A new public-relations campaign was being planned by Palestinian and Arab leaders in Cairo as Israeli snipers killed another militia leader linked to Yasser Arafat. An Arafat aide said agreement was being sought "on practical steps to assert the Arab and Palestinian position" to the world. On the West Bank, Emad Abu Sneineh died in a targeted attack because he "had a lot of blood on his hands," an Israeli official said. (Opinion, page 9.)
Amid massive security precautions, India's prime minister used his Independence Day address to the nation to demand that rival Pakistan end support of Islamic insurgents in disputed Kashmir. Atal Behari Vaypayee blamed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for the failure of their meeting last month to improve relations because "he came with just a one-point agenda: that we agree to Pakistan's demands on Kashmir." As Vajpayee spoke, new violence in Kashmir killed at least seven people and injured dozens more.
NATO governments OK'd the deployment of 400 British paratroopers to Macedonia, the vanguard of a 3,500-man force that will collect and destroy weapons from ethnic-Albanian insurgents, who agreed to disarm Tuesday in exchange for amnesty and expanded rights. The commander of the operation, Dutch Maj. Gen. Gunnar Lange (above, briefing reporters in Skopje, the Macedonian capital), said the full force would be sent only if the first arrivals found a truce between the insurgents and government forces to be firmly in place.
Claims that a government leader had reestablished "official" contact with Sri Lanka's outlawed Tamil Tiger rebels were ridiculed by the latter. Aviation Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle met only "our border guards, who provided security" for him during a pilgrimage to a religious shrine, the first such trip into rebel territory in 11 years, a Tamil statement said. Fernandopulle told reporters he'd talked with "several" rebels "and they want to negotiate" an end to the civil war that has killed more than 60,000 people. The two sides last met for peace talks in 1995.
Efforts to reunite the two Koreas again are at a standstill, the South's president admitted for the first time. In a Liberation Day speech, Kim Dae Jung appealed to the Bush administration to schedule a meeting with North Korea's leaders that would help thaw relations between them and, at the same time, jump-start the reunification process. Kim, who won the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on ending confrontation on the divided peninsula, paid a high-profile visit to the North last year. But North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has rejected all appeals to set a date for his promised return visit.