World

The six governments participating in talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program will resume those discussions in Beijing next week, a diplomatic source close to the matter said Tuesday. China, the host, offered no confirmation, but Russia's Interfax news agency said the two days of talks would open July 18. North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia, and the US last met on the subject in March.

Due to "special considerations," the Arab League postponed its historic visit to Israel by two weeks. Egypt's and Jordan's foreign ministers originally were to have made the trip to Jerusalem Thursday for consultations on the Arab land-for-peace initiative and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's newly expressed willingness to discuss it. Analysts noted that Thursday will be the anniversary of the start of last summer's Israeli-Hizbullah war.

At least six new Canadian Navy ships will patrol the icy Northwest Passage and other Arctic waters because of an "urgent" need to "assert our sovereignty," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday. He also said a deepwater port will be built to fuel, supply, and repair the new ships. The announcement was expected to sharpen a dispute with the US over the area, which is estimated to contain 25 percent of the world's untapped oil and natural gas. The US considers the area international territory.

Four thousand students were given half an hour to vacate dormitories at the University of Zimbabwe in another sign of the growing discontent over conditions under President Robert Mugabe's rule. They'll be permitted to complete classes and take exams that begin next week but will have to find alternative housing, reports said. The punishment came after students rioted last weekend over an increase in their fees because of a strike by professors that made it necessary to extend the term.

"With the approval of the Supreme Court," the disgraced former chief of China's Food and Drug Administration was executed Tuesday. Zheng Xiaoyu was convicted only two months ago for accepting bribes and dereliction of duty in the agency's approval of six medicines that turned out to be fake. His punishment was considered unusually harsh. But analysts said it sends the strongest signal yet that the government is serious about gaining control over the growing problem of product safety. The government said Tuesday it can guarantee the purity of all food served to participants and the news media at next year's Olympic Games in Beijing.

Farmland and at least 75 towns and villages were being flooded on purpose in eastern China to relieve pressure from a swollen river that's expected to grow as more rain falls in the coming days. At least 11 people have died as a result of conditions in Anhui Province alone, and more than 430,000 others are stranded, the Xinhua news agency said. The intentional flooding is aimed at saving vast areas of cropland and dense residential areas further along the Huai River.

Almost 9,000 people fled to temporary shelters in Indonesia's North Maluku Province as fire, ash, and tall columns of smoke spewed from the Mt. Gamkonora volcano for a second straight day. No damage or casualties were reported, but authorities raised the threat alert to its highest level, meaning an eruption could come within days.

For the first time in 89 years, snow fell on Argentina's capital, and meteorologists forecast more of the bitter cold that has held much of southern South America in its grip since May. Buenos Aires, however, often has experienced sleet and freezing rain since June 22, 1918, the last time there was snow, according to the National Weather Service.

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