As President Bush paid a surprise visit, an estimated 75,000 soldiers, most of them Iraqi, were assembling in Baghdad for new Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki's promised crackdown on public order. In a news release, Maliki said the effort, which begins Wednesday, would involve securing roads in the capital, a ban on carrying weapons, and a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Other details were not spelled out, but the Interior Ministry's commander for security said military air support would be called in as needed. Maliki will decide when to end the crackdown, the commander said, warning that Al Qaeda probably would attempt retaliatory attacks "in the predominantly Sunni areas" for the killing last week of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Iran won support from the 16-member bloc of nonaligned nations for its "basic and inalienable right" to produce and use nuclear energy. In a statement presented to the board meeting of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, the bloc said it believed that all countries have that right so long as such use is for "peaceful purposes." The statement came as Western members of the IAEA board were seeking broad support of their own for obliging Iran to halt enrichment of uranium. But China and Russia, both of which also hold veto power in the UN Security Council, said late Monday they would not join in sending a unified message to Iran that it must abandon enrichment.
At least 40 more people were hurt in the capital alone as a general strike called by Bangladesh's political opposition began Tuesday and police responded to stone-throwing participants with batons and tear gas. The new casualties come on top of the roughly 200 who were injured in clashes Sunday. In all, the strike involves more than 60 cities and is the latest tactic by the Awami League alliance to try to topple Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's government, which it says is corrupt and incompetent. The alliance also accuses Zia of influencing the national elections commission to guarantee her victory next January. An unelected interim committee is to supervise the voting, but the opponents say it will be packed with Zia supporters.
The first of 35 rounds of formal talks on admitting Turkey to membership in the European Union opened Tuesday, with officials of the bloc saying it was "not an easy matter [but] we've made a start." The process is expected to take 10 years. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who sat in on the session in Luxembourg, called the opening "an important milestone." Cyprus, which joined the bloc in 2004, had sought to stall the talks until its government is granted formal recognition by Turkey. It settled for a last-minute EU agreement to remind the Turks of that obligation.
For the first time in the nation's history, legislators on Taiwan decided Tuesday to open hearings on whether to oust the president. By a vote of 113 to 96, they authorized a screening committee to begin work next week. The process also calls for a June 27 vote on whether to schedule a national referendum on recalling Chen Shui-bian. The move gives him seven days to issue a statement defending himself, but a spokesman could not say immediately whether he'd do so. Chen himself has yet to be linked to a series of scandals that have led to the campaign for his recall, but members of his family and former aides are accused of using his influence for personal gain. His term normally would end in 2008.
Legendary former Prime Minister Charles Haughey, who died Tuesday in Dublin, will be given a full state funeral in Ireland even though he spent his retirement in disgrace. Although beloved by supporters, each of his four terms was marred by scandal and he was forced to resign in 1992 after evidence surfaced that he'd authorized the wiretapping of reporters' telephones. In 2000, he agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle a claim for back taxes.