Terrorists spread more violence and grief across Iraq:

• Forty-four people died in Baghdad as a result of car-bomb explosions, all but 10 of them children waiting to receive candies being distributed by US soldiers. Another 139 were hurt, most of them children as well.

• Another car bomb went off in Tal Afar, killing four people.

• Gunmen in Kirkuk shot to death the mayor's chief bodyguard, stole his car, and fled.

• The same group that claims responsibility for kidnapping two French journalists released a video of 10 more people taken hostage - among them two Indonesian women.

Responding to Palestinian rocket attacks that killed two toddlers, Israeli tank units pushed deep into the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, triggering a clash with residents. Twenty-one Palestinians died and at least 108 others were wounded - all of them critically, hospital officials said. Earlier, Hamas claimed responsibility for ambushing a woman jogger and a man who tried to administer first aid to her.

No fighting was reported in the oil-rich delta region of Nigeria after the government agreed to discuss the grievances of rebels seeking autonomy. The latter had threatened "all-out war" beginning Friday unless they were granted self-determination. The threat helped to push crude oil prices above $50 on world markets.

Blaming himself for not coming to grips with the problem sooner, Cuban leader Fidel Castro announced a series of blackouts that will idle major users of electricity for all of October. The measures will affect steel, cement, sugar, and paper mills, and certain residential neighborhoods. The problem, which has grown worse recently, could last for at least five months, Castro said. He blamed a lack of generating capacity and a mechanical fault in the island's main thermoelectrical station.

For the third time this week, military jets were ordered to escort a passenger plane to an emergency landing in Europe. British Airways said it wouldn't discuss details of a security threat that caused a Berlin-to-London flight to be diverted to Amsterdam. Everyone aboard was ordered off for an intensive security screening. Olympic Airlines flights from Athens to New York were diverted Monday and Wednesday to landings in London and Shannon, Ireland.

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