonesia's government to leave Aceh Province for their own safety, a signal that its crackdown on Muslim rebels is to intensify. The government said it wants to take over all humanitarian aid there. Meanwhile, military sources said they expect the crackdown to take up to six months. The Red Cross has put the number of rebel casualties from the first week of fighting at 82.

Despite a new plea for urgent food donations for North Korea, the government of rival South Korea said it will delay 400,000 tons of promised rice if there's another escalation of tensions over nuclear weapons on their divided peninsula. The threat represents a reversal of the South's earlier position that such aid should not be linked to political tension. The Roman Catholic charity Caritas warned Tuesday that the communist North is not far from "slipping back into hunger and famine."

How much longer Nobel Peace Prize-winning democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi may travel freely in Myanmar (Burma) appeared in question after the ruling junta accused her supporters of injuring "peaceful" opponents at a rally in the No. 2 city, Mandalay. The claim runs directly counter to the version of the incident offered by her National League for Democracy. On Monday, news sources reported the sentencing of 10 Suu Kyi followers to prison for two years to life for antigovernment activities. She and the junta began a reconciliation process in October 2000, but it has produced few, if any, tangible results.

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