The US won support from such allies as Japan, the European Union, and South Korea for suspending construction of two nuclear power plants in North Korea because of the latter's weapons program. The halt, if announced later this month, probably would last at least one year. The Bush administration has said it cannot provide communist North Korea with cheap electricity unless the weapons program is dismantled, even though the Pyongyang government said last week it agrees "in principle" to return to talks on ending the confrontation.

Attacks on US military compounds in Iraq spread to the relatively quiet northern city of Mosul. Terrorists launched rocket-propelled grenades at a barracks there, although no casualties were reported. In another setback, Turkey's government said it would not send peacekeeping troops to Iraq without a written invitation from the interim Governing Council, some of whose members openly oppose the US request for 10,000 Turkish troops.

Palestinians complained that they saw little change despite an Israeli announcement of eased travel restrictions in the West Bank. Israeli security sources also said the Defense Ministry had decided in principle to remove up to 20 West Bank settlements. The gestures were intended as a boost to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, who's in a power struggle with Yasser Arafat over control of the authority's security functions. Qureia missed a Tuesday deadline for announcing his cabinet nominees, but he and Arafat were to meet Wednesday to try to end their impasse.

A day after firing three cabinet members and suspending Parliament, Sri Lanka's president declared a state of emergency, giving herself still more power in her feud with the prime minister. But Chandrika Kumara-tunga's latest move does not mean the government will end a 20-month truce with Tamil separatist rebels, an aide said. Prime Minister Ranil Wickreme-singhe, in Washington for meetings with senior US officials, isn't due home until tomorrow.

Ten applicants were given the final green light to join the European Union next May, although all were told that they're expected to complete reforms of such areas as the courts, tax structure, and privatization of state-owned industries. Most of the 10 are poor and formerly communist-run. Next year's expansion will be the EU's largest. Bulgaria and Romania are on course to join in 2007, but Turkey was warned that failure to resolve its impasse with Greece over the island of Cyprus remains a "serious obstacle" even to opening talks on membership.

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