World

A political furor showed no signs of abating in Britain over the suicide of a defense expert identified as the source of an accusation that Prime Minister Tony Blair's government exaggerated the case for an unpopular war with Iraq. The family of microbiologist and former UN weapons inspector David Kelly said his life had been made "intolerable" by the controversy caused by a BBC report in May. Blair, on a tour of Asia, said he would not resign, would not cut short his trip, and would not summon Parliament back from its summer break to debate the matter. The BBC defended its actions but said it was "profoundly sorry" at Kelly's death. (Related story, page 2.)

An international peacekeeping force for Liberia appeared in danger of being irrelevant even before it arrived as antigovernment rebels mounted their third assault on the capital in just over a month. Reports from Monrovia said thousands of frightened residents were streaming out of the city as the rebels took control of northern neighborhoods and the port district. An angry President Charles Taylor accused the US of having "blood on its hands" for insisting that he step down and go into exile as a condition for contributing American troops to the peacekeeping force. He vowed that soldiers loyal to him would fight "to the last man." Above, Defense Minister Daniel Chea (r.) rallies loyalists in a Monrovia street.

Tung Chee-hwa, the embattled chief executive of Hong Kong, won a vote of confidence from China's leadership. Tung, who was summoned to Beijing over the weekend to explain the controversy over the territory's unpopular proposed security law, was pictured on the front pages of Beijing's newspapers shaking hands with a smiling President Hu Jintao. The official Xinhua news agency quoted Hu as saying the law must be passed and that Hong Kong's people eventually will support it.

Declared candidates for local elections in October - and their families - will be targeted for murder, Colombia's largest communist rebel movement warned. The threat by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was its latest in a strategy to destroy the country from the bottom up. Last year, it followed through on a threat against mayors, killing 12 and kidnaping 12 others. (Related editorial, page 8.)

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