Israel's first response to the terrorist bombing Monday in Tel Aviv consisted of arresting the attacker's father and revoking the residency rights in Jerusa-lem of four Hamas members of the Palestinian parliament. But although holding the Hamas-led Palestinian government responsible for the attack, which killed nine people and hurt almost 70 others, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided against tougher retaliation for now, informed sources said. Hamas has called the bombing an act of "self-defense." Other militants, meanwhile, demanded that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas apologize for condemning it.

Twenty-five government officials in Nepal were arrested Tuesday for joining the general strike against King Gyanendra. Members of the Supreme Court also were supporting the protests for a return to democracy, the BBC reported, and diplomatic analysts suggested that the resistance to Gyanendra's absolute rule was nearing a climax. One predicted "a revolutionary situation" unless he hands power back to the established political parties "in the next few ... days." Gyanendra met Monday with two former government chiefs to explore the possible appointment of an interim prime minister. Meanwhile, a convoy of trucks and buses carrying stranded passengers and badly needed foodstuffs and cooking fuel was expected in Kathmandu, the capital, under a military escort.

Tamil separatist rebels added new conditions for their participation in any future peace talks with the government of Sri Lanka. A spokesman for the rebels said Tuesday that "genocide" against their minority community by the Army and "thugs" from the island nation's Sinhalese majority must end and that all agreements reached in the round of negotiations held in February be implemented first. The latter is a reference to the government's pledge to disarm paramilitary groups it is accused of backing. Mediators hope that the second round of talks will take place next week.

In a bid to quell recurring violence in Nigeria's oil region, President Olusegun Obasanjo Tuesday promised hundreds of new jobs in the state-owned National Petroleum Corp. to the residents. Attacks on oil companies and their foreign employees by tribal militants have cost an estimated $1.4 billion in revenues over the past three months and have helped to drive up the price of crude on world markets.

Another 10,000 people who live along the Danube River in Romania were preparing to be evacuated if emergency teams couldn't repair a broken dike before new rains began late Tuesday. The evacuees would join an estimated 5,000 others who had to leave their homes Monday night as the second-longest waterway in Europe approached a level not seen since 1897. To the west, in Serbia, the Danube was receding after flooding caused heavy damage to homes and farmland, but a new wave of water from Hungary was expected to reach one of its tributaries later this week.

Mob violence erupted in the capital of the Solomon Islands as parliament elevated the deputy prime minister to the government's top post, and seven peacekeeping police from Australia were hurt in rioting. Snyder Rini will succeed Sir Allan Kemakeza, whose People's Alliance Party lost 11 of its 20 seats in the legislature April 5 in an election that turned on the issue of governmental corruption. Rini and Kemakeza are close political allies. Protesters stoned police, looted stores, set fire to buildings and vehicles, and trapped Rini inside parliament for hours before he could be rescued. The Australians, along with other police from New Zealand, were sent to the Solomons in 2003 to restore order after years of ethnic strife.

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