Iran appeared to be ignoring its deadline for suspending the enrichment of uranium Wednesday as the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency prepared to deliver a report to the UN Security Council that could open the way to a new set of economic sanctions. A day after offering to halt the enrichment program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called nations opposing it "the enemy" and said they are making "a big mistake" if they think they can thwart Iran's will to achieve the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
Undercover Israeli special forces shot and killed one of the most-wanted Palestinian militants as he drove a car packed with explosives in the West Bank city of Jenin. Mahmoud Abu Obeid, the chief of Islamic Jihad's military wing, had dispatched a would-be suicide bomber for an attack in Tel Aviv, informed sources said. The attack was foiled earlier this week when the man was arrested. Above, Palestinians in Jenin vent their anger at Obeid's death.
As expected, India and Pakistan set aside the train bombing of last Sunday and agreed to a new pact aimed at avoiding the risk of accidental nuclear war. Their foreign ministers pledged to continue the momentum of what is now a three-year-old peace process and agreed to a new set of negotiations on mutual troop withdrawals from a strategic area of disputed Kashmir.
The final round of negotiations on the political future of Kosovo opened in Vienna, with a UN mediator saying both sides were in a conciliatory mood. But Serbian and ethnic Albanian representatives are expected to focus on the technical aspects of the UN's plan for Kosovo because they "have not moved closer together," Martti Ahtisaari said. The talks are due to end March 10, after which Ahtisaari's plan goes to the Security Council, which will have the final say.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added to Russia's growing unhappiness at a US plan for missile defense sites in two former Soviet satellites. He said Wed-nesday that the Kremlin regards the proposed system as a sign that the US seeks nuclear superiority over Russia. On Monday, the chief of Russia's strategic missile program warned that it "might" target Poland and the Czech Republic for strikes if parts of the US system are built on their soil. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the comment "extremely unfortunate" and said the US has explained to Russia that the system would counter a "quite pronounced" threat from Iran.
A group claiming to succeed Somalia's ousted Islamist militia warned Wednesday that it will attack African Union (AU) peacekeepers once they arrive. A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations said it is "ready to fight any foreign troops." Deployment of an AU force that is envisioned to have 8,000 members was approved unanimously on Tuesday by the UN Security Council. To date, however, only half that number have been pledged by Uganda, Burundi, Nigeria, and Ghana.
Muslim separatists were blamed for setting fire to a rubber storage warehouse in southern Thailand early Wednesday that the owners of the business said may force them to close. The joint Thai-Malaysian venture lost $12 million worth of product in the blaze. Police said separatists also shot to death three more people in the area and fired on a motorcade carrying an aide to Queen Sirikit. The aide escaped injury, but a guard was wounded. Below, firemen pour water on the flames.
In a "quite dramatic" move, European Union members pledged to lower greenhouse gas emissions to levels that make new restrictions on cars and commercial aviation almost certain. EU environment chiefs agreed Tuesday to cut emissions across the bloc to 80 percent of their 1990 levels over the next 13 years. Skeptics, however, questioned whether poorer members will be able to shoulder such a burden. The Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which expires in 2012, calls for only a 5 percent cut in emissions from 1990 levels.