Zarqawi's Successor

Egypt

Violence Mars Egyptian Referendum About Presidential Vote

Egyptians voted Wednesday on an amendment to open the way for presidential elections with more than one candidate for the first time, but the voting was marred by attacks on opposition protesters, who had called for a boycott. (NY Times)

Protesters Attacked in Cairo

A nationwide referendum on multi-party elections in Egypt turned violent Wednesday as pro-government mobs attacked and beat demonstrators on the streets of the capital. (Washington Post)

India

Northeastern Rebels Agree to Cease-Fire

Rebels fighting for a tribal homeland in India's northeast signed a one-year cease-fire. The pact was signed Tuesday between the federal and Assam state governments and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, the Home Ministry said. (LA Times)

Indonesia

U.S. Embassy in Indonesia Closed After Threat

The American embassy here was closed today because of what officials would only describe as an unspecified security threat. But a Western counter terrorism official and private security analyst said the decision was made after a diagram of the embassy and details of how to carry out an attack using explosives were posted on an Islamic Web site. The diagram, posted by a group calling itself the Brigade Istimata International, showed the location of the ambassador's office and of surveillance cameras and thermal devices. (NY Times)

Bush Backs Continuing Military Ties With Indonesia

President Bush said yesterday that it makes sense for the United States to maintain close military ties with Indonesia, despite the objections of human rights activists who say such coordination should be withheld until Indonesia does more to address human rights abuses by its military. (Washington Post)

Iran

Europe Gets Iran to Extend Freeze in Nuclear Work

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany persuaded Iran on Wednesday to continue its freeze on nuclear activities, averting a diplomatic crisis that could have led to punitive international measures against Iran. In exchange, the Europeans offered to present Iran with detailed, step-by-step proposals by early August at the latest on how to move toward consensus on the shape of Iran's nuclear program. Last November in Paris, Iran agreed to suspend all of its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities while it negotiated the economic, nuclear, political and security benefits it would receive. (NY Times)

Italy

Author Charged With Defaming Islam

A judge ordered author Oriana Fallaci to face trial on charges of defaming Islam. The case arose after Muslim activist Adel Smith alleged that parts of Fallaci's book, "The Strength of Reason," are offensive to Islam, such as a passage that calls Islam "a pool … that never purifies," said Smith's attorney, Matteo Nicoli. (LA Times)

Pakistan

Pakistan is Aiding in Iran Inquiry

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Pakistan turned over uranium enrichment components Wednesday that could help solve one of the biggest mysteries in the inquiry on Iran's disputed nuclear program. (LA Times)

Spain

52 Hurt by Madrid Car Bomb Blamed on ETA

Suspected Basque rebels detonated a car bomb in Madrid, injuring 52 people, five seriously. (LA Times)

U.S.

Guantánamo Prisoners Told FBI of Qur'an Desecration in 2002, New Documents Reveal

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