Strict new antiterrorism regulations were imposed by the government of Jordan, requiring - among other measures - that any foreigner renting a house or apartment be reported to security forces within 48 hours. Violators will be subject to unspecified "legal ramifications," Interior Minister Awni Yirfas said. The nation's security apparatus already has wide-ranging powers, although those failed to prevent last week's terrorist bombing of three hotels in Amman, the capital, by Iraqi nationals, which killed 60 people. The government said it is drafting even tougher terror-specific legislation to be presented to parliament early next year.
An Islamic rebel organization claimed responsibility for a car bomb explosion that appeared to target a fast-food outlet in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, killing at least three people and wounding 22 others - some of them critically. The blast and resulting fire also caused heavy property damage. The outlet was a franchise of the American chain KFC, which has been the target of two other attacks in Karachi since April. But above the KFC outlet are the offices of state-owned Pakistan Petroleum, which operates natural gas wells in the Province of Baluchistan. The Baluchistan Liberation Army said the attack was aimed at pressuring the government for more revenues from the production of gas.
The entire poultry stock of China, an estimated 14 billion chickens and ducks, will be vaccinated against the risk of bird flu, the government said Tuesday after two more outbreaks of the virus were reported. China has roughly one-quarter of the world's farm poultry, and the government said it would cover the expense of inoculations. It also pledged to ship 45 tons of vaccine to Vietnam, which has been hit harder still. Meanwhile, Indonesia, which has been criticized for moving too slowly to combat the virus, said it would send soldiers house-to-house to search for infected birds. But President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono complained that his government lacks the funds to compensate farmers for destroying their flocks when necessary.
The results of another district election in Azerbaijan were annulled by authorities, bringing to four the number that will require a new round of voting since opponents of the government alleged that the Nov. 6 balloting was rigged. The Election Commission said police had interfered with both the voting and the tallying of results in the latest area, 220 miles west of Baku, the capital. The election gave the ruling party of President Ilham Aliev a solid majority in parliament, but opposition parties have claimed fraud and independent monitors agreed that it fell short of international democratic standards.
If the political opposition is bent on toppling his government, it will have to do so without his help, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin vowed, rejecting a demand late Monday that he schedule a national election after the year-end holidays. His stand appeared to make all but certain a motion of no confidence in Parliament later this week or early next, which opposition legislators say they have enough votes to win. Martin's Liberal government is entangled in a multimillion-dollar kickback scandal that has angered Canadians, although recent opinion polls show it still enjoys more support than the opposition.
With a smile and a wave to news cameramen, Venezuela's ambassador to Mexico left for home as the row between their governments escalated. Mexico also recalled its ambassador after Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez refused to apologize for warning his counterpart, Vicente Fox, not to "mess with me, or you'll get stung." Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said an apology would be unjustified. Chávez also called Fox a "puppy" of US imperialism because of the latter's support for the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. Chávez is adamantly opposed to the plan.