It would be "dangerous" for Zimbabwe's High Court to order the release of presidential voting results, the national election commission said. Its lawyer told the court that such an order "might not be complied with" because of factors beyond the commission's control. He appeared to be referring to the rising tensions between the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which claims its candidate won, and incumbent Robert Mugabe, who was seeking reelection. Zimbabwe's neighbors have been summoned to an emergency meeting on the situation Saturday.

US negotiators declined to confirm claims that they and North Korean representatives had reached a deal on compensation for full disclosure of the latter's nuclear activities. But they did say progress had been made on the issue, the BBC reported. Earlier, North Korea's foreign ministry announced that the two sides had arrived at "a consensus." North Korea was due to submit a full disclosure of its nuclear program last Dec. 31 but it still has not been forthcoming.

By consent, members of parliament in Kosovo adopted a state Constitution Wednesday, and the countdown began to June 15, when the UN mission administering the province is to hand over the last of its powers. The charter calls for a "free, democratic, and peace-loving country that will be a homeland to all its citizens." It also guarantees protections for the province's Serbs, most of whom are hostile to independence. But with Serbia and permanent UN Security Council member Russia both firmly opposed to independence, it is not clear how the transition will proceed.

Eight more people were killed in Nepal in the hours before Thursday's election to reshape the political future of the kingdom. Voting for the commission that will rewrite the Constitution already has been delayed twice because of violence, and authorities in the district where one of the victims died said they'd postpone it for at least another week. The Communist Party, which is participating in an election for the first time, accused security forces of orchestrating some of the violence to try to save the monarchy.

A medical team abandoned plans to treat former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and was expected to return to France Wednesday after her captors denied it access. The Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) said the mission was "not reasonable" because the doctors had arrived without any prior agreement. Betancourt is believed to be seriously ill after six years in captivity, but FARC still hopes to trade her and other hostages for hundreds of its members who are in prison.

Despite a week of rioting over soaring food prices, Haiti is not descending back into political instability, its finance minister insisted. At least five people have died in the violence, which escalated Tuesday when UN peacekeepers fired rubber bullets to keep protesters from storming the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.

Leaders of Venezuela's steelworkers union said Wednesday they've been told that the government will take over a plant owned by Argentine investors. Ternium Sidor, the country's largest producer, has been in a dispute with unionized employees over pay, and President Hugo Chávez threatened last year to nationalize it. Last week he nationalized the cement industry and, before that, the oil, gas, telecommunications, and electric utility sectors.

A vast alpine wilderness inhabited by grizzly bears, caribou, and Dall sheep will become Canada's newest national park, the government announced. The 1.9 million-acre reserve in the Northwest Territories known as Naatsihchoh is considered some of the world's most spectacular scenery. Conservationists had lobbied for national park status since the early 1970s.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.