A state of emergency was declared across France by President Jacques Chirac, allowing cities and towns to try to quell rioting by imposing curfews. But Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said restoring order "will take time." In the worst incident in a 12th straight night of violence, immigrants in Tou-louse ordered passengers off a bus, set it on fire, and pelted police with gasoline bombs and rocks when they responded. Asked by a TV interviewer if the Army would be ordered to deal with the rioters, Villepin said, "We're not at that point."

In coordinated predawn raids in Sydney and Melbourne, Austral-ian police disrupted what officials called "the final stages of a terrorist attack" by Islamist radicals that could have been "catastrophic." Using tough new laws, the raiders arrested 17 suspects, among them a cleric who has been an open admirer of Osama bin Laden, and seized chemicals, guns, computers, backpacks, and travel documents. Prime Minister John Howard, a close ally of the US counterterrorism campaign, has said repeatedly that his country is a target for attacks.

The war-crimes trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his codefendants was thrown into more confusion Tuesday after another defense lawyer was killed in a drive-by shooting. The attack wounded a second lawyer in the case. Defense attorneys already were threatening not to show up for the next session of the trial, Nov. 28, unless they are given better protection. On Oct. 20, one day after the first session of the trial, kidnappers posing as Interior Ministry staffers seized and killed a defense lawyer.

A new round of voting was ordered in one of the districts in Azerbaijan where opponents rejected the outcome of last Sunday's election giving the ruling party a huge majority in parliament. A recount of ballots in a second district also was ordered by officials. Both decisions came as opponents prepared to stage an angry public protest Wednesday in Baiku, the capital of the former Soviet republic. The opposition says the election and vote-counting were rigged, a claim supported by independent foreign monitors.

Prospects for a Christmastime election in Canada grew stronger after the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin lost its last ally in Parliament. The New Democratic Party said Monday it would not support Martin in a vote of confidence motion because his government has failed to effect healthcare reform. Opposition parties bold enough to call for such a vote will have seven opportunities to do so between next Tuesday and Dec. 8. Martin's fragile Liberal Party government was rocked further last week by a report summing up a high-level investigation that has implicated some of its senior people in a kickback scandal.

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