New Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must "wipe out" terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad before efforts to make peace can resume, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for a bomb explosion Friday night that killed four people and wounded 50 others as they waited to enter a Tel Aviv night club. The Palestinian Authority quickly arrested three suspects, but Israel suspended the scheduled handover of control over four West Bank cities and suggested it might resume the assassinations of terrorist chiefs. Ultimately, senior Israelis said, Syria is to blame for the bombing, since the order for it came from Islamic Jihad leaders based there.
The half-brother of former dictator Saddam Hussein was captured in Iraq Sunday, the government announced. Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, who is believed to have helped direct terrorist operations from a base in Syria, had a $1 million bounty on his head. He was No. 36 on the list of the 55 most-wanted figures from Hussein's regime and the first to be caught in a year. His capture was the third of a senior terrorist suspect in less than a week.
It would be wrong to assume that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has had a sudden conversion to democracy, political analysts warned, despite his surprise announcement that rivals may be listed on the election ballot in the fall. On Saturday, Mubarak ordered the Constitution changed to allow competition for the post he has held for 23 years. The announcement, however, did not spell out the terms and conditions under which rivals may qualify for the ballot.
The resignation of unpopular interim President Faure Gnassingbe failed to quell antigovernment sentiments in Togo, and police fired tear gas Sunday to keep stone-throwing protesters from reaching administrative buildings in the capital. Gnasssingbe quit under pressure late Friday, causing neighboring nations to end economic sanctions against his government. But he also announced his candidacy for the office once a national election to fill it is organized. The post was awarded temporarily to the deputy speaker of parliament. The protesters say it should have gone instead to Speaker Fambare Ouattara, who was ousted early in the three-week-old political crisis.
Crowds of Roman Catholics cheered a surprise appearance by Pope John Paul II at the window of his Rome hospital room. For the first time in his 26-year papacy, however, he didn't lead Sunday prayers, delegating the task to a top aide. The pontiff underwent surgery Friday for recurring breathing problems.