World

Yasser Arafat said he was ready to fight to his own death if Israel tried to expel or kill him, but he won no sympathy from President Bush, who told a news conference that the Palestinian Authority president "has failed as a leader." With Jordanian King Abdullah at his side, Bush told journalists at Camp David, Md., that he regretted Arafat's forcing Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to resign. Bush said he remained committed to a Palestinian state at peace with Israel, but added its people "must have leadership [that is] 100 percent committed to fighting off terror."

An ambush of a US convoy in Iraq's "Sunni triangle" that first appeared to result in numerous deaths in fact led to the wounding of two soldiers, a military spokesman said. He said both were in stable condition, although two trucks and a Humvee were disabled. The attack took place outside the city of Khaldiya, whose police chief was killed in an ambush earlier this week, apparently for collaborating with US forces. Arab-language TV news outlets had reported at least Americans killed and another wounded in Thursday's incident.

The first draft of the new Constitution for Afghanistan was presented to President Hamid Karzai, although details will be kept secret until he has studied it, reports said. Later, published copies will be distributed to allow for comment by ordinary Afghans. Speculation centered on a combination presidential/parliamentary style of government. Afghanistan previously has had a monarchy and communist and radical Muslim fundamentalist regimes.

Publishers of the only independent daily newspaper in Zimbabwe were scrambling to put out Friday's edition after a Supreme Court judge ruled it could resume operation. He ordered police to return confiscated computers and to allow Harare's Daily News staffers back into their offices after his colleagues last week shut it down for publishing without a license. The paper has been a frequent critic of hard-line President Robert Mugabe.

Confirming weeks of rumors that she was undergoing medical treatment, hospital officials in Burma (Myanmar) said democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi had had surgery for an unspecified condition. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize-winner has been in custody since her arrest May 30 following a clash between her supporters and those of the ruling junta.

Only a narrow victory is expected Saturday in Latvia when voters decide whether to OK membership in the European Union. Unlike neighbors Estonia and Lithuania, the Baltic state has been one of the most skeptical prospective joiners of the EU. But the government and business groups have been urging a "yes" vote.

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