World

As many as 13 people were killed and dozens more were hurt when a terrorist exploded a car bomb outside a police station in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, Monday. The attack, the 16th major bombing in seven months, took place as the force was changing shifts. Against that backdrop, special UN envoy to Iraq Lakhdar Brahimi released a report saying a national election to choose the country's new government could be held by year's end, if preparations began now.

Thousands of Palestinians were released early from school and work to join demonstrations against Israel's security barrier in the West Bank as the World Court opened a hearing on the matter in The Hague. The session followed by one day the latest terrorist explosion aboard a bus in Jerusalem, bringing to 463 the number of Israelis killed in such attacks since the latest intifada began. Israel is not attending the World Court sessions but has sent written arguments defending the legality of the barrier.

Only President Mohamad Khatami remained as a vestige of the political reform movement in Iran as hard-line conservatives regained control of parliament after last Friday's disputed election. Still- incomplete returns gave them more than the 146 seats necessary for an absolute majority, leaving so-called reformists and independents with as few as 65 seats. The losing side blasted the vote - in which 2,500 candidates were disqualified for insufficient loyalty to Islam - as a "historical fiasco." Meanwhile, first reports surfaced of election-related violence in which at least eight people died and 38 others were hurt.

Combat-ready marines were reported on their way to Haiti to guard the US Embassy as anti-government rebels seized control of the nation's No. 2 city and turned their sights on the capital, Port-au-Prince. Reports put them in command of at least half the country, and their leader predicted the rest would be theirs "in less than 15 days." But he told the Miami Herald the revolt would end if President Jean-Bertrand Aristide were to leave.

Confusion reigned at the war-crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague after its presiding judge quit. Richard May, a Briton, cited health concerns in announcing he'll step down May 31. Legally, that gives Milosevic the right to demand a new trial. The prosecution was expected to finish presenting its case this week, but another of the many delays caused by Milosevic's own health problems caused postponement of that session. The trial began two years ago.

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