Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians jammed Gaza City Tuesday, condemning Mahmoud Abbas as a "traitor" for joining peace negotiations with Israel. At the protest, organized by Hamas, speakers said the Palestinian Authority president had no right to make any concessions to the Jewish state and that the peace talks will be "doomed to failure." Smaller demonstrations were held in the West Bank despite being forbidden by Abbas. Above, a protester in Gaza chants an anti-Abbas slogan.
Iran announced the addition to its arsenal of a new missile with a range of 1,250 miles, saying it puts Israel and US bases in the Middle East within "easy reach." But no other details were made available, and experts noted that Iran rarely offers enough detail to confirm the capabilities it claims. The Defense Ministry also said a new domestically built submarine would be delivered to the Navy Wednesday.
If Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders declare independence, Serbia "will do everything short of sending tanks" to protect its interests there, a senior government official said. But Serbia's Foreign Ministry insisted that "attaining peace, stability, and prosperity is of paramount importance," and Kosovo Albanians said they pose no threat to peace. Last-ditch negotiations on the future of the breakaway province, however, were deadlocked Tuesday, with reports saying the Albanians had rejected an offer of all symbols of independence short of republic status.
Two months after officials responsible for China's Three Gorges Dam warned that it poses an "environmental catastrophe," a new statement sought to defend it as geologically sound. All "disadvantages" related to the world's largest hydropower project were foreseen before construction began in 1993, it said, and no "abnormalities" have been seen in the surrounding environment.
Rebel leaders and government troops in Chad claimed to have killed hundreds of each other's men Monday in some of the heaviest fighting since last year's assault on the capital, N'djamena. Neither claim could be verified independently. The clashes near the border with Sudan's Darfur region ended months of relative calm and a cease-fire brokered by Libyan diplomats. A force of 4,000 European Union peacekeepers is to be deployed in the region early next year.
An angry President Evo Morales of Bolivia blasted opponents of his reform agenda as "traitors" after another participant in last weekend's violent protests against the rewritten Constitution died of his injuries. But opposition leaders in the city of Santa Cruz claimed a mandate to secede. They accuse Morales, a leftist of Indian extraction, of governing only for his ethnic constituents. The violence has spurred appeals for restraint from both the Bush administration and from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Below, demonstrators in Santa Cruz attack an effigy of Morales.
Rescue operations resumed Tuesday in the hope of finding 60 men trapped underground after a dynamite storage shed exploded at a gold mine in southern Ecuador. Authorities said at least one miner died and about 40 others were hurt, many of them seriously. The blast was so powerful it could be heard miles away. The mine is owned by a local cooperative, whose safety procedures were described as "limited."
With Cyprus experiencing its worst drought in decades, priests of the Orthodox Church reserved Sunday for special prayers to bring rain – the first such event there since 1998. Cyprus depends on rainfall for both drinking water and irrigation. But its reservoirs are at only 8 percent of capacity, and the largest is projected to run dry in 30 days. Archbishop Chrysostomos, the primate for the island, said, "If we all pray together, with ... deep faith, then it's all but impossible for all-merciful God not to fulfill our pleas."