UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was delaying his decision on whether to keep alive a fact-finding mission into last month's violence in Jenin, pending consultation with Security Council members. But because of Israel's refusal to admit UN investigators, diplomats said, at best, Annan might only resume negotiations with leaders of the Jewish state over a future mission. In a preliminary assessment of casualties in Jenin, the Boston-based Physicians for Human Rights put the number of Palestinian deaths at "probably" higher than the 45 detailed in hospital records. But a spokeswoman said "we have not seen any evidence" of the massacre that Palestinians claim. (Stories, pages 1, 6.)

A "massive" victory was claimed by Pakistan's President Musharraf after the national referendum Tuesday on whether he should have five more years in power. In official, but still-incomplete returns, more than 98 percent of the voters endorsed Musharraf's continuation in office, official news media reported. But respected analysts faulted the process for having no approved voter rolls and no means of verifying the identities of those who came to the polls.

Supporters of controversial presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen were outnumbered 100 to 1 in early May Day demonstrations across France, the Interior Ministry estimated. All were peaceful, although more marches had yet to get under way, especially in Paris. For his part, Le Pen predicted an "electoral earthquake" in Sunday's runoff against incumbent Jacques Chirac. Above, Le Pen and his wife, Jany, lead marchers to a statue of Joan of Arc to lay a ceremonial wreath.

Muslim rebels holding two Americans hostage in the southern Philippines said they'd hold no further negotiations with the Manila government on freeing the couple. In a radio interview, a spokesman for the Abu Sayyaf group said, "We prefer to prolong [this] crisis to give more embarrassment" to the US. He warned that if US-assisted Filipino troops close in on the Abu Sayyaf hideout, "probably, we'll just say goodbye to these two."

Another province in politically troubled Madagascar declared independence, deepening the rift between rival presidential claimants Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana. Of the huge Indian Ocean island nation's six provinces, two now have seceded in support of Ratsiraka. Ravalomanana, declared the winner in a court-ordered recount of last December's election ballots, was to have been sworn in today, but agreed to an Organization of African Unity request to postpone the ceremony for an unspecified period.

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