World

Unanimous approval appeared all but certain for the new UN Security Council resolution on the transfer of full sovereignty to Iraq as the Monitor went to press. The measure, sponsored by the US and Britain, had run into opposition from France, Germany, and Russia, but the Bush administration agreed to a late compromise that attempts to satisfy objections over how much control Iraq's new leaders will have of US military operations following the hand-over of power June 30. Meanwhile, car-bomb explosions in Mosul and Baqouba, Iraq, killed at least 15 people and injured dozens more.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government was clinging to power by a thread as the rightist National Religious Party (NRP) announced it would remain in his coalition for three more months even though it opposes his controversial plan to pull troops and settlements out of the Gaza Strip. But the NRP itself is split over the issue, with two of its leaders expected to hand their resignations to Sharon late Tuesday. His coalition is down to a one-vote majority in parliament, and an NRP pullout would cause its collapse.

Another American civilian was shot to death in Saudi Arabia's capital in the second terrorist assault on Westerners there in two days and the fifth in just over a month. The unidentified victim worked for a Virginia contractor that has been training Saudi National Guard units. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but on Monday Al Qaeda warned Muslims in the kingdom to keep away from Westerners to avoid becoming targets themselves. Despite a State Department advisory that they leave, about 35,000 Americans still live in Saudi Arabia.

Coordinated raids by police in four European countries cracked a Muslim terrorist cell and netted one of the plotters of the March 11 train bombings in Spain, officials said. The latter was identified as Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, an Egyptian who was traced to Milan, Italy, after the bombing attacks, which killed 191 people. Meanwhile, in Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium, 15 suspects were caught as they planned an attack on an unspecified target, police said.

Without saying how soon, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government announced it will nationalize all agricultural land. Most productive farmland used to be owned by whites, but two-thirds of such properties have been seized by the government over the past four years in a controversial redistribution program that benefits poor blacks. Current occupants will be issued 99-year leases once they have been vetted by a new national land board, the government said.

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