Suicide bombers driving what looked like a police car set off a huge blast in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, late Saturday, killing at least 11 people and injuring more than than 120 others. The attack targeted a residential compound for foreign workers, with Lebanese, Sudanese, and Egyptian nationals among the dead. Arab and Western governments joined in condemning the attack, which occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Saudi government blamed a similar series of bombings in May on Al Qaeda and has targeted suspected terrorist cells in recent sweeps.
Though it lost significant ground, the ruling coalition of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reportedly won enough seats to retain control of Parliament in Sunday elections. Public broadcaster NHK said partial returns showed the Liberal Democratic Party and its partners taking at least 252 seats in the 480-seat lower house, the number Koizumi had set as his goal. The opposition Democratic Party, which has criticized Koizumi's handling of the economy and his plan to send peacekeepers to Iraq, was expected to add more than 30 seats to its current 137 tally.
Under mounting pressure to prove that its nuclear program is peaceful, Iran said Sunday that it will stop enriching uranium this week. The statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza came a day after Tehran's pledge to formally accept toughened inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The UN's nuclear watchdog is due to release a report Nov. 20 evaluating US claims that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat emerged as the clear winner from a power struggle with Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia. After lengthy debate, Qureia announced he'd formed a Cabinet that features Hakam Balawi - Arafat's choice - as interior minister and leaves security forces under various commands. That fails to meet demands by Israel and the US, and it wasn't clear if Israel would resume high-level contacts with Qureia's government as a result.
Georgia's defense minister warned his nation is "practically out of control" amid protests over Nov. 2 parliamentary elections. Thousands of opposition activists are demanding the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze for allegedly rigging the results in favor of his party.