Almost $1 billion in cash, removed from Iraq's Central Bank on Saddam Hussein's orders, can't be accounted for, US Treasury Department officials confirmed. The New York Times reported that Hussein's younger son, Qusay, and accomplices organized the removal in tractor-trailer rigs at 4 a.m. April 18, the day before the war began. Knowledgeable Iraqis said the amount was one-quarter of the nation's currency reserves.

Free medical treatment for all peasants diagnosed with SARS was promised by new Premier Wen Jiabao of China as the UN's World Health Organization warned that the virus had yet to peak there. Wen didn't say how the government would pay for the program, which is to include hospitalization and meals. Eight more deaths were reported Tuesday, bringing China's total to 214.

Leftist rebels executed 10 hostages, then fled untouched into western Colombia's jungle as a would-be Army rescue mission was approaching their location. The incident Monday angered President Alvaro Uribe, who vowed on national TV "to fortify our decision to defeat terrorism." Among the dead: a state governor and an ex-defense minister who were kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) more than a year ago. FARC still holds 12 other political figures, dozens of soldiers and local police, and three Americans.

Without extra pollution-control measures, the European Union won't meet its goal for reduced greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, its senior environment official reported. Margot Wallstrom said the EU is "moving farther away from its commitment." She cited 10 of its 15 members for not reducing their emissions by as much as promised. The 1997 treaty is a sensitive issue in Europe, especially since President Bush pulled the US out on grounds of the harm it would do to the American economy.

Walter Sisulu, who died in Johannesburg, was a pioneer of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. But unlike his colleagues Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, he never rose to the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC) or the nation after the racially exclusionary policy fell in 1994. He spent 25 years in prison for treason, sabotage, and membership in the long-banned ANC.

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