An estimated 100,000 people massed in Moscow's Red Square to protest against terrorism, and President Vladimir Putin postponed a state visit to Germany, calling for unity following the massacre of last weekend. In a meeting with foreign reporters, he accused them sarcastically of "setting some limitations in your dealings ... with child-killers" and ruled out any dialogue with Chechen separatists or an inquiry into his handling of the crisis. But critics said the rally was aimed at deflecting criticism of Putin's failure to ensure security for most Russians.

Terrorists in Baghdad abducted two Italian women and an Iraqi working for the private aid organization A Bridge To.... The incident came hours after new fighting in the capital between loyalists of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and US and Iraqi troops killed 24 Iraqis and an American. Baghdad's Sadr City district wasn't included in last month's peace deal that halted fighting in Najaf.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia joined Hamas in warning of retaliation for Monday night's Israeli assault on a terrorist training camp in Gaza City that killed 14 people. Thirty others were wounded. Retaliation would be "justified," Qureia said, calling the attack "criminal." Israeli tanks and aircraft pounded the facility a week after Hamas claimed responsibility for two bus bombings in the city of Beersheba in which 16 passengers died. Monday night's strike was the deadliest in Gaza since mid-May.

No "fanatic" or "extremist" will be allowed to teach in the schools of Saudi Arabia, its education minister announced four days before the start of the new academic year. He said the government had decided on the strategy "so as not to spoil the minds of our sons and daughters or sway them toward un- Islamic actions." The kingdom has been under international pressure to reform its conservative society in the wake of worldwide terrorist attacks, some involving Saudi nationals. But even critics say the education ministry deserves credit for removing from textbooks material offensive to Christians and Jews and that tend to glorify jihad, or holy war.

All navigation was ordered to halt on China's swollen Yangtze River and authorities placed the massive Three Gorges Dam project on alert as flood crests approached. The number of deaths blamed on five days of torrential rain and subsequent flooding passed 118, and thousands more people were left homeless.

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