Police in the Gaza Strip abandoned plans to keep crowds of Palestinians out of empty Jewish settlements Monday, and they were quickly overrun after the last Israeli military units withdrew just before sunrise. Jubilant men and boys set upon synagogues that had been left standing, setting them on fire and planting the Palestinian and Hamas flags in the ruins. Others scaled the wall between Gaza and Egypt for spontaneous reunions with relatives they'd been separated from for years. But Egyptian security officials said the crossings would end once 750 of their soldiers are deployed to secure the border under an agreement with Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the day "one of happiness and joy that the Palestinian people have not witnesses for a century."
The six-sided negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program resume Tuesday amid signs of division in the ranks of the US and its allies. Senior US negotiator Christopher Hill said his government and South Korea were agreed that the communist North should have no nuclear capability, even for generating electricity. But South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young maintained that the North had the right to the peaceful use of nuclear power. The talks, in Beijing, were recessed Aug. 7. Hill said that since the participants know almost all of each other's positions, this round "shouldn't take as long as last time."
Police and British troops fired water cannon and hundreds of plastic bullets to quell a second straight night of rioting in Bel-fast, Northern Ireland, as angry extremists protested the refusal to allow a Protestant marching order to parade through a Catholic neighborhood. There were no reported deaths, but 18 more police were hurt, most of them because of shrapnel from exploding handmade grenades.
Some of them stopping to kiss the ground, hundreds of Pakistanis and Indians returned home in the biggest exchange of prisoners since the rival nations began efforts last year to make peace. The prisoners - 435 of them from India, 148 from Pakistan - had completed their sentences for such offenses as being caught on the wrong side of the border, but their release was delayed by the ongoing diplomatic hostilities between the governments. Their return was arranged as a goodwill gesture before Wednesday's scheduled meeting at the UN between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.