Western leaders sent messages of support to Hamid Karzai after his opponent dropped out of the election in Afghanistan. But the US is also exploring alternatives, including a closer association with local leaders.
The Taliban could expand their influence to more Pashtun areas by merging its pan-Islamic goals with the long-suppressed dream of a Pashtun state.
Amid likely vote fraud, some experts now call for a coalition government or a return to the tribal system to clear the impasse.
The North claimed to have weaponized plutonium and said its nuclear status would not change. But analysts see bid for attention.
Readers write about Bangladesh's counterterrorism efforts, US-Venezuela relations, and California fire prevention.
With elections there postponed until Feb. 18, and turmoil unabated, the Bush administration evaluates its options for spurring its war-on-terror ally toward greater democracy.