The Palestinian militant group whose leader died last week in an Israeli rocket attack said it wants to retaliate by targeting leaders of the Jewish state. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also claimed responsibility for four bomb explosions in Jerusalem, which injured five people. In return, Israeli helicopters rocketed a security post in the West Bank. Meanwhile, a deputy to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel would be willing to dismantle Jewish settlements in exchange for "real peace," but could retake all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip within days if violence continues.

More than 400 unwanted asylum-seekers were on their way to Papua New Guinea after being transferred from a cargo ship stalled in Australian waters. The move was the first step in a process that's expected to divide them between New Zealand, which has said it will accept 150, and the Pacific island of Nauru. The mainly Afghan refugees, however, still could end up in Australia if a federal court there orders the government to accept them.

An "open" trial awaited eight jailed foreign-aid workers as soon as today in Afghanistan, after the ruling Taliban formally charged them with preaching Christianity and other crimes. The charges were lodged after completion of an investigation into their Aug. 3 arrest. If convicted, the group, two of them Americans, is considered likely to receive a less severe penalty than the maximum for proselytizing: execution.

Consideration resumed in Macedonia's parliament on ratification of the deal to extend Albanian rights after debate was suspended Friday. Speaker Stojan Andov, a nationalist, demanded guarantees for the return of people displaced by the ethnic-Albanian insurgency before he'd allow the session to resume. Against that backdrop, the insurgents said they would surrender no more weapons until parliament implemented the accord. (Story, page 6.)

After vowing to make "any agreement with any devil," Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga said her minority government would join forces with a Marxist opposition party to assure survival. In return, her Peoples' Alliance bowed to a demand by the People's Liberation Front (JVP) to call Parliament back to session Thursday and cancel a planned Oct. 18 referendum on constitutional reform. The JVP's 10 seats in Parliament will let Kumaratunga win any no-confidence votes called by her opponents.

Pulled down by gloomy earnings estimates from major corporations, Japan's main stock index fell to its lowest level in 17 years. The Nikkei dipped to 10,409, a dropoff of almost 304 points from Friday and its weakest close since Aug. 14, 1984. Among those issuing revised profits estimates: Hitachi, Sanyo Electric, and Nikon.

Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who died while vacationing in Cyprus, burst onto the international scene in 1967 when he performed the first successful human heart transplant. In his native South Africa during the apartheid era, he also was the first physician to use mixed-race nurses and the first to perform heart-replacement surgery on a black patient.

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