As journalists looked on, 13 suspects appeared before criminal courts in Baghdad in the first test of Iraq's justice system since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The courts were to decide whether to proceed with formal charges - ranging from looting to murder - against the men, none of them on the US's list of the 55 most-wanted members of Hussein's regime. Future trials in their cases likely will be conducted in "some sort of special chamber set up within the Iraqi system, composed of Iraqi judges, using Iraqi prosecutors," a US adviser to the Justice Ministry said.

Two days before Secretary of State Powell's arrival to open discussions on the "road map" to peace, Israeli helicopters rocketed a car in the Gaza Strip, killing a wanted Hamas leader. Iyad al-Beack had been responsible for 16 attacks by Hamas in which 19 Israelis died, an Army spokes-man said. The radical movement said his death would only increase Palestinian insistence on continuing the current intifada.

A proposed mutual nuclear disarmament by Pakistan and India was rejected by the latter's prime minister. Atal Bihari Vajpayee told Parliament the Islamabad government's offer "is India-specific," whereas "we are concerned about other states as well." In Pakistan, visiting US special envoy Richard Armitage left a meeting with senior officials saying he was cautiously optimistic about new peace overtures between the rivals.

With a Monday deadline looming for a rebel "yes" or "no" to new peace talks, Indonesia sent 3,000 marine reinforcements to volatile Aceh province and warned there would be no halfway measures if war became necessary. Leaders of the Free Aceh Movement did not say how they were likely to respond to the government's offer of discussions but ordered their followers to "report as soon as possible to their posts." The two sides agreed to a truce in December, but the rebels have neither surrendered their weapons nor abandoned their goal of independence.

Calls for the resignation of Queen Elizabeth II's representative in Australia were expected to grow louder after he found it necessary to defend himself publicly against a rape accusation. Governor-General Peter Hollingworth already was under fire for admitting that he allowed a high-ranking Anglican priest to remain active despite knowing he was a pedophile. Hollingworth denied any acquaintance with the woman who alleged that he raped her in the 1960s. She has since died.

Prospects appeared favorable that the third attempt in six months to elect a president of Montenegro would be successful. Late opinion polls give ruling Democratic Party of Socialists candidate Filip Vujanovic a 34-point lead over his closest challenger in Sunday's vote. He finished first in both December's and February's balloting, but the overall turnout fell short of the required minimum both times. That rule has since been rescinded by parliament.

At least 32 passengers died when a speeding train rammed a tour bus in central Hungary. The accident occurred as the bus driver ignored a flashing warning signal at a grade crossing. The bus was carrying Germans to a popular lake resort.

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