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European Union foreign ministers agreed Monday to push for UN sanctions against Sudan if the country does not move to end the conflict in the Darfur region. Meanwhile, Pope John Paul's special envoy to Sudan called on the Khartoum government to provide security for more than 1 million refugees in the Darfur region. The African Union is trying to revive the stalled peace talks between the warring parties, but no gathering is planned for this week.

Tens of thousands of Jewish settlers and their supporters joined hands Sunday to form a human chain along a 55-mile route, stretching from Gaza to Jerusalem, in protest of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. The demonstration was the largest yet against the plan, which has strong international support, including from the US. Ariel Sharon has announced that there is no turning back from the plan.

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A suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives Monday in the northern city of Mosul, killing three Iraqis and injuring three US soldiers. Meanwhile, a militant group released a video on Al Jazeera saying it has taken two US-employed Pakistanis hostage because their country is discussing sending troops to Iraq. It is the latest in a wave of abductions by Islamic militants in Iraq, designed to force countries to rethink sending troops to Iraq. Also Monday, a statement released by an Islamic militant group warned Italy to withdraw its forces from Iraq. In a separate video aired by Arab stations Monday, kidnappers extended a deadline for the release of seven foreign drivers abducted in Iraq.

A Chinese jetliner made an emergency landing Monday after a man on board threatened to throw acid on passengers and demanded to be taken to South Korea. The man was apprehended after the plane landed. He appeared to be unarmed.

A small bomb rocked Indonesia's election commission Monday as the agency prepared to announce the results of the July 5 presidential election. The results were expected to lead to a September runoff between army general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus will officially nominate Stanislav Gross, the Social Democratic leader, as the EU member's next prime minister Monday. Gross will replace Valdimir Spidla, who stepped down last month.

In a surprise move, Afghan President Hamid Karzai dropped Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim, one of the nation's most powerful warlords, from his ticket, replacing him with Ahmad Zia Massood, brother of an Afghani resistance hero.

Baghdad will not make any moves to normalize relations with Israel before other Arab nations do so, Iraq's interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, said Monday. Allawi also dismissed Arab press reports that Israelis established a presence in Iraq after the US-led invasion.


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