In another difficult day for the US in Iraq, unknown assailants killed the 32nd American soldier since combat ended in April, and the government of India rejected a request to send peacekeepers there without a UN mandate. In another development, a car exploded in Baghdad near the compound housing Iraq's new Governing Council. That 25-man group, meanwhile, postponed the selection of its first president but did vote to send a delegation to the UN in New York.Skip to next paragraph
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Two-thirds of respondents to a new national poll in Britain said they believe Prime Minister Tony Blair misled them - perhaps on purpose - when making the case for war with Iraq. The survey results came as Blair's government again defended its claim that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had sought to buy uranium in Africa to support its suspected nuclear weapons program. Blair is due to leave Thursday for the US, where the uranium issue also has become a political football.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon apparently failed to persuade the British government to help him isolate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Reports from London, where Sharon was meeting Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, indicated that he was told Britain would continue to deal with Arafat "as long as we judge it to be useful." Israel accuses Arafat of undermining peace efforts and has threatened to deport him. Meanwhile, a senior Hamas leader warned that any effort by the Palestinian Authority to disarm his movement would cause a return to violent attacks against Israelis.
Suspicion fell on Muslim radicals for a bomb explosion inside Indonesia's parliament building that sprayed nails and chunks of concrete but caused no injuries. The attack followed an announcement Friday by police that they'd arrested nine suspected militants, foiling plans to attack Christian religious sites and perhaps the assassinations of senior political leaders. At about the same time, parliament OK'd legislation facilitating Indonesia's first direct presidential election next year.
The political party that ruled Mexico for 71 years before being ousted from power in 2000 came within 27 seats of regaining its majority in Congress's lower house. Results of last week's midterm elections, released late Sunday, showed the Institutional Revolutionary Party's 17-seat gain came at the expense of President Vicente Fox's National Action Party. The latter lost 49 seats, plus at least four of six state governors' races. Another 123 seats went to smaller parties, which could forge an alliance with the PRI, making Fox's legislative goals extremely difficult to achieve before his term ends in 2006.