World

Weekend talks to end the slaughter in Sudan's Darfur region were put on hold after two rebel groups walked out, claiming the Sudanese government ignored existing peace agreements. The failure of the talks raised doubts about ending the bloodshed and refugee crisis.

Accused US army deserter Charles Jenkins arrived Sunday in Japan, where he risks US prosecution on charges that he defected to North Korea in the 1960s. The Japanese government is pushing for US clemency for Jenkins.

Militants burned down the offices of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority in Gaza Sunday over corruption allegations stemming from Arafat's appointment of his cousin, Moussa Arafat, to chief of security. The move sparked widespread protests and calls for reform. Deepening the crisis, Arafat rejected the resignation of his prime minister, Ahmed Qureia, who has complained that Arafat's control over the PA prevents the Palestinian government from instituting reforms.

US airstrikes in Fallujah Sunday killed 14 Iraqis in the latest in a series of attacks aimed at guerrillas and foreign militants. The US has launched several attacks over the past two months targeting buildings in Fallujah that allegedly house militants loyal to suspected terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The Filipino military will complete its pullout from Iraq today in an exit aimed at saving the life of hostage Angelo de la Cruz. The decision has strained ties with the US, which urged the Philippines not to bow to terrorism.

Hundreds of schools in India were closed over the weekend after a kitchen fire at a private school in Kumbakonam spread to a thatched roof Friday, destroying the school and killing at least 90 students. Sonia Gandhi, head of India's ruling coalition, pledged $220,000 in aid Sunday. Nearly one-third of India's private schools use similar thatched roofs.

Iran's hard-line judiciary concluded the trial Sunday of a secret agent accused of murdering Sahra Kazemi, an Iranian- Canadian photojournalist. It was not clear if a verdict will be issued, and lawyers for Kazemi's mother refused to sign what they considered a flawed indictment, walking out of the courthouse in protest.

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