World

Standing three-deep, police in Edinburgh, Scotland, blocked a protest by anarchists, anti- capitalists, and local activists against the impending Group of Eight (G-8) summit. The demonstration was the second in less than a day - and third since Friday - and was seen as a forerunner of larger confrontations as the G-8 leaders assemble at nearby Gleneagles for their annual summer conference. At the three-day meeting, host Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain has hopes of winning agreements on relieving poverty in Africa and on recognizing the science behind the campaign against global warming. But President Bush was offering no encouragement that he'd agree to a tougher stance on so-called greenhouse gases. Above, demonstrators in Bush and Blair masks join a protest in Edinburgh Sunday.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and members of his cabinet were measured for bulletproof vests by Israel's secret service as worries mounted of violent new confrontations or even assassination attempts by ultranationalists or extremist Jewish settlers who are to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip next month. President Moshe Katsav told Army Radio that the atmosphere in Israel was similar to that prior to the 1995 assassination by an ultranationalist of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin because of the latter's land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians. On Sunday, Sharon's cabinet voted 18-3 against a proposal to delay the pullout by at least three more months. Meanwhile, Hamas rebuffed an invitation to join Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's proposed unity government to help control Gaza following the Israeli withdrawal. Islamic Jihad also has rejected the invitation.

As expected, Chancelor Gerhard Schröder of Germany deliberately lost a vote of confidence in parliament last Friday, and leaders of his Social Democratic Party quickly went to work on drafting a platform aimed at winning a new national election. The election has yet to be scheduled, but a spokesman for President Horst Koehler said he would decide by mid-month when to announce it. Schröder's term does not expire until next year.

High-powered political leaders and world-famous athletes converged on Singapore to get in some last-minute lobbying before Wednesday night's selection by the International Olympic Committee of the host city for the 2012 Summer Games. The competition, said to be the closest and most intense in history, is among New York, London, Paris, Moscow, and Madrid.

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