World

In an unusual move, the president of China personally joined in his government's rhetorical attack against the leader of Taiwan for disbanding the national council on unification with the mainland. Hu Jintao said Monday's announcement by his counterpart, Chen Shui-bian, was "a grave provocation" and that China "will absolutely never permit Taiwan to split from the motherland." Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing warned the US against sending any "wrong signals" to Taiwan and to grasp "the dangerousness and gravity" of Chen's "independence activities." The various statements, however, stopped short of threatening war against the self-ruled island.

The ethnic violence in the Darfur region of Sudan has spilled over into neighboring Chad, sending frightened civilians back across the border, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said. Most of the refugees are women and children, a spokeswoman said, adding that the agency is trying to determine whether to classify them as asylum-seekers. The New York Times reported that Arab raiders from Darfur have pushed into Chad, stealing, pillaging, and killing anyone who resists. The UN has pledged to send troops to help protect residents of the area, but they are not yet on the scene.

Rioting by inmates resumed inside Afghanistan's Policharki prison Tuesday after a 24-hour lull, and police killed at least one man in the act of trying to tear down a gate. Negotiations between authorities and inmate representatives broke down when the latter reportedly reneged on an agreement to be moved to a newly refurbished wing of the facility. The latest casualty brings to five the number of prisoners who've died since the violence began last weekend. Forty-one others have been hurt. The government's chief negotiator said the rioters were warned that force would be used against them "if the talks don't give a result."

"Maybe within a week," the state of emergency declared by embattled Philippines President Gloria Arroyo will be lifted, a senior defense official said. But the Supreme Court announced it would not hear oral arguments until Tuesday on four petitions filed by civil libertarians and other Arroyo critics challenging the declaration. The president said it is necessary to quash a coup plot by disaffected military personnel and their supporters. Sixteen people so far have been charged with rebellion, a capital offense, and the government's crackdown on activists suspected of involvement was showing no signs of abating.

At least 24 people died and 32 others were hurt when a convoy in which they were riding was attacked by suspected communist guerrillas in central India Tuesday. The attack came despite heavily increased security measures throughout the nation for President Bush's four-day state visit. An estimated 9,300 communist militants operate across India, claiming to champion the cause of landless peasants, and critics say the government has been underestimating the threat they pose.

Saying, "It's serious but not unexpected," the Agriculture Ministry of Sweden announced that so-called bird flu had been confirmed there in wild ducks. Tests were being conducted to determine whether it was the virulent H5N1 strain, which is blamed for at least 93 deaths to date, most of them in Asia.

Controversial leftist Mayor Ken Livingstone of London won a court ruling that blocks his one-month suspension from office for alleged disrespect to a newspaper reporter who is Jewish. The suspension, ordered by the Adjudication Panel for England, was to have begun Tuesday. Livingstone has refused to apologize for comparing the reporter for London's Evening Standard to a concentration camp guard and a "Nazi war criminal." The remarks were caught on audiotape. The newspaper has been a frequent critic of the mayor.

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