World

In the major foreign policy address of his London visit, President Bush defended the war in Iraq, saying: "In some cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world." Bush also likened troubled rebuilding efforts there to the aftermath of World War II in Europe. His speech was made to academics at Whitehall Palace, rather than Parliament, to avoid potential heckling by lawmakers. In an embarrassing blow to the government's much-touted security measures, Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper revealed that a reporter who used a false reference to get a job at Buckingham Palace had been assigned to serve Bush's top aides. A palace spokeswoman said the incident is under investigation.

Debate was intensifying ahead of Thursday's meeting by the UN's nuclear watchdog, on Iran's nuclear program. Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, is worried that a draft resolution being circulated by France, Britain, and Germany is too weak, Western diplomats said. It reportedly chides Tehran for failing to meet safeguards obligations, but doesn't find it in breach of a nuclear treaty, which could prompt UN sanctions. Secretary of State Powell has said the draft is "not adequate."

China expressed "deep regret" at a Bush administration decision to impose import quotas on some Chinese textiles. The Commerce Ministry said Beijing reserved the right to raise the issue with the World Trade Organization. A Chinese trade delegation also reportedly canceled a planned trip to the US to buy soy beans and other agricultural goods.

Three days of unrest in India's northeastern Assam state have killed at least 25 people and sent thousands of others fleeing to police stations for safety, police said. Spurred by local separatist groups, mobs burned and looted homes inhabited by settlers from neighboring Bihar state. "You can say many parts of Assam are on fire," a senior police officer said.

Sparking speculation about his health, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak broke off a televised speech to parliament for about 45 minutes, then briefly returned to finish it. Government ministers said he had been overcome due to fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and treatment for a minor illness. In power for 22 years, Mubarak has been a key US ally and mediator in the Mideast peace process.

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien announced he's stepping down Dec. 12. He will be succeeded by Paul Martin, who was selected last week as leader of the governing Liberal Party.

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