Israeli troops had to fire into the air and use water cannon to quell violence between Palestinians and ultranationalist Jews protesting the scheduled withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August. Four Palestinians were hurt, one critically. The incident was the latest in a spiraling campaign to try to turn public opinion against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate 8,500 settlers from Gaza.

After "lengthy, argumentative, and very political debate," the European Union formally proposed to open membership negotiations with Turkey Oct. 3. But the bloc's enlargement commissioner said he couldn't envision the majority-Muslim nation being accepted into the fold before 2014. The EU's proposed constitution has gone down to defeat in two recent referenda - in France and the Netherlands - and many voters said they opposed it because they were against Turkey joining.

Six police officers were hurt and property damage was heavy in a riot in eastern China that erupted Sunday but wasn't reported until three days later. A witness told Reuters that thousands of people became involved after an midafternoon incident in which a motorist in the city of Chizhou struck a child crossing a street. Order was not restored until nine hours later. Such outbursts have become increasingly common, fueled by the widening gap between the poor and those better off.

For the sixth time this month, Islamist separatist militants in southern Thailand decapitated a member of the local Buddhist community. In another area of the same province, militants killed a street vendor in a drive-by shooting, the fourth such fatality in less than a week. The Muslim separatist campaign has resulted in more than 880 deaths since the beginning of last year.

As expected, the lower house of Canada's Parliament passed landmark legislation to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The 158-133 vote Tuesday night still doesn't give the measure the force of law, but final approval, by the Senate, is expected next month.

The late Pope John Paul II formally was placed on the fast track to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church in an applause-filled beatification ceremony at the Vatican. Normally, there is a five-year waiting period for sainthood candidates. John Paul II died less than three months ago.

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