Smiling for photographers, new Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari took his country's seat at an Arab League meeting in Cairo. Zebari, a Kurd, became the first Iraqi representative to the pan-Arab organization since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. He pledged in his opening remarks that the new Iraq "will be based on diversity, democracy, law, and respect for human rights." Whether he'd be accepted was in question until the 11th hour. League members had argued for two months over recognition of a government set up by the US, since the invasion of Iraq was angrily protested in the streets of many of their countries. In the end, Zebari was told he'd be welcome for one year, pending progress on formation of a new government.
Three people died and at least 30 others were hurt in a terrorist bomb explosion at a bus stop near Tel Aviv, Israel. First reports said one of the dead appeared to be the attacker. The other victims were soldiers. The site is outside an army base.
Although evidence points to clear "noncompliance" by Iran with UN nuclear safeguards, the American delegate to this week's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the US would give the Tehran government "a last chance to stop its evasions." Kenneth Brill acknowledged that the US had bowed to the wishes of other IAEA members in not calling for a finding of noncompliance, which would have subjected Iran to UN sanctions. Iran signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1970 and maintains it has no secret weapons program.
A two-hour parade, patriotic songs, and the release of thousands of colorful balloons - but not the expected first peek at a powerful new long-range missile - were the highlights of North Korea's 55th anniversary celebration of communist rule. Video of the ceremonies in Pyongyang showed soldiers with nothing heavier than grenade launchers, despite predictions that the government would use the occasion as a major show of defiance against pressure by its neighbors and the US to abandon its nuclear program.
The UN Security Council's vote on ending 11 years of embargoes against Libya was delayed as the Monitor went to press while the Tripoli government and France tried to finalize a deal on additional cash for victims of a jetliner bombed by terrorists. France settled for $194,000 to relatives of each victim of the 1989 downing of a UTA plane, but demanded more after learning that Libya would pay up to $10 million each to families involved in the 1988 Pan Am jet bombing. The sanctions were suspended in 1999, but Libya wants them lifted.