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Legal - but not physical - custody of former dictator Saddam Hussein and others in his regime will be given to Iraq's interim government as soon as it obtains warrants for their arrest from the courts, the Bush administration announced. An official said the only change to their imprisonment will be that prosecutors and defense lawyers will have access to them. Elsewhere in Iraq, suspected Al Qaeda terrorists extended their deadline for executing a South Korean civilian to allow time for more negotiations on his fate. Other terrorists assassinated a law- school dean and her husband in Mosul, sabotaged a crude-oil pipeline north of Baghdad, and exploded a car bomb in the capital, killing the bodyguard of Minister of State Adnan al- Janabi and a child.

Confusion reigned over the fate of eight British sailors whose patrol boats were seized Monday in what the Iranian government said were its territorial waters. State TV said the men would be prosecuted. But a Foreign Ministry official told Reuters that the men were being interrogated "and no other issue is under discussion now." Britain's Foreign Office said it was demanding that "the Iranians explain exactly what they mean by that."

A furious President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to "find and destroy" suspected Chechen rebels who crossed into neighboring Ingushetia early Tuesday and attacked government facilities. At least 57 people died in the assault, all but 10 of them police, administrators, or UN aid staffers. Sixty others were wounded. One attacker was reported to have been captured. Officials said the raiders also took weapons and ammunition before fleeing back into Chechnya.

Another discussion of North Korea's nuclear weapons program opens Wednesday as negotiators for the Pyongyang government, the US, and four other nations meet in Beijing. But despite expressions of cautious optimism by host China, expectations for progress were low. US sources close to the situation said the Bush administration anticipates that North Korea's delegates again may propose a freeze of the weapons program in exchange for generous aid and other concessions, but "The key this time will be to see if they are tying it to the elimination of all their nuclear programs."

Convicted kidnapper, rapist, and murderer Marc Dutroux was ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison, ending the "trial of the century" in Belgium. In pronouncing sentence, the judge called Dutroux "a danger to society." By law, he can't appeal his conviction except on procedural grounds.

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