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At least 10 people died and 20 others were hurt in a poor Baghdad neighborhood when a truck carrying explosives collided with a public bus. The casualties all were Iraqi, reports said. The truck driver's intended target was a police station that had been attacked four times before by terrorists. But in another sign of growing stability, a delegation from the Arab League is due in Baghdad Thursday - its first visit there since the war - to discuss human rights violations under Saddam Hussein's regime with the interim Governing Council.

Acting both conciliatory and threatening, China's government said it is willing to negotiate closer economic ties with Taiwan but "must be well-prepared to smash [the island's] independence activities into pieces." Tensions between the two have reached levels not seen in years over plans by Taiwan's president to hold a referendum in March on demanding the removal of Chinese missiles aimed at the island.

For the second time this month, Palestinian extremist groups ruled out a proposed cease-fire against Israeli targets. Two days of meetings in the Gaza Strip mediated by senior Egyptian officials left "the position of Islamic Jihad ... unchanged," its spokesman said. Meanwhile, Egypt's foreign minister was expected to lobby Israel to participate in a truce with the Palestinians, if one can be arranged, on his scheduled visit to Jeru-salem Monday - the first such trip by a senior Cairo government official in more than two years.

The leader and chief "hit man" of Greece's November 17 radical movement were sentenced to multiple life terms in prison for the group's almost three-decade campaign of murder, bombings, and robberies. By law, they could not be given the death penalty, but their sentences were two of the most severe in Greek history. November 17 had been seen as a major potential threat to security for next year's Olympic Summer Games in Athens, and police say seven of its members are still at large.

Seventy people were quarantined in Singapore out of concern that they might have come in contact with a visiting Taiwanese researcher who has since tested positive for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). The visitor returned home Dec. 10. Officials of the UN's World Health Organization called the incident "isolated" and unlikely to spread - as the virus did earlier this year, causing 774 deaths worldwide.

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