World

By a vote of 14 to 1, the UN Security Council approved a binding resolution Monday that gives Iran until Aug. 31 to stop enriching uranium. But the measure, which was watered down from its original draft, does not make economic and diplomatic sanctions automatic if the Islamic republic's government refuses. Thus, the council would have to meet again to consider the issue. Iranian leaders had no immediate response, but the Foreign Ministry warned Sunday that passage would create a deeper crisis in the Middle East. Its spokesman was not specific, but he said adoption of the measure would cause the government to stop considering an offer of incentives that would reward Iran for suspending enrichment.

A bomb concealed in a police car exploded at a funeral in eastern Afghanistan Monday but failed to harm the provincial governor who was its intended target. Still, the incident underscored the challenge confronting a NATO force of 8,000 British, Dutch, Canadian, and US troops as they assume responsibility for security in the nation's volatile southern provinces. The NATO mission also will attempt a new strategy: establishing secure zones in which development can take place.

Voters were given a second opportunity to cast ballots Monday in Congo's presidential election after presumed supporters of one of the candidates ransacked 174 polling places in an important diamond-mining city. Elsewhere, however, the war-ravaged nation's first multiparty election in 46 years was called a "logistical miracle" by the UN and "free and fair" by at least one member of the European Union team monitoring it. Results are not expected until Aug. 31 because of the high turnout. If needed, a runoff will be held Oct. 29.

The truce between the government of Sri Lanka and Tamil separatist rebels is over, one of the latter's leaders declared Monday amid perhaps the heaviest fighting since the document was signed in 2002. Others in the hierarchy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) couldn't be reached for confirmation of that view. For its part, the government said it was not "abrogating from the cease-fire." But battles were reported on two fronts, with at least 39 rebels and seven soldiers killed. Fifteen rebels died in bombings by the Air Force earlier, an LTTE web site acknowledged.

Police looked on as thousands of Mexicans set up tents, slept, played soccer, or danced on Reforma Boulevard in their capital in support of presidential candidate André Manuel López Obrador early Monday. The leftist former mayor of Mexico City ended his third mass rally there the previous afternoon by calling on supporters to seize its downtown section, raising the stakes in his demand for a manual recount of votes from the July 2 national election. The original tally and a computerized recount gave rival Felipe Calderón the victory, but by a margin of just 0.6 percent. Since Mexico's electoral court has until Aug. 31 to rule on whether to order the recount, the takeover of the capital theoetically could go on for weeks. Analysts said the police are unlikely to break it up because López Obrador's political party still controls the city.

Oil futures prices were pushing toward $74 a barrel on world markets Monday on news of a leaking export pipeline in Russia that officials said threatened "an environmental catastrophe." Hours later, however, the warning was rescinded and the state-owned pipeline monopoly said ecological damage was minimal. The conduit, which carries 1.3 million barrels of crude a day, was back in service, the agency said. The leak developed Saturday in the region where the Russian, Belarussian, and Ukrainian borders meet.

Two dozen protesters were injured, four of them seriously, in a clash with police in eastern China over the forced demolition of what was to have been their church, reports said. At its height Saturday, the fighting involved 3,000 Christians and 500 police in Xiaoshan, making it one of the largest confrontations of its type in years, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said. The government permits Christians to meet for services, but only under circumstances controlled by the Communist Party.

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