Freelance journalist Steven Vincent and 14 US marines were killed in separate incidents in Iraq in another wave of terrorist violence. But the Pentagon denied claims by the terrorist group Ansar al-Sunnah that it had captured a 15th marine who was wounded in the attack in which his colleagues died. Vincent was shot execution-style in Basra following publication in The New York Times of his opinion piece describing the infiltration of the city's police force by Shiite political forces. He also contributed reports to the Monitor.

Hard-line former Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was formally appointed as Iran's new president amid some backtracking on when the country would resume the enrichment of uranium. Its top negotiator in talks with European powers said, "We hope to restart ... by the beginning of next week." Iran had vowed that the enrichment would resume Wednesday. Ahmadinejad awaits only his swearing-in, which is scheduled for Saturday.

Islamic Jihad said it has ordered followers not to target Israelis as they withdraw from the Gaza Strip, beginning Aug. 17. But it was not clear that the order would be obeyed, and an errant rocket fell on a home in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun Tuesday night, killing a Palestinian child and wounding nine other people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which had been aimed at a gathering of Jews protesting the pullout plan.

The UN pledged to help investigate the circumstances of former Sudanese rebel leader John Garang's death, as rioting by his angry followers entered a third day. His widow, Rebecca, joined President Omar al-Bashir in calling for an end to the violence that has killed at least 75 people. The probe also will include Sudanese commissioners and authorities from Uganda, since Garang was returning from a visit there when his helicopter crashed.

Dissident Army officers led an apparently successful coup to overthrow Mauritanian President Maaoya Sid Ahmed Taya. Taya, who seized power himself 21 years ago, was in Saudi Arabia for the funeral of King Fahd. But his harsh stance on Islamist militancy and diplomatic recognition of Israel angered Mauritania's Arabs, and he narrowly survived an attempted overthrow two years ago.

Investigators were recovering the data recorders from an Air France jet that crashed on arrival from Paris at Toronto's international airport Tuesday. Lightning and wind-whipped rain were blamed for causing the plane to skid off the runway and into a ravine, where it burst into flames. All 309 passengers and crew members escaped.

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