Another 1,200 troops were ordered to Iraq by the British government, but otherwise the early international reaction to President Bush's call for peacekeepers and financial help there was tepid, at best. Most traditional US allies withheld immediate comment or said they'd wait until after a new UN Security Council resolution on the matter before considering whether to help. Among them: Japan, Germany, India, and France. Australian Prime Minister John Howard applauded Bush's Sunday night speech, but his government last week said it wouldn't send peacekeepers even under a new UN resolution.
As expected, Yasser Arafat chose Legislative Council Speaker Ahmed Qureia to be the new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. And sources close to him said he agreed in principle to accept the post, succeeding Mahmoud Abbas. But Qureia told journalists he'd only take it if the US guaranteed Israeli compliance with the road map to peace, especially in terms of halting military strikes against Palestinian radical organizations and "the demolishing of houses" of militants identified as carrying out terrorist attacks. Qureia is widely regarded as a moderate. Senior Israel had no immediate comment on his appointment, but the Jewish state has ruled out any dealings with a leadership controlled by Arafat.
How much cooperation can be expected from Iran on a review of its nuclear program appeared in question as the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors opened a key meeting in Vienna. IAEA chief Mohamad ElBaradei urged the Tehran government "to demonstrate full transparency" by providing "a complete and accurate declaration of all its nuclear activities." He described information recently turned over to his investigators as "piecemeal" and "inconsistent with that given previously." The IAEA wants to conduct intrusive inspections of Iranian facilities - described by the US as a front for a weapons program - without notice. But Iran's delegate to the meeting warned of "clearly defined red lines" around its nuclear program, which "by no means will we step back from."
A major military parade Tuesday on North Korea's 55th anniversary of nationhood is expected to showcase a powerful new ballistic missile capable of reaching the US, reports said. Development of the missile, whose range is believed to be up to 2,470 miles, was completed last year. Defense analysts, however, say there's no evidence that it has been tested yet, or is about to be. North Korea's delegate to the recent six-nation talks on its nuclear ambitions warned that his government could prove it has the means to deliver a nuclear warhead.
Amid warnings by the UN's World Health Organization that nations should not yet close the book on SARS, authorities in Singapore confirmed the first apparent new case there in five months. Tests on the hospitalized patient, an ethnic Chinese, were continuing as were preparations to quarantine anyone known to have come in contact with him. Thirty-three deaths in Singapore were blamed on the virus, also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome, although none have been reported since early May.