Around the world Monday, solemn remembrances were held on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Bells tolled in Rome's city hall square. In Indonesia, Muslim students prayed for peace, saying no religion justified such violence. And at a 38-nation summit in Helsinki, leaders stood in silence in a circle. At the same time, however, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an advocate of closer ties with Washington, said that human rights must be protected in fighting terrorism, a reference that calls the US to task for using secret prisons in Europe to interrogate suspects.
In an Al Qaeda video made available on Islamist websites, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the terrorist group's deputy leader, warned that Israel and Gulf Arab states with ties to the US would be its next targets. In the video, Zawahri said that new attacks will spell the "economic doom" of its enemies. In February, Al Qaeda militants conducted a failed attack on the world's largest oil operation in Saudi Arabia.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair was met by thousands of angry protesters in Beirut Monday during a visit in which he pledged that Britain would help rebuild Lebanon. A senior Shiite Muslim cleric expressed a view, shared by many demonstrators, that Blair's refusal to call for a quick cease-fire during a 34-day war between Israeli and Hizbullah forces, led to hundreds of civilian deaths.
Katreen Elias Mikhail, a US-based Iraqi doctor, demanded compensation from arms merchants as the genocide trial of Saddam Hussein resumed Monday in Baghdad after a three-week recess. Mikhail recounted seeing hundreds of people suffer when Saddam's forces bombed Kurds in 1987 and 1988 in northern Iraq with chemical weapons supplied by foreign companies. Saddam said Iraqis shouldn't feel guilty for crushing a Kurdish insurgency.
Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, said she's arranged for family land and not a national heroes' cemetery to serve as the final resting place of her late husband, Ferdinand, the ousted dictator, who died in 1989. The choice ends years of controversy. Mrs. Marcos is reportedly considering making a political comeback by running for mayor of Manila next year.
In negotiating a peace settlement with Uganda's government Monday, leaders of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army said they're willing to release women and children seized during nearly two decades of civil war. Details about where they would be taken and who would care for them must be worked out. According to UN estimates, some 20,000 children were kidnapped by the rebels and pressed into service as soldiers or sex slaves.
As high-level South Korean and US officials met Monday to discuss growing concerns about a possible North Korean nuclear test, Japan launched its third intelligence-gathering satellite, in part to keep a watch on North Korea. According to South Korea's top nuclear envoy, the US has proposed a meeting of North Korea's neighbors and other regional powers on the sidelines of the upcoming meeting of the US General Assembly.
Leaders of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia said Monday that they would hold a referendum on independence in November. Residents will be asked whether they support the policies of the region's leadership, a move that is likely to escalate tensions between Russia and Georgia, whose parliament has accused Russia of trying to annex South Ossetia.
Iran's government ordered the closure Monday of the country's most prominent reformist newspaper, the daily Shargh, for "dozens of violations," according to the official Iranian news agency. One of these involved last week's publication of a cartoon dealing with Iran's controversial nuclear program.