By Saturday, the entire $25 million in frozen North Korean funds will have been transferred to banks there, a news agency in rival South Korea reported. The transfer has been holding up North Korean compliance with a deal that was to have shut down its nuclear facilities two months ago. Separately, a Tokyo newspaper said some of the money already has been withdrawn from a Macao bank, which was blacklisted in 2005 for doing business with the North.
"Unforeseen circumstances" have caused another postponement in the national reconciliation conference for Somalia, organizers said Wednesday. The delay is the second so far; the conference had been scheduled for April. The new postponement came after two participants said they wouldn't attend until troops from neighboring Ethiopia had returned home. Diplomats see the conference as the best means of securing lasting peace in a nation torn by anarchy since 1991.
Security police in Indonesia announced the capture of most-wanted terrorist Abu Dujana. He is the military chief of Jemaah Islamiah and is believed to have had a key role in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, which killed more than 240 people. He was wounded in a shootout last Saturday, police said. Jemaah Islamiah, whose goal is to turn much of Southeast Asia into a Muslim state, is Al Qaeda's closest ally in the region.
A parked car packed with mortar rounds, TNT, and nails was defused by police Wednesday in the center of a mainly Christian city in the southern Philippines. The discovery was alarming, officials said, because Islamist terrorists in the area previously had used only crude devices such as pipe bombs. The car was set to be exploded by remote control and could have killed dozens of people and leveled nearby buildings, the officials said. The city was celebrating the anniversary of its founding.
Four more Buddhists were shot to death in southern Thailand's volatile Narathiwat Province. One had been beheaded, the 10th such occurrence this year. Police said at least two of the victims were traveling traders who hadn't realized they were in a predominantly Muslim town. In neighboring Pattani Province, Muslim separatists bombed another public school, killing a guard. A second explosion destroyed a truck used by patrolling soldiers and wounded its six occupants.
Negotiations resumed Wednesday on accepting Serbia into membership in the European Union. The talks broke off a year ago over the failure to deliver Gen. Ratko Mladic and other fugitives to the war-crimes tribunal for the Balkans. Critics have accused the Serbian government of lacking the political will to surrender Mladic for trial. But last week, all senior leaders agreed that he must be hunted down and arrested.
By unanimous vote, the judges on Cambodia's special genocide court agreed to procedural rules for the trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders. The move cleared the final major hurdle to the long-awaited trials, which are expected to begin as soon as prosecutors slate their first case. The makeup of the court is unprecedented in that both Cambodian and UN-appointed judges will hear cases, although the former will be in the majority. The court has a three-year deadline to complete its work.
With both houses of Zimbabwe's parliament dominated by allies of hard-line President Robert Mugabe, passage appeared certain for a new law to allow security services to monitor telephone calls, e-mails, and Internet postings, reports said Wednesday. The measure drew harsh criticism from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which said it was motivated by Mugabe's desire to crack down even harder on its activities and on growing unrest in the economically struggling nation.