World

Iran will resume the full-scale enrichment of uranium immediately if Western governments refer it to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, a senior official said. Iran also picked up a boost from International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamad ElBaradei, who turned down a request by the US, Australia, and the European Union for a detailed report on the scope of the nuclear ambitions. ElBaradei said he'd provide only a brief update on the status of IAEA investigations into the Iranian program.

With a new judge in place, the war-crimes trial of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and seven codefendants is to resume Tuesday. Raouf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman, a Kurd, is considered a surprise replacement for Chief Judge Rizgar Moha-mad Amin, who quit Jan. 15 amid heavy criticism of his handling of the much-recessed trial. The appointment is temporary. By law, the post would have gone to Amin's deputy, Saed al-Hammash. But he is under suspicion of being a former member of Hussein's Baath Party.

Candidates made their final appeals for votes Monday in the election for a new Palestinian parliament, with analysts predicting an outcome too close to call between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party. As part of his pitch, a senior Hamas leader said the militant organization would be willing to negotiate with Israel through a third party. But Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni urged the rest of the world to reject Hamas's participation in the parliament as radical armed movements have been rejected in elections in other nations.

Police were accused of beating a factory worker into critical condition in Chengdu, China, in another clash fueled by social tensions. A Chinese-language website said the trouble erupted Jan. 16 at a nearly bankrupt plant that was to be sold for a fraction of its value - and whose employees were angrier still because they hadn't been paid $24 million in promised compensation. An employee reached by phone said hundreds of police arrived to rescue the manager, who was being barricaded inside. Last week, the government reported 87,000 cases of "public disorder" a year ago, following 74,000 in 2004.

In an unprecedented move, members of Kuwait's parliament are to debate Tuesday whether Emir-designate Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah should be deposed - even as invited guests arrive for his oath-taking ceremony. Sheikh Saad reportedly is so ill that his ability to recite the oath is in doubt. He was appointed to succeed Sheikh Jabel al-Ahmed al-Sabah, who died Jan. 15 on a visit to Australia. It was hoped the royal family would resolve the matter itself, but members of Sheikh Saad's branch are said to object to Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah, who is from another branch, succeeding to the throne.

Eight UN peacekeepers died and 14 others were wounded in eastern Congo Monday when they were ambushed by unidentified gunmen. The casualties all were believed to be Guatemalan. In a separate incident Sunday, peacekeepers fought back when renegade former Army troops targeted them with mortar fire and killed four of the attackers.

As expected, voters elected former Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva as Portugal's new president Sunday, making him the first conservative chief of state in 31 years. Cavaco Silva pledged to be "loyal, respectful, cooperative, and helpful" to the Socialist government in seeking to pull the nation out of its protracted economic slump.

Emergency crews were trying to reach hundreds of construction workers and food vendors in the rubble of a collapsed five-story building in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday. Early reports said at least eight people were killed, and more than 50 others were hospitalized with serious injuries. An inspector had warned last week that the structure was unstable, the reports said.

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