Jewish settlers in the West Bank vowed not to surrender their weapons despite an Israeli government announcement that they are to be disarmed two weeks before the scheduled removal from their homes this summer. Four West Bank settlements are to be included in the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, whose residents' weapons also are to be collected in advance. Meanwhile, the government warned Palestinians that continued shelling of Gaza settlements could collapse their two-month-old cease-fire. Tensions also escalated in Nablus, where Israeli troops arrested a wanted Palestinian militant and several followers suspected of planning a future bombing attack.Skip to next paragraph
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The makeup of Lebanon's new government was expected to be announced Monday, with all signs pointing to it again being pro-Syrian. The nation has been without a government since anti-Syrian demonstrations forced Prime Minister Omar Karami to quit Feb. 28. The delay also has been problematic for scheduling a new election for parliament, which also is dominated by supporters of Syria and whose term expires May 31.
After days of delay, parliament in Kyrgyzstan voted to accept the resignation of President Askar Akayev. Akayev had formally quit April 4, but some legislators argued that he did not deserve a dignified exit. He is in exile in Moscow, protected by the Constitution from prosecution for alleged abuses of power. An election for his successor is planned for July 10.
Results of a new opinion poll showed almost certain defeat for Canada's long-ruling Liberal Party if a national election were to be held now. The survey of 1,125 adults for the Toronto Star indicated a nine-point slide in support for the Liberals to just 25 percent - their lowest in more than a decade. The opposition Conservatives, who have struggled since 1993 to appeal to voters, rose in support to 36.2 percent. The government has been dogged for months by a scandal over the misuse of public funds, although no election is expected until at least mid-June.
An exploding boiler was being blamed for the collapse of a nine-story garment factory in Bangladesh that killed at least 15 employees and trapped hundreds of others under a massive pile of concrete and bricks. Reports said 58 others were pulled alive from the rubble.