Tens of thousands of Roman Catholics and other admirers of Pope John Paul II were converging on Rome to pay their last respects as the Vatican announced a 21-hour-a-day schedule for the public to file past his remains in St. Peter's Basilica. His funeral, expected to be attended by dozens of world leaders, will be held Friday, the announcement said, and burial will be in the grottos beneath the basilica.Skip to next paragraph
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Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they'll defy the efforts of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to disarm them, vowing, "We will not remove our finger from the trigger." Abbas issued a decree Sunday giving his security officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip two weeks to collect the weapons of hundreds of militants on Israel's wanted list. Israel has said it will stop trying to track down such people if they no longer engage in terrorist attacks. Abbas acted after being fired on in his own compound late last week by dissidents, but it was unclear what he'd do if met with a refusal to cooperate.
For a second straight day, suspected Islamic terrorists in southern Thailand targeted symbols of the national government, and the baht fell in value as currency traders worried that the attacks might spread to Bang-kok, the capital. Militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a police station and an administrative building and exploded a bomb that wounded four soldiers. On Sunday, two people died and more than 70 others were hurt in similar incidents. Terrorists also struck at an airport, a hotel, and a department store in the first attacks outside the mainly Muslim south.
Calling last week's vote "a sham," Zimbabwe's political opposition demanded a new election. But the call was rejected by the ZANU-PF organization of President Robert Mugabe, which won in a landslide and said, "The next one will be in 2010." The US and the European Union blasted the voting for a new parliament as "flawed," but neither was permitted to send monitors. The African Union, which did, said the opposition should go to court if it had evidence that the voting was rigged.
As promised, exiled President Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan formally resigned in a ceremony at his nation's embassy in Moscow. In an address beforehand, he asked to be pardoned "if he did anything wrong to the nation or to individuals," a spokeswoman said. An election to choose a new president tentatively is scheduled for June 26.