World

Lawyers for ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan challenged his deportation Tuesday, less than a day after he was charged with corruption and put on a plane to Saudi Arabia. It wasn't clear, however, whether the challenge would be taken up by the Supreme Court, since it's already considering petitions against President Pervez Musharraf's simultaneous holding of the top Army post and his eligibility to contest the coming national election.

Pressure was expected to mount on Israel's leadership for a new crackdown against Palestinian militants after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip early Tuesday fell on an Army base, wounding at least 35 soldiers. The casualty count was the highest in a single attack since Israel vacated Gaza. Responsibility for the attack, two days before the Jewish New Year, was claimed by Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees.

A new videotaped message purportedly from Osama bin Laden was released Tuesday on the sixth anniversary of Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks on the US. On it, the second in five days, he calls on Muslim youths to join a "caravan" of martyrs, laments the "humiliation, scorn, and enslavement" that Islam "is suffering because it neglected the obligations of Allah," and scorns the world as "not equal in Allah's eyes [to] the wing of a mosquito."

Police were credited with preventing "a catastrophe" in the heart of Turkey's capital Tuesday after they disabled a powerful car bomb before it could explode in a heavily used parking garage. Security already had been tightened in Ankara for the sixth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. No one was accused immediately of planting the bomb, but suspected Kurdish separatists detonated a bomb in Ankara in May that killed six people.

The US Air Force base at Spangdahlem, Germany, was under intense security precautions after a telephoned bomb threat. Authorities said a heavily accented caller claimed to have at least four accomplices ready to strike on the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. The incident came a week after German police arrested three men for plotting to target US bases and nightclubs popular with Americans.

Oil prices neared record highs on international markets after a leftist group, the Popular Revolutionary Army, claimed responsibility for at least six bombings in Mexico's Veracruz State Monday that damaged vital pipelines. Officials of Pemex, the state oil monopoly, said it lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of production. The attacks came as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was expected to announce it won't increase production to meet growing demand. While not an OPEC member, Mexico is the fifth-largest oil exporter.

Notorious narcotics kingpin Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez surrendered without a fight to Colombian police Monday, barely a month after the government admitted that his Norte del Valle cartel had infiltrated the military command staff. Montoya apparently lost his "early warning system" when that discovery cost two generals their jobs and resulted in the arrest of 26 others in the military. He is on the list of the 10 most-wanted fugitives in the US, where he's held responsible for 70 percent of the cocaine smuggled from Colombia.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Zimbabwe's No. 2 city, a fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe, resigned Tuesday, two months after a state-run newspaper printed photographs allegedly showing him in compromising circumstances with a female secretary. Earlier this year, Ncube appealed publicly for mass demonstrations in the streets to bring down the hard-line leader.

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