With 5,000 United Nations peacekeepers now in southern Lebanon, the Israeli army said Tuesday that it expected to complete its withdrawal from the devastated country within a few days. Earlier in the week the army said it had vacated more than 80 percent of the territory it conquered during a month-long war with the Hizbullah guerrilla group. At least 350,000 unexploded bomblets Israel fired into the area still pose a deadly risk, the UN said Tuesday in urging Israel to hand over detailed information about the cluster bombs.

Canadian justice Dennis O'Connor recommended that the government file formal protests with both the US and Syria for their mistreatment of Syrian-born Maher Arar, a Canadian software engineer. The request came after a special commission that looked into Arar's case exonerated him of all suspicion of terrorist activity. Arar was detained at New York's Kennedy Airport in 2002 on his way home from a vacation in Tunisia and sent to Syria for interrogation, where he claims to have been tortured. Arar has been at the center of the controversy over extraordinary rendition, the practice of sending suspects to third countries without court approval so that they can be forcefully interrogated.

Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories, demanded Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI make a clear apology for recent controversial remarks on Islam instead of saying that he was "deeply sorry."

A lawmaker representing the largest Sunni bloc in the Iraqi government demanded explanations Tuesday from the defense and interior ministers on what is being done to put an end to death squads and kidnappings. The call came after police recovered three blindfolded bodies, the latest signs of sectarian violence that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned on Monday placed Iraq in "grave danger" of collapsing into civil war.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who is meeting with officials in China this week, said Tuesday that he isn't looking for any "immediate solutions or quick fixes to any particular economic issues." Chinese leaders, meanwhile, appealed to Washington not to politicize economic disputes. The US has said that the exchange rate of China's currency is too low, giving China's exports an unfair price advantage that leads to trade imbalances.

Taliban guerrillas said Tuesday they had shot and killed a Turkish contractor in Afghanistan after the Turkish security firm that employed him ignored the Taliban's 24-hour deadline for leaving the country. Authorities have yet to confirm the death of Mustafa Asimi, who was abducted Aug. 28 in an ambush.

While attending UN meetings in New York Tuesday, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra went on an army-owned TV station back home to declare a state of emergency amid rumors of a military coup. He ordered a transfer of the nation's army chief to the prime minister's office, effectively suspending the officer's military duties.

Farm-exporting nations from Asia, the South Pacific, and Japan open three days of talks Wednesday in Cairns, Australia, focused on finding a solution to disagreements with the US, Europe, and Japan about agricultural subsidies and tariffs. The group is expected to endorse an Australian proposal for a $5 billion cut in US subsidies and a 59 percent reduction in European tariffs, steps Washington and the EU reportedly oppose.

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