World

The Bush administration won agreement from Israel to stop targeting wanted Palestinian militants for assassination, security sources in Washington and Jerusalem said. They said only "ticking bombs" - persons identified as likely to carry out imminent terrorist attacks - would be targeted and "more borderline cases" would be spared "as much as possible." But on another front, new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas failed again to persuade any of the 13 militant factions with whom he has been meeting to end their attacks.

One of Saddam Hussein's most trusted aides - No. 4 on the list of most-wanted Iraqi leaders - is in the custody of US forces. Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti was Hussein's secretary, controlled access to him, and may have valuable information on what happened to him and his sons. It was not clear whether Mahmud was captured in US raids in the Tikrit area, although those have turned up as many as 50 people believed to be from Hussein's security and intelligence units as well as millions of dollars in cash and materials with military applications.

At least seven cities were involved in another night of anti-government demonstrations in Iran, but the official news agency said participation appeared to be dwindling. In Tehran, protesters were trying a new tactic to keep from being beaten by pro-regime vigilantes: remaining in their cars and blaring the horns. Meanwhile, the US demanded that the Islamic clerical regime submit to tough new UN inspections of its nuclear facilities, which were accused of repeated "violations and evasions" of existing protocols. Iran says it needs the facilities to produce electricity as oil reserves decline.

Ratcheting up its rhetoric, the North Korean government announced publicly for the first time that it has a nuclear arms program, which it said will be strengthened "as a means of self-defense" against the US. Previous comments on the subject have been made in private. The admission came as Secretary of State Powell said the program is the US's No. 1 weapons-proliferation worry. The North also said it would not join any discussions on its nuclear program unless they were with the US alone.

Pressure mounted on the military junta in Burma (Myanmar) to release democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi from custody, with Powell warning that the US would "take a harder line" against the regime unless she was set free. He spoke as the Red Cross said it had been permitted visits with other activists detained with Suu Kyi following political violence May 30 but not with her. On Monday, the European Union imposed a ban on visas for junta members, plus other measures, on top of its existing sanctions.

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