Crowds danced in the streets of Baghdad, and ousted President Saddam Hussein watched from his prison cell via a TV hookup, as Iraq's parliament elected a Kurd as his successor. Jalal Talabani, who is expected to be sworn in Friday, quickly extended the possibility of talks to Iraqis who support or participate in terrorism "to reach a solution." His post is largely ceremonial, but he must appoint a prime minister, who is expected to be Shiite leader Ibramin Jaafari.

The Roman Catholic College of Cardinals decided to begin the task of choosing the successor to Pope John Paul II on April 18, scheduling two votes a day until they reach a consensus. Meanwhile, reports said leaders of the church in the late pontiff's native Poland were "likely" to mount a campaign to elevate him to sainthood before the expiration of the current mandatory five-year waiting period.

Thursday's first bus trip across disputed Kashmir will go ahead as planned, Indian and Pakistani officials said despite an invasion by terrorists of the building reserved for passengers. Dozens of people were wounded or otherwise hurt Wednesday as the attackers shot their way into the facility and started a blaze that blanketed the area with smoke. The attackers were killed; the intended passengers escaped unharmed. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to wave a flag, sending the bus on its way in what has become the leading symbol of improved peace prospects between the neighboring nuclear rivals.

The UN will investigate whether any "undeclared" Syrian forces remain in Lebanon after the former complete their scheduled pullout, special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said. But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was skeptical of the plan, saying Syrian "words and deeds don't always match." The Damascus government has pledged to remove all its troops and intelligence units before Lebanon's elections next month.

Both sides in the civil war in Ivory Coast signed an agreement pledging "the immediate and final cessation of all hostilities." The document, negotiated in South Africa with the mediation of President Thabo Mbeki, raised new hopes that the once-stable nation would be spared more bloodshed. But while it addresses such issues as demobilization of both the rebel and pro-government militias, it fails to settle how the eligibility of potential presidential candidates will be determined.

Prince Ranier III of Monaco, who died Wednesday, was credited with transforming the tiny, faded Mediterranean gambling enclave into an international financial center and playground for the wealthy. But he was remembered equally for his glittery romance with Hollywood film star Grace Kelly, resulting in marriage in 1956.

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