World

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan will quit as Army chief – but only if he is reelected, his lawyer said late Monday. The announcement drew immediate fire from exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who plans to return next month to lead an anti-Musharraf campaign. Her People's Party threatened to withdraw from parliament unless "steps for national reconciliation" are taken. The Supreme Court is considering several challenges to Musharraf's intended run for reelection while still in charge of the military, but earlier Monday the Election Commission announced a change in its rules that would allow him to do so.

Nationwide "peaceful protests" were announced by Nepal's Communist Party after it withdrew from the coalition government it joined 10 months ago. But a spokesman warned of violence "if there are attempts to suppress our ... movement" or if demands for the immediate abolition of the monarchy are ignored. Other political parties refused to agree to the demand that King Gyanendra be stripped of his throne by Tuesday.

Share prices were up by 8 percent in Britain's fifth-largest mortgage lender as trading wound down Tuesday, signaling that panic over its weakened financial condition may be over. Investors appeared to be reassured after the Financial Services Authority said Northern Rock "is not in trouble." The bank promised in full-page newspaper ads not to let down its customers after worried depositors withdrew billions of dollars from their savings accounts. The central bank, which bailed out Northern Rock late last week, also said it was making $8.8 billion in emergency funds available at low interest to help ease the credit crunch.

Private schools in Venezuela were warned by President Hugo Chávez that they'll be seized or closed if inspectors report that they are not teaching his government's socialist ideology. The curriculum must be introduced this year, he said Monday as the new academic term began. Adan Chávez, the education minister in his brother's government, said new textbooks are being developed to help educate "the new citizen." Private schools generally are attended by middle- and upper-class students.

More than 1 million residents were evacuated from Shanghai and nearby areas as China's largest city braced for typhoon Wipha, which forecasters predicted would be the most powerful storm there in a decade. It is expected to make landfall early Wednesday with top winds of 180 m.p.h. and waves as high as 36 feet.

An estimated 1,000 Buddhist monks were tear-gassed in Burma (Myanmar) Tuesday as they led a protest against the nation's military rulers. At least three monks were arrested and beaten by police in Sittwe, a northern city, witnesses said. The protest was an outgrowth of demonstrations that began last month against an unpopular increase in fuel prices. They have continued despite the deployment of police at monasteries in key cities and the photographing of participants. Below, monks stage a smaller but related march in Yangon, the former capital.

Advocates for women in Saudi Arabia announced plans to petition King Abdullah for the right to drive cars. The petition is expected to be presented by Sunday, the National Day. Abdullah has said he thinks women eventually will win the right. But two years ago there were calls for a government adviser to be stripped of his citizenship and fired for backing the change. In 1990, 47 women were jailed for challenging the ban on driving, which applies to all nationalities.

Fifty-two police officers in Rio de Janeiro were arrested and charged with accepting bribes to warn narcotics traffickers of impending crackdowns. They are alleged to have received up to $2,000 a week to help gang members avoid arrest. Authorities said warrants also have been issued for other police as the city battles a wave of drug-related violence.

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