Although Turkey's government has asked parliament to OK military operations against Kurdish separatist rebels in northern Iraq, that doesn't mean an incursion is imminent, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (l.) said Tuesday. Such a mission, he said, would take place "at the right time" and with "the terrorist organization" as its only target. Meeting with visiting Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, he urged the regional administration of Kurdish northern Iraq to "build a thick wall" between itself and terrorists. Hashemi said he can understand Turkish anger at the rebels using northern Iraq as a sanctuary but that "a political solution" to the issue was critical.
Saying, "She brings new hope for the liberation of the country," the Pakistan People's Party was promoting its leader's expected return Thursday from exile. As many as 1 million people may throng the streets of Islamabad, the capital, to welcome former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, its spokeswoman said. Bhutto, who left eight years ago to avoid arrest on graft charges, had been asked by the government to delay her return until after the Supreme Court ruled on whether President Pervez Musharraf was eligible to seek reelection while still serving as Army chief. Above, supporters in the city of Multan anticipate her arrival.
More pressure for democratic reform in Burma (Myanmar) was piled on its military rulers Tuesday as their largest aid donor, Japan, canceled a $4.7 million gift that was to have paid for a business education center. In contrast, however, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations said it wouldn't consider suspending Burma or imposing punitive sanctions for the violent crackdown last month on antigovernment protesters.
Tensions appeared to ease in eastern Congo Tuesday after President Joseph Kabila agreed to give rebels there 21 more days to rejoin the national Army. Their original deadline was Monday, but only about 1,200 defected from the ranks of rebel leader Laurent Nkunda, the Defense Ministry said. Nkunda has said he's willing to integrate his loyalists back into the Army and to negotiate with Kabila's government but will not surrender. The two sides have fought running battles for most of the past year.
Political parties that led Ukraine's 2004 "Orange Revolution" agreed to form a new government after final results of the Sept. 30 election for a new parliament confirmed their victory, the BBC reported. The deal means that ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko would return to that post, the BBC said. Her party and President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine together won a two-seat majority over rival Viktor Yanukovich's pro-Russian Party of the Regions. Yushchenko called the election in hopes of resolving a bitter struggle for power with Yanukovich.
The first rift between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland's self-rule government opened Tuesday over proposed legislation that would require public services to be delivered in Gaelic, the Irish language, as well as in English. Catholics in the National Assembly threatened to appeal for British intervention after Protestants rejected such a measure as divisive and too costly. Catholics regard Gaelic as central to their Irish identity, but it is taught only in parochial schools attended by a few thousand students. Britain bowed out of Northern Ireland's daily affairs in May but retains ultimate power.
A worldwide manhunt for a suspected pedophile narrowed to Thailand after he was seen on videotape arriving there late last week on a flight from South Korea. Police in Bangkok Tuesday identified him as a Canadian who has taught English in at least three Asian countries, and Thailand's neighbors placed border guards on alert in case he attempted to leave again. The suspect has been sought since online images of him molesting young boys surfaced in 2004.