US and South Korean intelligence have detected signs that North Korea may be planning another nuclear weapons test, reports said. The reports came as the North denounced the imposition of sanctions by the UN Security Council, calling that move "a declaration of war." China, the North's closest ally, warned that a second test explosion would "worsen the situation." Russian leaders, however, said they believed North Korea "won't conduct a second test, and it shouldn't."
A third round of dialogue on peace between India and Pakistan will be held next month, their governments said Tuesday. The talks at the foreign secretary level are scheduled for Nov. 14-15 in New Delhi. They were to have taken place in July but were called off after terrorists bombed commuter trains at Mumbai (Bombay), killing more than 200 people. India's government accused Pakistan's spy agency of aiding the attackers.
A "mid-level" Taliban commander and at least 10 other guerrillas died in one coalition attack in Afghanistan Tuesday and 24 more were killed in a second clash, NATO and Defense Ministry spokesmen said. In related action, British troops were reported to be pulling out of an area in southern Helmand Province that had been a Taliban sanctuary. NATO said the withdrawal did not signal a retreat but was in response to a request by tribal elders, due to "a sustained period of calm."
The first face-to-face meeting between Northern Ireland's leading Protestant and Catholic politicians was canceled Tuesday, adding further uncertainty to what had appeared to be new movement toward a power- sharing government. Britain's secretary for Northern Ireland called off the historic session between the Rev. Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party and Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein because of a dispute over the province's police service. On Monday, Adams told reporters he wasn't ready to propose to his party that Catholics endorse a Protestant-dominated police force, one of two central provisions of the latest peace proposal for the province.
Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka claimed Tuesday that airstrikes by military jets had hit a civilian settlement, killing two young children and wounding 15 other people. But the Media Center for National Security said the raids – in retaliation for the Tamil attack on a naval convoy Monday – targeted a rebel encampment, "inflicting heavy damage." Despite Monday's incident, in which at least 95 off-duty sailors were killed, the government said it remains committed to peace negotiations scheduled for Oct. 28. A spokesman said, "It will be a challenge, but we will do our very best."
Terrorism was ruled out as a cause in the collision of two subway trains in Rome Tuesday morning that killed one passenger and injured more than 100 others. The accident also knocked out electricity, complicating efforts to free riders trapped in the wreckage. Both trains were new, so mechanical failure is unlikely to have contributed to the crash, Italy's government said.
For the first time, a woman will serve as an elected member of parliament in Bahrain, the Arab kingdom's news agency reported Tuesday. Although voting is not scheduled until Nov. 25, Lateefa al-Geood won the seat because she is the only candidate registered from her district. She was one of 31 women who ran for seats in parliament four years ago. All of them lost. Critics scorned her victory this time as a government tactic to appease other women candidates who again are "destined to lose."