A car-bomb attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad - the second in a month - killed two people and injured 19 others. One of the dead was an Iraqi policeman; two of the injured are UN employees. But unlike the Aug. 19 attack on the Canal Hotel, which killed 23 people, the driver of the vehicle was unable to get through a security checkpoint and detonated his explosives about 200 yards from any building. The attack took place a day before President Bush is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly, apparently to offer the world body an expanded role in rebuilding Iraq.

The senior US administrator in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, rejected the French-German push for an early handover of postwar authority to Iraqis. The interim Governing Council set up by the US also has been pressing to take over power. Bremer told CBS-TV it's too soon for the council to assume sovereignty - and its accompanying responsibility for internal security - and that a written constitution and free elections must precede such a move. He has veto power over all council decisions.

NATO members chose the foreign minister of the Netherlands as their new secretary-general. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will succeed Britain's Lord Robertson, who retires in December. He's seen as a bridge-builder who can help to repair damage to the alliance caused by the refusal of France, Germany, and Belgium to back the war in Iraq. The Dutch government supported the war, but in low-key fashion

The inside track to the leadership of Canada was won by ex-finance chief Paul Martin, meaning he would succeed Prime Minister Jean Chrétien when the latter retires in February. Martin, who still must be confirmed by his ruling Liberal Party at its November convention, has promised to repair relations with the US that were strained by Chrétien's opposition to the war in Iraq. He quit as finance minister last year because of differences with Chrétien.

A "bitter defeat" was acknowledged by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder after his Social Democratic Party (SPD) was crushed in a key election in Germany's Bavaria state. The 41-point loss to the Christian Social Union was the SPD's worst there since World War II and its third this year in state elections. It was blamed on the continuing recession and on eligible voters choosing not to go to the polls. But Schröder vowed to press on with a range of economic reforms, some of them deeply unpopular.

One of the worst highway accidents in recent African history killed at least 46 people and injured 33 others Monday. Police in Uganda said a speeding bus rammed a truck carrying UN-donated sacks of corn from Rwanda to Burundi, then careened into a house.

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