World

A leading member of parliament in Russia complained that Iran "has not shown sufficient good- will" after two days of meetings on Moscow's offer to conduct uranium enrichment for the Islamic republic ended with no apparent progress. Negotiators said they would continue at an unspecified date. Iran's chief delegate called the meetings "positive." Russia's offer is seen as perhaps the last opportunity for Iran to avoid possible UN sanctions over its nuclear ambitions.

Another day of protests against the cartoon images of the prophet Muhammad closed shops and other businesses in Pakistan, resulted in the suspension of a newspaper in Saudi Arabia that had tried to balance its printing of the cartoons with opinions by influential Muslim clerics, and led UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to schedule an address on the subject before the Alliance of Civilizations conference this weekend in Qatar. An aide said Annan would discuss ways of "calming the situation." Meanwhile, in Denmark, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said authorities had taken "all necessary steps" to protect the artists who drew the caricatures and for whose murder a leading Pakistani cleric has offered a $1 million bounty.

At least seven more people were killed and 40 were wounded Tuesday in fighting between militiamen under the command of Somalia's Islamic clerics and those loyal to an alliance of warlords and businessmen. The violence caused the closure of Mogadishu's Daynile airport, which was regularly used by humanitarian aid organizations as well as ordinary passengers because it was considered the nation's safest. The latest casualties bring the number of dead to at least 22 since the fighting began last weekend over an attempt by the Islamist combatants to set up a new base over the warlords' objections. A spokesman for the clerics told the BBC that clashes would continue until the other side surrendered.

Incumbent Yoweri Museveni appears all but certain to win a new lease on the presidency of Uganda Thursday in the first multiparty election there in 26 years. Late opinion polls showed him with a nine-point advantage over Kizza Besigye, the leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change. But political analysts said the polls gave too much weight to urban areas, the source of most of Besigye's support, meaning that Museveni probably enjoys a far wider lead. Besigye canceled what was to have been his final appearance Monday after police dispersed the crowd that had come to hear him with tear gas. Museveni has ruled without interruption since 1986.

Another split opened in the ranks of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's supporters Tuesday, as four members of parliament from his own party joined the call for him to resign. A spokesman for the group said Thaksin "lost legitimacy" when his family sold its telecommunications empire to a foreign company "under dubious circumstances." The deal was struc- tured so that his relatives could avoid taxes on their profit. The anti-Thaksin movement also picked up a boost Monday, when a longtime adviser publicly urged him to quit. Organizers have scheduled their third rally against him for Sunday, claiming it will be the largest yet.

Would-be rescuers shifted their digging efforts by 200 yards in a Philippines town Tuesday, uncertain that they'd been in the right place to unearth a buried elementary school. As many as 300 children were believed to be in class when a massive landslide last Friday covered parts of Guinsaugon with up to 100 feet of debris. A spokesman said continuing rains were collapsing the mud that had been dug by teams of US marines, Filipino soldiers, and miners Monday after sound-detection devices picked up rhythmic noises believed to be coming from the school. At least 107 people are confirmed dead from the landslide. Another 1,000 are missing, reports said.

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