Syria appeared almost certain to limit its reaction to diplomatic channels after an air-strike early Sunday by Israel on a suspected terrorist training base for Palestinians north of Damascus. The raid was believed to be Israel's first inside Syria since 1973, and a spokes-man for Prime Minister Sharon called it "a very clear, focused message" to the Damascus government to dismantle "the terror organizations that operate from its territory." The raid was in retaliation for Saturday's Palestinian terrorist bomb attack in Haifa, Israel.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the Haifa attack, which killed 19 people in a cafe popular with both Jews and Arabs. It came amid preparations for Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and brought new pressure on Sharon to expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

An Iraqi fingered by local informants as a weapons dealer was arrested in Saddam Hussein's hometown by US troops, and a search of his home turned up blasting caps and other materials described as "incriminating." On the diplomatic front, the UN Security Council is expected to meet Monday for a discussion of the US-drafted resolution on postwar Iraq. But Secretary-General Kofi Annan's opposition, along with new criticism by French President Jacques Chirac, left the US looking for specific suggestions on modifying its language.

"Total agreement" was reached between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on measures to prove that the former's nuclear program is peaceful, a government spokesman said. The UN agency has given Iran until Oct. 31 to prove it isn't producing nuclear weapons or face possible sanctions. But the government has not said it will respect the deadline and has warned it will limit access to its nuclear sites by IAEA investigators if it appears national security is being affected. Twice in recent weeks, Iran has conceded that weapons-grade uranium traces have been found at such sites.

Saying, "I changed my mind because there's a higher cause," Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced Saturday that she'll seek a full term in her own right next year. Political opponents quickly accused her of lying when she pledged last December to retire from politics. The Constitution limits chief executives to one six-year term. But Arroyo may run legally because she was vice president when President Joseph Estrada was forced to resign in early 2001 and is serving the unexpired portion of his term.

A grenade thrown from a passing motorcycle wrecked the entrance of Venezuela's state telecommunications agency late Friday, hours after its agents seized transmission equipment from a TV channel that has been critical of leftist President Hugo Chávez. Chávez has feuded with the station, one of four whose coverage of his self-styled revolution he claims is aimed at destabilizing the nation. The media agency said the station was raided for using certain frequencies without permission.

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