Senior Palestinians rejected President Bush's accusation that Yasser Arafat has "betrayed his people's hopes" in presiding over the violence against Israel. Bush's remarks were delivered as he announced Secretary of State Powell would go to the Middle East to try to calm the crisis. Meanwhile, Israeli troops seized Nablus, the largest city in the West Bank, leaving only Hebron and Jericho as islands of Palestinian control. The number of Palestinians arrested rose to more than 1,100. (Story, page 1; related editorial, page 10; opinion, page 11.)
The trial of four Islamic militants for the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl is to open today in Karachi, Pakistan and in a jail, the nation's high court ruled. Lawyers for Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and his codefendants had argued that they deserved to be tried in open court. Pakistan has insisted on trying Omar first before deciding whether to hand him over to the US, which also has indicted him. Pearl's remains have yet to be found. (Story, page 7.)
The most serious threat so far to Afghanistan's fledgling government a coup plot was foiled, authorities in Kabul said. "Hundreds" of people were reported in custody, all assumed to be supporters of exiled former Prime Minister Gulbiddin Hekmatyar. Senior Afghan officials said the plot called for "a series of attacks" against interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai (above), returning ex-King Mohamad Zahir, and foreign peace-keepers. (Related story, page 6.)
Despite a meeting with the leader of North Korea, the mission of a special South Korean envoy to Pyongyang was off to an unpromising start. He was kept waiting all day Thursday before the session with Kim Jong Il, and his aides and those of the host government failed to bridge differences on how to restart the rapprochement. Moreover, North Korea accused the Seoul government and the US of plotting a military invasion one day after saying it was willing to resume dialogue with the Bush administration.
On schedule, the armed forces of Angola and a representative of the UNITA rebel movement signed an armistice, formally ending the nation's 27-year civil war. The pact calls for UNITA to disband as a fighting force by year's end, under UN supervision. The sides were to hold further negotiations, however, on appointing UNITA representatives to public office. Three previous peace accords, in 1975, 1991, and 1994, unraveled, bringing renewed fighting.
After a fruitless opening session that the defendants refused to attend, the genocide trial of four senior Rwandans was postponed until September, reports said. Army Col. Theoneste Bagosora, the accused planner of the 1994 genocide, and three codefendants have protested that they weren't provided with key documents in time.