World

US tanks and Humvees carrying soldiers in full battle dress rumbled through Tikrit, staging a show of force in Saddam Hussein's home town a day after an Arab TV station in Dubai broadcast a purported tape of the ousted Iraqi leader urging attacks on Coalition forces. The US military also launched a fresh anti-insurgent campaign, Operation Ivy Cyclone Two, in north and central parts of the country, using a satellite-guided missile against a target near Tikrit for the first time since major combat ended. Army helicopters in Iraq were ordered to fly lower and faster, and to vary routes, following several crashes due to hostile fire.

US military and Afghan officials were disputing casualty figures from recent clashes in the eastern province of Paktika, near the border with Pakistan. The province's governor claimed six civilians were killed by US air strikes Saturday. But Maj. Bryan Hilferty, a US military spokesman, said American and Afghan Army forces had returned hostile fire, killing five Al Qaeda operatives. Two CIA agents died in an ambush in the area last month.

Residents in the French port of Saint-Nazaire mourned victims of a gangway collapse at the Queen Mary 2 (below) with flowers and tolling church bells, while prosecutors conducted a criminal investigation into Saturday's accident. Fifteen people died and more than 30 others were injured when visitors waiting to tour the newly built cruise ship, the world's largest, fell 80 feet to the dry dock.

With less than a 50 percent turnout, Serbia's third presidential election failed, again, to appoint a new leader for the Balkan republic. Those who did cast ballots Sunday sent a pointed message of dissatisfaction to their pro-Western government. Radical Party candidate Tomislav Nikolic, ultranationalist ally of ousted leader Slobodan Milosevic, won 46 percent support, compared with 35 percent for Dragoljub Micunovic, a member of the ruling coalition. While European envoy Maurizio Massari called the results "a warning," he dismissed suggestions that nationalists would take power in Dec. 28 general elections.

The Russian Orthodox Church announced it has severed ties with the Episcopalian movement, the latest in a series of religious protests since the US church consecrated Gene Robinson, an open homosexual, as bishop of New Hampshire two weeks ago. In a statement, the deeply conservative Russian church said it considered the move "un-Christian and blasphemous."

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 65 people in central Vietnam in the past week, disaster officials said. Up to 20 inches of rain fell in the area, with more forecast this week.

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