Secretary of State Powell is due to arrive Tuesday at the Earth Summit in South Africa, where other world leaders have taken turns blasting the US for as French President Jacques Chirac put it "its often-ravenous appetite for natural resources." Meanwhile, the US was resisting language in the summit's action plan calling for halving the number of people living without sanitation by 2015, arguing that only concrete projects not agreements on paper will achieve results.
The return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq isn't out of the question after all, Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told journalists. His remarks appeared to contradict an earlier position, repeated in a CNN interview only the day before, that a return was "a nonstarter." Last month, Iraq's Information Ministry said all necessary inspections for weapons of mass destruction ended in 1998. Powell told the BBC Sunday: "As a first step, let's see what the inspectors find. Send them back in."
Typhoon Rusa slammed into South Korea over the weekend, dumping up to 28 inches of rain in some areas. At least 158 people were reported killed or missing, 274 highway or railroad bridges were washed away, and damage to farmland was so extensive that authorities predicted no crops would be harvested. The storm was the worst to hit the country in almost 50 years.
Thirty tons of emergency food aid were denied entry into Zimbabwe by customs officials because the shipment was obtained by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The MDC has vowed to bring in corn to supplement what it says are inadequate grain shipments arranged by President Robert Mugabe's government despite estimates that up to 6 million Zimbabweans face starvation. Mugabe said he won't allow anyone to starve, although critics accuse him of using food as a weapon to punish people who voted against his reelection in March.
Peace negotiations with the rebels of southern Sudan were suspended by the government after its forces surrendered an important town in fighting Sunday. Analysts had predicted the fall of Torit, a garrison for government troops after the rebels lost control of it in 1992, would have little impact on the talks since fighting was continuing anyway. But a government spokesman said the army no longer would be bound by "self-restraint." The sides agreed in July on the principle of autonomy for the south and the right to hold a referendum on secession.