Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and the rest of the Hamas-led government will resign Thursday, a spokesman said. The move sets up a five-week deadline to cobble together a new coalition with rival Fatah. The two agreed last weekend to share power in the hope that would unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that has been withheld because of Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. Haniyeh asked donors to end their boycott, but European Union foreign ministers said they'd wait for formation of the unity government before deciding whether to resume aid.
By unanimous vote, parliament in Uganda authorized 1,500 troops to join the African Union peacekeeping force for troubled Somalia. Its deployment date is expected to be announced later this week in the hope of filling the vacuum left by departing Ethiopian Army units that helped to oust Somalia's Islam-ist militia. But the latter's defeat hasn't stopped sporadic violence, especially in the capital, Mogadishu. A father and son were killed Monday night when shelling by suspected militia remnants hit their house.
Six people died and more than two dozen others were wounded in a wave of terrorist bombings in Algeria Tuesday. The targets in most cases appeared to be local police. No one claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell on the Salafist Group of Call and Combat, which has close ties to Al Qaeda.
The conciliatory approach taken by Thailand's military government toward Muslim separatists in three southern provinces hasn't worked, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont admitted. Surayud, who has made multiple visits to the troubled region, promising increased autonomy and economic aid, said acts of violence will recede only when Muslim villagers cooperate in the "efforts to restore peace." Visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday his government would try to mediate a truce with the separatists once Thailand formally seeks its help.
Only 34 of the International Whaling Commission's 72 member governments showed up as their much-anticipated conference opened Tuesday in Tokyo. Among the boycotters: the US, Britain, and Australia. Japan's top delegate rebuked the anti-whalers, saying their absence makes discussion of needed reforms "almost impossible." Despite a moratorium on commercial harvesting, Japan kills hundreds of animals a year.
All 24 Filipino merchant seamen taken hostage by militants last month in Nigeria's oil delta were freed Tuesday. The kidnappers said the release was made on "humanitarian grounds" and no ransom had been paid. Their employer, a German shipping company, confirmed claims that the men had been aboard a ship carrying explosives when it was raided. But it said the explosives were for oil exploration and had no political purpose.
Heavily armed soldiers patrolled Guinea's capital and other cities Tuesday, enforcing the martial law declared by embattled President Lansana Conte. Violence that resurfaced over the weekend has cost at least 27 people their lives, human-rights groups said. No commercial flights have taken off or landed at Conakry's airport since Saturday because of the unrest. Still, the US Embassy ordered the families of its staffers to leave and urged all other Americans living or traveling in Guinea to depart as well.
Authorities in South Africa announced the seizure of the first white-owned farm there in a land-redistribution campaign similar to neighboring Zimbabwe's. The farm, in Northern Cape Province, was "expropriated" Jan. 26. It was owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church but was claimed by its laborers, among others. About 90 percent of South Africa's farmland remains white-owned.