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Pakistan Pledges to Curb Militants
President Pervez Musharraf vowed Saturday that Pakistan will dismantle the structure of extremism in mosques and religious schools that he said has bred violence and perverted Islam in this country. He also banned five militant organizations, saying Pakistanis are tired of a "Kalashnikov culture."

Rule of Gun on the Rise After Ouster of the Taliban
Ayub slowed as he approached the random checkpoint, manned, as it were, by a boy with an AK-47 slung across his chest. The instant the young guard lowered his hands from his gun, convinced that the car was stopping, Ayub stomped on the accelerator.

Colombia Leader Rejects Rebels' Peace Proposal
President Andres Pastrana rejected a last-ditch proposal to save Colombia's shattered peace process late Saturday, thrusting the country to the brink of an all-out civil war.

Eating Disorders on Rise for South African Blacks
The pencil-thin models in the glossy Western fashion magazines seemed to beckon to Gcina.

Costly Lessons of Argentina's Financial Folly
Once the poster child for Latin American market reforms, Argentina is now a cautionary tale, its deepening misery raising fears not so much of financial contagion but of ideological spillover that could dampen the region's appetite for liberalization and democratization.

Turkey Worries Iraq Is Next on U.S. List of Targets
With a deafening roar, a U.S.-made F-16 fighter jet streaks across the sky above this drab town about 320 miles west of the Iraqi border.

Russians Target Rebels in Chechnya
Moscow sent bombers and helicopters in aerial assaults against rebels in Chechnya, pressing a campaign that has drawn renewed U.S. allegations of rights violations--and a sharp Kremlin retort to the American claims.

Catholic Slain at Belfast Postal Office
A Roman Catholic postal worker was shot and killed as he arrived for work in Belfast on Saturday, and an outlawed Protestant group claimed responsibility.

Mideast Expected to Again Lead the U.N. Agenda
The Security Council began its first session of the new year by hearing an impassioned demand that it pay more attention to the Middle East. The preoccupation with Afghanistan threatens to make the Israeli-Palestinian dispute a mere "footnote" in deliberations here, said Syrian Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe.

Turks Protest Destruction of Castle in Mecca
About 300 Turks burned pictures of the Saudi king Saturday to protest the destruction of an Ottoman-era castle in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Non-Muslims in Pakistan Seek a Political Voice
The Christmas tree festooned with lights and tinsel still stands in Cecil Chaudry's living room, a cluster of unwrapped presents at its base. He knows, of course, that most other Christians in this Islamic republic have already taken down their trees, but he has dawdled, preferring to keep the spirit of the season alive.

Saudi-Backed Web Supports Terrorism, Book Asserts
An unlikely bestseller has emerged lately in France, dueling head to head with the memoirs of the president's wife, a biography of Victor Hugo and a philosophical treatise on good and evil.

Afghanistan Begins to Rebuild as U.S. Siege Narrows
This country increasingly feels like two countries: a southeastern swath that is under siege from American bombing where suspected Al Qaeda operatives are believed to be hiding, and the remainder, which is starting the process of rebuilding.

Car Bomb Wounds 2 in Spain
A car bomb exploded on a downtown street in this Basque port city Saturday, wounding two people who were hit by flying shards of glass, police said.

The Dead
One new name, Albert Joseph, was added in recent days to the list of confirmed dead in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. This list updates accountings that have appeared in The Times each Sunday since Sept. 11. The number of people unaccounted for, according to New York City officials, is now believed to be 309.

Entrants Sought in Giza Museum Design Contest
Egypt has opened an international competition for architects to design a museum near the Pyramids of Giza to house a vast collection of Pharaonic treasures.

Prosecutors Protest Against Government
Italian prosecutors staged a nationwide protest against the government, accusing it of trying to curb their independence and meddling in trials to protect conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his allies.


Last Tango in Cyprus
One is 82, the other 77. They met as opposing lawyers in a string of terrorist trials nearly half a century ago and have grown old trying to outfox each other in one of the world's most intractable armed standoffs.

World Press Tries to Unknot Tale of Bush and the Pretzel
Was it an Al Qaeda plot? An Enron end run? Or was it, as President Bush said, just a wayward pretzel that briefly felled the leader of the free world?

71-Year-Old Israeli Settler Beaten, Slain
Palestinian gunmen kidnapped a 71-year-old Israeli at a roadblock in this West Bank village Tuesday, drove him to a field in a nearby village, beat him and then shot him to death, the Israeli army said, in what appeared to be a revenge killing.

Colombia Zone Now Heart of Rebel Problem
A road leaving this teeming frontier town winds toward a series of cliffs that soar over river gorges. Etched into one cliff, with a sweeping view of wild, unspoiled jungle, lies an emblem of the problems facing Colombia's peace process.

Activists Document Apparent Chechen Killings
Russia's leading human rights group says it has documented the apparent killing of three men and the disappearance of six others during a Russian "special operation" in Chechnya over the New Year's holidays.

Pakistan Shuts More Militants' Offices
Police closed the offices of another militant group Tuesday ahead of a visit by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that is aimed at defusing the threat of war between Pakistan and India. But a defiant President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said he still backs Kashmir's struggle against "Indian occupation."

Chretien Shuffles Canadian Cabinet
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien overhauled his Cabinet on Tuesday, dismissing seven ministers and bringing 10 new faces into the government just a day after the country was stunned by the resignation of a popular Cabinet member who had been Chretien's presumptive heir.

Marines Blast Tunnel System in Kandahar
Marines destroyed tunnels Tuesday on the fringes of their base at the Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan that were apparently used by armed Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters as recently as a day earlier, defense officials said.

U.S. Pursues Report of American Held Hostage
U.S. diplomats asked the interim government of Afghanistan for help Tuesday in determining the status of Clark Russell Bowers, an American whose family says he has been taken hostage while on a humanitarian mission.

Sanctions Are Lifted on Rebel-Held Areas
The Sri Lankan government lifted 7-year-old economic sanctions on areas held by Tamil Tiger rebels, allowing 30 truckloads of essential goods into northern jungles.

Jailed Lawmaker Freed After Parliament Protest
A lawmaker jailed for speaking out against hard-liners was freed from prison after Iran's supreme leader pardoned him to defuse a mounting political crisis.

Bill Curbing Media Freedom Put on Hold
Zimbabwe's parliament dropped a much criticized bill curbing media freedom from its business after an advisory committee found serious problems with some clauses, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change said.

Adventurers' Craft Fails on the Thames
Two adventurers who hope to cross the ice between Alaska and Siberia in an amphibious ice crawler were embarrassed when it sank in London in a test run on the Thames.

Bodies of 15 Recovered After Fishing Boat Sinks
Rescue workers recovered the bodies of 15 fishermen whose boat sank in the Red Sea, police said. The Egyptian navy was still searching for 24 missing fishermen.

More White Farms Looted, Group Says
Government-backed militants embarked on a new looting campaign of white-owned farms this month, forcing 23 landowners from their homes, a Zimbabwean farmers organization said.