An incursion into Iraq by Turkish military forces appeared closer than ever Tuesday after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave the go-ahead to pursue Kurdish separatist rebels across the border. Erdogan is under heavy political pressure to respond to the separatist attacks Sunday and Monday that killed 15 Turkish troops. An spokesman for Iraq's government deplored the violence but said "regional cooperation" was the best way to counter it. Above, Turkish soldiers at the border salute ambulances carrying the latest victims to their funerals.

The preconditions demanded by Burma's military rulers before they'll meet with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi were rejected Tuesday by her National League for Democracy. Dialogue, it said, must be "based on sincerity and the spirit of give and take." Junta leaders said Monday they sought "smooth relations" with Suu Kyi and appointed a senior Labor Ministry official as their liaison to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist. But they also demanded that she first renounce all talk of international sanctions against their regime.

Residents streamed out of a town in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region as government forces ratcheted up operations against encampments of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants. There were no details on new casualties, but with combat in its fourth day, an Army spokesman said 45 soldiers had been killed versus an estimated 145 militants. Almost 100 others were wounded or listed as missing in the heaviest fighting on Pakistani soil in months.

An array of sophisticated weapons systems – but not a long-range missile capable of striking targets in mainland China – is to be on display Wednesday as President Chen Shui-bian leads Taiwan in its first National Day military celebration in 16 years. Although the "Brave Wind" missile was expected to be unveiled, defense sources said it isn't ready to be shown publicly. The military parades were ended in the hope of easing tensions with China. Instead, tensions have increased due to Chen's campaign to emphasize Taiwanese sovereignty and a huge corresponding military buildup on the mainland.

At least 45 people were reported dead Tuesday and many buildings were gutted by fire in one of Darfur's main towns, with African Union peacekeepers and a local rebel faction both blaming Sudanese government forces for the violence.The raid on Muhajiriya came amid preparations for a peace conference on Darfur Oct. 27. Analysts have speculated that the latest surge in Darfur violence is an effort by conference participants to bring more land under their control before the talks open.

A bomb exploded under the car of a politician's bodyguard in Bilbao, Spain, Tuesday, hours after a Basque separatist leader warned of a "new cycle of violence." The guard, who worked for a city councilman from the ruling Socialist Party, was wounded. Suspicion fell immediately on ETA, the Basque separatist organization, for the attack. The separatist's warning followed the arrest late last week of 23 members of ETA's political wing, which the latter called a declaration of war. Spain celebrates its National Day later this week, and the Interior Ministry said it was tightening security measures as a precaution against ETA attacks.

Payment terms were agreed to between Ukraine's government and the Russian natural gas monopoly for $1.3 billion in overdue bills, apparently ending worries that the latter would shut off supplies of the fuel as cold weather arrived. The monopoly, Gazprom, has a history of cutting the flow in the midst of pricing disputes, leading to accusations that Russia uses its vast energy reserves to bully its neighbors.

For their work in computer data storage and retrieval, French-man Albert Fert and German Peter Gruenberg will share the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciencies announced Tuesday. Their discoveries in the field of magnetoresistance have helped make it possible to pack increased amounts of data onto hard disks for such applications as laptops and iPods.

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