World

For the first time, the rioting across France spread into central Paris, and President Jacques Chirac summoned his senior ministers to an emergency security meeting Sunday night. Police said at least 32 cars in the capital were set on fire Saturday night, adding to the largest total for a 24-hour period since the violence erupted. More than 180 arrests were reported in locations ranging from the Mediterranean Sea to the border with Germany, and a "factory" for making gasoline bombs was discovered in a southern suburb of Paris Sunday.

US commanders declined to confirm news reports that dozens of terrorists have been killed in a joint assault with Iraqi troops on the town of Husaybah, an Al Qaeda stronghold along the border with Syria. The operation, which began Saturday, is aimed at sealing off a key infiltration route for Islamist militants entering Iraq for attacks in Baghdad and other major cities. A US spokesman said no Americans or Iraqis had died in the street-to-street fighting in Husaybah.

Israel "will not be able to cooperate" in implementing the critical Palestinian parliamentary election in January if Hamas is a participant, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday. The announcement came three days after the Defense Ministry said Israel wouldn't interfere with the voting. The Palestinian Authority wants Israel to open roadblocks in the West Bank before and during the election, easing the movement of candidates and voters. Sharon was quoted as telling his cabinet, "There cannot be a situation where an armed organization ... can take part in elections."

Monday's much-anticipated opening of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan appeared unlikely to take place because of procedural problems. In a landmark accord Oct. 30, the rivals decided to open five crossing points so survivors of the devastating Kashmir earthquake could visit relatives on either side of the boundary. But amid concerns that militants might use the opening to infiltrate, Indian officials said no civilians will be permitted to cross. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the sides had yet to exchange lists of people approved for the crossing.

Hundreds of public health experts were gathering in Geneva for this week's summit aimed at "substantially reducing" the risk of a so-called bird flu pandemic by "controlling the virus at its source - in animals." The summit is the follow-up to weeks of regional meetings and comes as the World Bank announced it was finalizing plans to provide $500 million to help poor nations implement strategies against the virus.

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