At least 16 more people were killed as US airstrikes targeted suspected terrorist hideouts in Fallujah, Iraq. US military spokesmen identified none of the casualties but said the attacks had achieved their objective. They said intelligence sources had reported the presence of "several key" associates of terrorist leader Musab al- Zarqawi. Meanwhile, Italy's foreign minister was trying to win release of two female aid workers threatened with execution late Monday by their Islamic Jihad Organization captors unless the Rome government pulls all of its troops out of Iraq.

The long-awaited showdown between Iran and Western nations opposed to its suspected nuclear weapons program opened at the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna. While the agency could decide to report Iran to the Security Council for possible economic sanctions, the Tehran government chose to stake out a tough stance, announcing that it was losing patience with UN inspections and that its agreement to suspend enrichment of uranium into a form that could be used for bombs would be "short, temporary." Russia, a key participant in the IAEA meeting, is opposed to a referral to the Security Council for now, Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said.

Disappointed democracy advocates fell far short of their goal in Hong Kong's important legislative election Sunday, winning only three of the 30 seats at stake despite a record-high voter turnout. Final results left pro-Beijing candidates with an unchanged majority on the 60-seat council. China's official Xinhua news agency called Sunday's exercise "the most democratic election in Hong Kong's history."

More than 1 million people in Cuba obeyed government orders to evacuate their homes in anticipation of hurricane Ivan, whose winds had intensified again to 160 m.p.h. Meteorologists said the Category 5 storm probably would not hit the island head-on, after all, but warned that it still posed a serious threat, especially to the vital cigar tobacco region. Meanwhile, authorities on Cozumel, the Mexican resort island, closed its airport, waved away cruise ships, and forbade all other maritime activity in case Ivan tracked that way.

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