Terrorists sabotaged an oil pipeline in southern Iraq - the second such attack in 48 hours - and murdered the top security officer of an oil-export company in the northern city of Kirkuk as their campaign intensified to disrupt the handover of power to an all-Iraqi administration June 30. Meanwhile, radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his militia out of Najaf, perhaps signaling an end to his 10-week revolt against coalition authority.
In another display of defiance, Iran's government said it won't accept a UN resolution criticizing its nuclear program and suggested it will resume the enrichment of uranium if the measure is approved. It also said its parliament will not ratify any time soon a UN protocol calling for unannounced inspections of its nuclear facilities. President Mohamad Khatami said if the resolution before the International Atomic Energy Agency passes, "Iran will have no moral commitment to suspend" the enrichment of uranium, a step in the production of nuclear bombs. The US called the actions "bullying" and said they increased suspicions that Iran is secretly building such weapons.
The tax-evasion and fraud trial of the wealthiest man in Russia opened with his own attorneys saying they expect him to lose. Oil baron Mikhail Khodorkov-sky's company, Yukos, already has been ordered to pay the government $3.4 billion in back taxes - a sum it may not be able to raise because its assets have been frozen by the courts. Khodorkovsky's case is widely seen as politically inspired. Like other tycoons, he made a fortune from the privatization of Russia's communist economy, but in the process alarmed powerful people in the Kremlin who perceived a challenge to their authority.
Thirty-four farm workers in rural Colombia were shot to death, execution-style, in the worst single incident of violence since law-and-order President Alvaro Uribe assumed office two years ago. Five other workers were taken to a nearby hospital with wounds. Suspicion for the massacre Tuesday fell on communist Revolutionary Armed Forces rebels, who, police said, had accused the victims of harvesting coca for right-wing paramilitaries. Coca is the raw ingredient for cocaine.
Heavy rocks that had been washed down adjacent hillsides by monsoon rains derailed a passenger train in India's Maharashtra State, killing at least 20 people and injuring 50 others. The route is being fitted with a system to alert approaching trains of such disturbances on the tracks, but fewer than half of the planned 19,000 detectors are in place so far.