The goal of a peace accord with the Palestinian Authority by year's end won't be met, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday. He and authority President Mahmoud Abbas set the target last November. But Olmert said conflicting claims to Jerusalem would prevent a treaty because "there is no practical chance of reaching an overall understanding" on the city's status. Differences on other issues, such as the right of return of Palestinian refugees, are not as wide, he said.
At least 57 people were killed and almost 300 others were wounded Monday in some of Iraq's worst violence in months. Four separate suicide bombings were blamed on women â€“ three in the midst of a procession of Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad. The fourth came in the northern city of Kirkuk as local Kurds were protesting unpopular elections legislation.
Terrorists used a small explosion to draw a crowd to a public square in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday night, then detonated a more powerful bomb that killed 17 people. Another 150 were hurt, reports said. Officials blamed Kurdish separatists, suggesting the attack was in revenge for air raids on rebel camps in northern Iraq. But there was no claim of responsibility, and the rebels denied involvement.
Some of the worst air pollution this month shrouded Beijing Monday, 11 days before the opening of the Olympic Summer Games. But while government officials defended their efforts to clean the air, they said they'd implement "an emergency plan 48 hours in advance" if necessary. Quoting one environmental official, the English-language China Daily newspaper said the contingency plan could result in 90 percent of vehicles being ordered off the roads during the Aug. 8-24 sports festival.
Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic will be transferred to The Hague for trial by covert means, reports said Monday. Serbian government officials said "only 10 people know exactly what will happen" to avoid a public spectacle. Nationalists already are planning a mass protest in Belgrade Tuesday against his extradition. Karadzic may be transported under cover of darkness, using secret exits, decoy motorcades, or other methods, the officials said.
Militants in southern Nigeria claimed responsibility Monday for sabotaging two more oil pipelines, both owned by industry giant Royal Dutch/Shell. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said the incident was "in keeping with our pledge" to step up attacks after recently calling an end to its unilateral cease-fire. Militants not necessarily from MEND also kidnapped eight Russian oil workers at gunpoint Satur-day but freed them hours later.
Official figures on revenue collections by Argentina's government are expected to show an increase following the standoff with farmers over an unpopular set of export tax increases, economists told the Bloomberg news service. Gains will be especially notable in sales tax collections due to a surge in consumer confidence after President Cristina Fernandez rescinded the hikes, they said. The figures are scheduled to be released Friday. The economists warned that the level of spending by her government is "unsustainable," although the new export tax collections would have helped to support it.
Only a smoldering hulk remained Monday after fire destroyed the 104-year-old Grand Pier, one of Britain's premier seaside tourist attractions. The cause of the blaze wasn't immediately known. No casualties were reported. The quarter-mile-long pier, which reopened in April after a costly renovation, was in Weston-Super-Mare, 140 miles west of London. It had held rides and other amusements, eating places, and a tavern and was listed as a historic monument.