World

Saying, "History has been made," Pakistan's president announced agreement with rival India for formal peace negotiations that will include disputed Kashmir. Details remained to be finalized, but the talks will open next month, officials said. President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee reached their decision on the sidelines of a conference on regional cooperation. An umbrella group representing Kashmiri separatists welcomed the agreement.

At least 13 people died and 58 others were hurt when terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart in the Afghan city of Kandahar. The majority of the victims were school-age children. Reports said the second blast went off as bystanders rushed to help a youth injured in the first explosion. The city was the stronghold of the Taliban regime, and its remnants have vowed to increase their efforts to keep the rebuilding country destabilized. But via satellite phone, a Taliban spokesman denied the militia was involved in the latest attacks.

Grudging cooperation - or refusal to comply at all - with demands for armed marshals on US-bound flights was pledged by three major foreign carriers. British Airways pilots reportedly viewed the move as inevitable, but were insisting "certain conditions [be] laid down," such as knowing in advance the identities and seating locations of marshals. South African Airways rejected the US demands for the time being. And German-owned Thomas Cook Airlines, a division of the giant travel agency chain, announced it would cancel any flight that an armed marshal attempted to board.

Martial law was imposed across much of southern Thailand, and security forces were given "four to five days" to restore normality to the region by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. His government has blamed Muslim extremists for exploding two bombs, for setting fire to 21 schools, and for stealing more than 100 guns in a raid on an armory - all since Sunday. The incidents have killed six soldiers. But the prime minister of the mostly Buddhist nation implied that the attacks were motivated by criminal intent more than by religious or political ideology.

The first new SARS patient in China is "fully recovered" and will be released from a hospital as soon as Thursday, authorities there said. But the government began the slaughter of animals suspected of spreading the virus formally known as severe acute respiratory syndrome. Also recovering from symptoms of the virus were a Filipino couple who recently visited Hong Kong. Still, 38 others who may have come in contact with them were placed under observation. Above, a medic prepares arriving passengers from Hong Kong at Manila's airport for an on-site SARS check.

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