Armed with a tough new antiterrorism law, police in Indonesia began hunting those responsible for last Saturday night's car-bomb explosions on Bali. Reports said four suspects already being held would be formally arrested. But officials denied a Washington Post report that a former Air Force officer had admitted building at least one of the bombs. Meanwhile, the leader of an Islamic extremist organization filed a $107 million lawsuit against Time magazine for alleging that he's linked to terrorism. Pressure has been mounting for the arrest of Abu Bakar Bashir, but there also are concerns that that would fuel a backlash by his followers.
New Middle East tensions were simmering because of the opening of a pumping station by Lebanon that Israel has warned against. The Wazzani River, from which Lebanon will be diverting water for border villages, feeds Israel's main reservoir. Dovish Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told parliament as the controversial project was being inaugurated: "We do not and will not tolerate unilateral measures and reserve the right to defend [our] water resources in line with international law."
The three-month-old coalition government of the Netherlands collapsed, and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was preparing to tender his resignation to Queen Beatrix. The move was triggered by a dispute between his health and economic affairs ministers, both of whom sought control of Pim Fortuyn's List, the party formed by the charismatic nationalist who was assassinated in May, nine days before the national election. A new election is expected within three months.
Under security precautions that were unprecedented in Jamaican history, voters cast ballots in a national election that opinion polls showed would likely return Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to power by a narrow margin. If so, he'd become the first to win three consecutive terms. But preelection violence was so prevalent that residents of a Kingston neighborhood blocked streets with rusted cars, old refrigerators, and tree trunks to thwart drive-by shootings.
For the second time in a month, residents of drought-stricken Zambia raided a storage depot containing donated but genetically modified corn rejected by their government. Reports said police had recovered 132 of at least 500 bags looted by people angry that it was not being distributed. The corn was awaiting shipment back to the capital, Lusaka. President Levy Mwanawasa has called the donated corn most of it from the US "poison" even though Americans consume it regularly.
In his clearest signal yet, Pope John Paul II indicated that only his death will end "the mission with which Christ entrusted me." Addressing tourists at the Vatican, the elderly pontiff said he prayed "that I can carry out [my duties] to the end." No predecessor since 1294 has resigned voluntarily. John Paul II is the fifth-longest-serving pope, but speculation has been rampant that he might retire due to ill-health.