Daily terrorist attacks against American forces in Iraq have dropped to about half their previous rate over the past two weeks, US postwar officials there said. But in having "failed to intimidate the coalition, they have now begun a pattern of trying to intimidate innocent Iraqis," chief administrator Paul Bremer told a news conference in Baghdad. Appearing with Bremer, Gen. John Abizaid, chief of the US Central Command, said the "main problem" confronting coalition forces was "agents of the former regime" of Saddam Hussein rather than foreign Muslim militants who've infiltrated Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iraq's interim Governing Council asked the UN Security Council for a new resolution that would end the American-led occupation next June 30. Under a timetable accompanying the request, the council said Iraqis would have elected a "provisional" administration and parliament by then.

All signs pointed to at least a temporary halt in cross-border shelling and gunfire by India and Pakistan as the Monitor went to press. Their governments agreed to an indefinite truce late Monday. Optimists hoped it would lead to attendance by India's prime minister at a regional cooperation conference in the Pakistani capital in January. But there also was skepticism because hostilities in the dispute over Kashmir traditionally slow with the onset of winter.

Dissidents from the Irish Republican Army may well try to disrupt Wednesday's election for a new Protestant-Catholic power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, police warned. Voters are to choose a 108-member assembly to succeed the one that fell apart late last year when some of its Catholic members were accused of spying on potential terrorist targets for the IRA. IRA dissidents were claiming responsibility for a bomb blast outside a British Army base 40 miles west of Belfast Tuesday, although no one was hurt. Above, assembly candidates from Sinn Fein, the party allied with the IRA are advertised on a campaign poster being carried across a Belfast street.

Jan. 4 was set as the date for an election in Georgia to replace ousted President Eduard Shevardnadze. The announcement came as Shevardnadze's interior and state ministers followed his lead and resigned their posts. But interim President Nino Burdzhanadze, citing new statistics "that are even worse than we thought," said they showed the former Soviet republic faces "economic collapse."

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